Being attacked and bitten by a dog is traumatizing and can have serious consequences for the victim. Dog bites are often severe and may include deep lacerations, nerve damage, disfigurement and fractures. Medical treatments for dog bite injuries can quickly get expensive, which is why contacting an experienced lawyer can be an important part of the recovery process.
At TSR Injury Law, our legal team has helped recover over $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients. This includes a recovery attained by our partner Rich Ruohonen for a women who suffered both wrist and nerve damage after being attacked by an aggressive dog. Rich currently sits on the Board of Governors for the Minnesota Association for Justice (MNAJ).
Contact a Saint Paul dog bite attorney to discuss your situation during a free consultation. There are no upfront fees to hire our firm. You only pay us at the end of the legal process if you obtain compensation.
Call (612) TSR-TIME to get started.
What Is Minnesota Law on Dog Bites?
Minnesota law states that if a dog, without being provoked, attacks or injures someone who is visiting in a public area or legally on someone’s privately-owned property, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for your damages. It does not matter if the dog that bit you has never shown aggression before.
An owner is defined as any individual harboring or keeping a dog, however the animal’s owner is primarily liable. The owner may be responsible even if he or she did not know that the dog was dangerous or could be potentially dangerous to others.
According to the Saint Paul Animal Control Center (SPAC), a dangerous dog is one that without provocation:
- Causes substantial bodily injury to any individual on public or private property
- Engages in any attack on an individual that indicates danger to personal safety
- Exhibits unusually aggressive behavior (attacking another animal and causing serious injury or death)
Bitten By A Friend’s Dog – Do I Have A Case?
If you were invited onto the dog owner’s property as a friend, social guest, or another type of invitee, then you were legally allowed on the property and may have a right to recover compensation for your injuries.
In the event you were bitten by a friend’s dog on public property, such as a dog park or on a sidewalk, you may still have a case for compensation.
Dog Bite Claims For Trespassers
Trespassers are individuals who enter a private or public property without permission from the owner. He or she does not have a legal right to be on the property. A victim who is attacked or bitten by a dog while trespassing will generally not have a case against its’ owner.
It is important to note that every dog bite case is different. There could be exceptions to this rule. Let one of our dedicated St. Paul dog bite lawyers review your claim during a free and confidential consultation.
Proving The Dog Owner Was Negligent
Minnesota law also allows a dog bite injury victim to recover compensation due to negligence. You must, however, prove that the animal’s owner failed to use reasonable care in controlling the dog and that your injuries resulted from that negligence.
Negligence is the lack of ordinary care that most careful or reasonable individuals would exercise in similar circumstances. If the attacking dog owner’s conduct does not measure up to that of a reasonable person in a similar situation, then that individual could be found negligent.
For instance, if the dog owner keeps his or her dog in the backyard without being leashed or lacks proper fencing and the dog escapes and bites someone, the owner may have behaved in a negligent or careless manner. The owner cannot say the dog is normally well behaved or has never exhibited aggression when in the backyard.
While Minnesota laws are more favorable to the dog bite victim rather than the dog owner, proving negligence can still be a complicated process. Let our experienced legal team help you fully understand your rights.
Our phones are available to take your call anytime, night or day. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME
Damages Awarded in Dog Bite Cases
Dog bite injuries can result in significant financial, physical and emotional damages. The kinds of damages awarded to victims in dog bite cases will depend on a number of factors. A St. Paul dog bite lawyer from our firm will need to consider the following:
- The type of injury you sustained
- The severity of your injury
- Expenses acquired for medical treatment
- Plastic surgery needed after disfigurement
- The amount of time you missed from work to recover
- Anticipated future medical care
- Loss of future earning capacity due to the wound
- Ongoing physical rehabilitation costs
- Therapy services to treat psychological or emotional trauma
If you have questions about how much your potential case could be worth, our legal team is ready to help. You are under no obligation to take legal action and we do not charge any upfront fees if we represent you.
What Should I Do After a Dog Bite?
After being injured by a dog bite, you may be unsure about what to do next. Protect your legal interests, but especially your well-being by taking the following steps:
Obtain Medical Treatment
Get proper medical care. Even a minor dog bite may cause an infection if it is not properly cleaned and tended to by a medical professional. A doctor will be able to determine the extent of your injuries and provide a proper treatment plan. Having an official medical record can also help provide evidence of when the dog bite occurred, which could be invaluable if you decide to take legal action.
Following Doctors’ Orders
Your best chance at recovery is following your doctor’s prescribed plan of care. Failure to do so could make your injuries worse. Ignoring your physician’s treatment orders may also provide an opportunity for the insurance company to attack your credibility by claiming that your injuries are not as bad as you reported or that your injury was pre-existing.
Reporting the Dog Bite
Report your dog bite injury to the Saint Paul Police as soon as possible. This action is required by law. Once there is a report, the authorities will open an investigation of the incident, and will interview you, the owner of the dog – if possible – and take statements from any witnesses who may have seen the attack. Following an investigation, the responding officer will forward the report to the SPAC and have the dog quarantined to ensure it is not infected with rabies or other signs of sickness.
Documenting Your Injuries
If you can, try to take photos of the scene, the dog and your injuries, including lacerations, redness, swelling, bruising and any torn or bloody clothing. As your wounds heal, take pictures periodically to document the process.
Identifying the Owner of the Dog
If it is possible, try to identify the owner of the dog, along with contact information, details about his or her homeowner’s insurance and the dog’s veterinary details to help verify recent shot records.
Speaking to Eyewitnesses
Speak to any eyewitnesses who may have seen what happened and ask for their names, phone numbers, and statements, if possible. This information can be useful if your attorney needs to contact them at a later date.
Following medical treatment, we recommend that you contact a licensed St. Paul dog bite attorney to review your situation and determine your legal options. You may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries.
Contact TSR Injury Law today. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME
Prevention and Treatment of Dog Bites
Dog bites often occur when a dog is unprovoked. To prevent being bitten by a dog, consider the following:
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog or a dog whose owner is not present, especially if the dog is fenced in, tied up, or in a parked vehicle
- Do not chase, tease or approach a dog while it is eating, sleeping or guarding something
- Always ask the owner’s permission before petting a dog and allow the dog to acknowledge your presence before petting it
Should a dog bite you or someone you are with, it is important to try to get away from the dog to prevent further injury. While it is best to wait to be treated by medical personnel, if your injuries are severe, you may try to slow bleeding by applying pressure with a clean cloth. After your physician properly tends to your injuries, he or she may recommend a treatment plan, which could include
- Applying antibiotic cream to the wound
- Changing the bandage several times a day (only if your doctor recommends this)
- Contacting a doctor or medical facility immediately if you see any signs of infection (redness, swelling, increased pain and fever)
Reach Out to Our Saint Paul Dog Bite Lawyers
If you were attacked and bitten by a dog, our Saint Paul dog bite lawyers at TSR Injury Law may be able to help. We are prepared to investigate the incident and fully handle the legal process on your behalf to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
We offer free consultations to determine if you have a viable case. There are no upfront fees involved. We only get paid if we recover damages on your behalf.