Minneapolis Dog Bite Lawyer
Injuries from dog bites can leave victims with life-long injuries and mental trauma that can take years to recover from. If you have suffered a dog bite injury, contact TSR Injury Law for a free consultation with one of our Minneapolis dog bite lawyers. You may be eligible to obtain compensation to help cover hospital bills and lost income from missed time at work as well as physical pain and emotional suffering.
Our firm has helped injury victims recover millions in financial compensation, including a $60,000 award for a woman who suffered wrist nerve damage after being bitten by an aggressive dog. This case was settled by our partner Rich Ruohonen, who has been selected for the Super Lawyers list every year between 2003 and 2018.
Let us review your claim during a free consultation. There is no risk or obligation to take legal action and there are no upfront costs or fees involved for our legal services if you do have a case and decide to move forward. We can discuss the specifics of the attack and the legal options that may be available to you.
Call (612) TSR-TIME today to see how we might be able to help you.
Liability for a Dog Bite in Minnesota
Unlike some other states, Minnesota’s dog bite statute seems to favor dog bite victims. Dog owners may be held liable when a dog, without provocation, attacks or causes injury to a person acting peaceably, if that person was legally allowed to be in the place where he or she was harmed.
For example, if you were on public property or were an invitee on private property, and other conditions explained above were met, the owner may be liable for your injuries. The statute defines an owner as anyone harboring or keeping a dog, but the dog owner is primarily liable.
In some dog bite cases, provocation is the owner's defense to liability. Provocation defense is often mentioned but difficult to support with facts.
Provocation can be used as a defense if the injured person provoked, tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog before the attack. The defendant is not relieved of liability if the injured person's conduct inadvertently or involuntarily provoked the dog to attack. An example of inadvertent behavior would be accidentally stepping on a dog.
Does the Owner Have to Know the Dog Was Dangerous?
The state of Minnesota has a strict liability rule for dog owners. Regardless of the dog’s past behavior, the owner is responsible for any personal injuries caused by his or her dog, even if he or she did not know or could not have known the dog would be dangerous.
According to Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, a dangerous dog is one that when unprovoked:
- Causes substantial bodily harm (temporary and substantial disfigurement, loss or impairment of bodily function, or fracture) to a person acting peacefully or lawfully
- Repeatedly attacks or tries to attack a person or domestic animal on public or private property
- Kills another domestic animal while off the owner’s property
What If I Was Trespassing?
If you were bitten by a dog while trespassing, the dog owner may not be liable for your injuries. You must have been lawfully invited onto the property as a social guest or potential customer, such as friend, family member, postal worker, contractor, etc. to be eligible to recover damages for a dog bite.
Dog bite cases can be very difficult to handle on your own, especially because the owner and his or her insurance company and legal representatives will try to prove you provoked the dog or were on the property illegally.
We recommend contacting our Minneapolis dog bite lawyers for a free consultation. We have detailed knowledge of the complexities of these cases and how to collect evidence to help establish liability.
How Much is My Dog Bite Case Worth?
After a dog bite injury, you may be wondering how much your claim is worth. This is a reasonable question to ask since damages from a dog bite can be life-changing.
However, every dog bite case is different and the amount of compensation you may be eligible for will depend on the specific details of your situation.
There are several factors we may review to determine the value of a case. We may look at:
- The number of days you had to stay at the hospital for medical treatment
- The cost of transportation to and from the doctor’s office
- The severity of your injuries, such as puncture wounds, broken bones or nerve damage
- Cost of plastic surgery, if the dog bite caused scarring that needs to be repaired
- Rehabilitation costs, if the dog bite caused some type of on-going physical injury
- Therapy sessions to overcome the emotional trauma of the incident
- The cost of medication to treat redness, swelling, and pain around the wound area
- Hospital bills for surgeries, X-rays and much more…
Contact TSR Injury Law to set up a free consultation with our Minneapolis dog bite attorneys so we can determine the potential value of your claim. If you have a case, we are ready to carefully investigate and pursue full compensation. There are upfront no fees for our services.
Contact our legal team today by calling (612) TSR-TIME.
Can Punitive Damages Be Awarded in a Dog Bite Case?
While compensatory damages are for injuries. Punitive damages are to punish someone financially for their actions. Punitive damages are awarded over and above the damages for injuries. There are three reasons to seek punitive damages:
- To punish
- To force the defendant to refrain from committing the offense again
- To discourage others from committing the offense
Some reasons why judges award punitive damages:
- The seriousness of hazard to the public arising from the defendant's misconduct
- The duration of the misconduct and any concealment of it, the degree of the defendant's awareness of the hazard and of its excessiveness
- The attitude and conduct of the defendant upon discovery of the misconduct
- The financial condition of the defendant
- The total effect of other punishment likely to be imposed upon the defendant as a result of the misconduct, including compensatory and punitive damage awards to the plaintiff
- The severity of any criminal penalty to which the defendant may be subject
Minnesota Statute § 549.20 states that punitive damages shall be awarded if it is proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Defendant deliberately disregarded the safety of others.
Is There a Time Limit to Pursue a Dog Bite Claim?
If you have a case, there is a limited amount of time to take legal action. The majority of personal injury cases in Minnesota, including dog bite cases, must be filed within two years from the date of the injury. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this deadline, you may be unable to pursue compensation through a lawsuit.
However, there may be exceptions to this two-year deadline for your specific case. You may be required to file before then, or you may have more than two years to file a lawsuit.
If you have any questions about the deadlines for personal injury lawsuits or are unsure if your time to file has passed, we recommend that you consult with to one of our knowledgeable Minneapolis personal injury lawyers for legal advice.
Ways to Protect Your Dog Bite Claim
A dog bite or attack can leave you feeling scared, vulnerable and unsure about what to do next. There are certain things immediately following a dog bite injury that you can do to protect your health and your rights:
Seek Medical Treatment
Dog bite injuries can be severe. Even small puncture wounds can result in serious infections or permanent scarring/disfigurement. Regardless of the injury, it is important the you seek medical treatment right away to ensure that the wound is properly treated. A doctor will examine the injury to determine whether the bite was deep enough to damage nerves, muscles, tendons or bones and take measures to prevent an infection.
Follow Doctor’s Orders
Infections are common with dog bite injuries so be sure to regularly change the bandaging around your wound and clean it properly on a regular basis, as instructed by your doctor. If you are given antibiotics to prevent infection, it is important that you take them as prescribed. Follow up with the doctor as ordered for routine cleaning, wound care inspection and continuous monitoring of the healing process.
Report the Attack
Make sure to report the dog bite or attack to the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC). The MACC will respond to the location given and investigate the incident. It is in your best interest to provide an accurate description of the dog and its location so that the MACC can contact the dog owner, legally confine the dog for a certain period of days to protect the public from rabies and take other suitable measures.
Document Your Bite Wound
Take pictures of the wound, bruises, lacerations and bloodied, torn or damaged clothing. Documenting your injuries can help prove the severity and extent of the harm you suffered from the beginning through the entire recovery period. Be sure to also photograph the location of the incident and anything else that may be helpful later.
Identify Dog Owner and Witnesses
Be sure to identify and collect vital information from the dog owner, including his or her name, address, phone number, veterinary information, and name of his or her insurance company - the owner’s homeowners’ insurance may provide compensation for your injuries.
Also take down the contact details of any witnesses present at the time of the incident. A Minneapolis dog bite attorney from our firm can use this information to contact a witness at a later date to discuss what he or she may or may not have seen.
If you have been injured by a dog bite, we recommend that you contact TSR Injury Law as soon as possible. There may be time limits to your dog bite claim. Reach out to us anytime. We are available 24/7. There is never a fee involved for our legal services unless we obtain compensation for you.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form now so we can get started.
What NOT To Do After a Dog Biting Incident
When you talk to the owners or insurance company, make sure that you:
- Do not allow your conversation to be recorded.
- Do not discuss your case with them — how it happened, who was responsible, the extent of injury, or the amount of settlement you desire.
- Do not accept money or payment of any type.
- Do not meet with the owner or the insurance company.
- Do not correspond with the insurance company.
- Do not allow the bite to be photographed for the insurance company.
- Do not sign anything from the insurance company, the owner of the dog, the landlord, or the property owner where the attack took place.
If you feel pressured in any way by the dog owner or insurance company, refer them to your attorney. Also, let your attorney know that you are being pressed for information or cooperation.
Dog Breeds Known to Be Dangerous
There are certain breeds of dogs that are generally considered to be more dangerous than others. It is generally recommended that you be cautious around these breeds because there could be a greater risk of an attack or bite. These breeds include:
- St. Bernard
- Great Dane
- Bull Terrier
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Siberian Husky
- Chow Chow
- Doberman Pinscher
- Alaskan Malamute
Speak to Our Minneapolis Dog Bite Lawyers Today
Contacting an experienced Minneapolis dog bite lawyer can help to determine if you have grounds to file a damages claim and if so, the legal options that may be available. You may be eligible to obtain compensation for medical expenses, past and future loss of income, and any pain and suffering you have endured.
At TSR Injury Law, our dog bite attorneys charge no upfront fees if we take on your case and we only get paid when we obtain a recovery on your behalf.
We are located just two miles from the Fairview Southdale Hospital and offer free consultations, either in person at our office or over the phone. We also provide home and hospital visits if required.
We look forward to helping you. Call (612) TSR-TIME today.