Minneapolis Dog-Bite Lawyer
A dog bite can leave the victim with physical and psychological damage, and medical costs to treat the injury can become expensive. With the help of an experienced Minneapolis dog bite lawyer, you can recover the compensation you deserve. Our dog-bite attorneys at Milavetz Injury Law P.A. have decades of experience with these cases and can help you navigate your situation.
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Millions of Americans throughout the United States own dogs. While these furry creatures make excellent companions and are often regarded as a “man’s best friend,” dogs are not always harmless.
Dog bites can cause significant damage to victims, leaving them to deal with both short- and long-term consequences. At Milavetz Injury Law, P.A., our Minneapolis dog bite lawyers believe that victims should not have to pay the price of a pet owner’s negligence. If you or a loved one were the victim of a dog attack, schedule a free case evaluation with one of our skilled attorneys at our Minneapolis office today to discuss your legal options.
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Why Choose the Minneapolis Dog Bite Lawyers at Milavetz Injury Law
The lawyers at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A. have been fighting for residents of Minneapolis and Minnesota since 1963. Our experienced Minnesota personal injury attorneys have seen the traumatic results that dog bite victims must face and are committed to fighting for their justice.
We believe that dog-bite victims should not have to pay for the actions of irresponsible pet owners and are prepared to help you take legal action against the dog owner who is liable for your injury.
How Much is a Dog Bite Case Worth in Minneapolis?
Settlement and verdict amounts for dog bites vary from case to case, but Minneapolis dog bite victims could be entitled to substantial compensation. Compensation for several types of damages is available, including the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Mental health counseling
- Medical equipment
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages when the pet owner knowingly and recklessly endangered you or your child
If a dog bite injury tragically results in the death of a family member, the victim’s family could pursue a Minnesota wrongful death lawsuit.
It’s important to note that Minnesota has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. For a wrongful death suit, that deadline is three years. So, you must file your claim within the applicable window to ensure you can pursue compensation.
What Are Minnesota’s Laws Regarding Dog Bites?
Minnesota laws tend to favor dog bite victims. The Minnesota dog bite law statute states that owners are liable for damages to the dog bite victim when attacked without provocation and acting peacefully where they may lawfully be.
The state has an absolute, strict liability statute, so comparative or contributory fault isn’t a defense. This means that reasons such as the dog’s past good behavior, reasonable care, and negligence are often irrelevant.
Minnesota’s laws regarding dog bites also assign some liability to whoever was harboring the dog, including veterinarians and groomers, but the dog’s owner remains at all times primarily liable.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
The most common reasons why dogs bite include the following:
- Fear: Many dog bites stem from the animal’s fear. This emotion may occur when the dog is overwhelmed, in an unfamiliar situation, or improperly socialized.
- Startling: Dogs may bite when startled, particularly when abruptly awakened. This is especially common in older dogs with diminishing eyesight and hearing, as they may experience high levels of confusion and disorientation.
- Protection or guarding: Many dogs are territorial over what they perceive as theirs to protect or guard. Common places or things dogs may protect include their home, owners, food, or toys.
- Frustration: A dog may experience frustration when it’s being kept from something it wants or cannot escape an uncomfortable situation. Thus, it may bite the person acting as an obstacle in its path.
- Pain: Sickness and injury can create stress and fear for dogs, making them more likely to bite.
- Play: Mouthing or light biting is a common way dogs interact with each other and explore the world. However, this may result in injury if the dog becomes out of control.
Dog owners can prevent many of these behaviors with proper training, ample socialization, and containment.
Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries
What Should You Do After a Dog Bite?
If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, here are a few tips to follow in the aftermath.
Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, seek medical attention, especially if the wounds are deep. Infections can complicate the healing process and potentially threaten your life in specific circumstances, so seeking medical attention is crucial.
The hospital will document the situation in your medical records. This will bar the insurance company from claiming your injuries occurred after the dog attack.
Collect and Document Information
After seeking medical attention, gather as much information as you can. Identify the dog’s owner or contact animal control if the dog is running free. Gather insurance information from the dog owner, if available. Take photos of you or your loved one’s injuries at the time of the injury and during the healing process.
Each piece of information is essential in a legal case, and while your lawyer will help you gather pertinent information, having this information ready to go can accelerate the process.
Consult a Lawyer
If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, you should seek help from an experienced Minneapolis dog bite lawyer. A lawyer can help you navigate the complex web of the legal system and aid you through every step, from investigating your claim and assessing its actual value to filing a lawsuit and going to trial as necessary.
Who Could be Responsible for a Dog Bite in Minneapolis?
Under Minnesota law, liability for dog bites is strictly assigned to the owner. Individuals harboring the animal, including veterinarians and groomers, may also carry some liability.
However, the owner is only liable if the victim did not provoke the dog. Dog owners may claim the dog was provoked when the victim simply engaged in normal human behavior. Our experienced dog bite attorneys can help determine liability and whether the dog was provoked.
Dog Bite Injury FAQs
Does Minnesota Have a ‘One Bite’ Rule?
Minnesota has not adopted the so-called “one bite” rule. That rule holds an owner liable only if they knew or should have known that the animal might harm someone. The name of this theory refers to the notion that an animal gets one free bite, and after that, the owner animal’s vicious tendencies.
Instead, Minnesota follows a strict liability rule.
What is Minnesota’s Strict Liability Rule?
Minnesota’s strict liability rule means the owner is responsible for the dog’s aggressive actions regardless of its history of violent behavior. Thus, you don’t need to prove the owner’s negligence or fault if a dog bites you. An owner is liable for a dog bite even if they were unaware the dog would bite.
Can I Seek Compensation for Non-Bite Injuries?
Minnesota residents can seek compensation for non-bite injuries associated with the dog attack.
Can I Still File a Claim if I Provoked the Dog?
The dog owner is only liable if the animal was unprovoked. The owner may claim the dog was provoked and reduce liability somewhat or entirely. Our Minneapolis dog bite lawyers can help determine whether the dog was provoked.
How Do I File a Dog Bite Claim in Minneapolis?
First, file a dog bite report with your local health department and animal control office. When you have received medical attention, seek assistance from a skilled dog attack lawyer.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer at Milavetz Law?
We offer free, no-obligation consultations and valuable legal advice at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A. to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our team also works on contingency, meaning it costs nothing to hire us unless we win your case. We collect our fee from any settlement or verdict you receive. If you don’t recover anything, we don’t get paid.
Contact the Dog Bite Lawyers at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A.
Dog bite injuries can be traumatic and painful. Having a skilled, compassionate expert on your side is important as you seek justice for your injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack in Minneapolis, contact our team of experienced attorneys at Milavetz Injury Law, P.A. for a free case evaluation. You can complete our online form or call (612) 339-0140.
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Minneapolis Office Location
305 North 5th Avenue, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Content Reviewed by:
Alan Scott Milavetz