Dog Bite Lawyer
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Have you or a loved one been bitten by a dog in St. Paul, Minnesota? You could be entitled to compensation under Minnesota’s victim-friendly dog bite laws. The experienced St. Paul dog bite lawyers at Milavetz Law, P.A. are ready to help you demand accountability and maximize your financial award.
Since 1963, our award-winning trial attorneys have been leading advocates for dog bite victims and grieving families across Minnesota. Our dedication and relentless pursuit of justice have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts.
A dog bite can change your life in the short and long term. Don’t let an irresponsible dog owner off the hook for your suffering. Contact our St. Paul law office to discover how our top-rated legal team can help you get the money you deserve. Your first consultation is free, so schedule yours today.
Dog Bite Statistics
Every year, it is estimated that approximately 4.5 million people suffer dog bite injuries across the United States. Injury Epidemiology reports that dog bites were the 13th leading cause of nonfatal emergency department visits in the United States in 2018. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 27,000 individuals required reconstructive surgery for their dog bite injury that same year.
Research shows that dog bite injuries are most prevalent in school-age children. This is because children may lack the maturity to understand the behavior of dogs, make sudden movements or high-pitched sounds, and approach dogs on their own due to their innate curiosity.
Residents of less-densely populated areas and poorer neighborhoods are also at an increased risk. In these settings, dogs are more likely to lack proper training, be taught to act aggressively out of protection, or lack necessary supervision.
How common are dog bites in Minnesota?
In 2021, State Farm paid almost $162 million to resolve over 3,260 dog bite insurance claims nationwide. Minnesota ranked in the top 10 states with the highest number of dog bite cases. State Farm received at least 108 dog bite claims in Minnesota, which were resolved for $3.4 million.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Unfortunately, all dogs bite, regardless of breed, age, and environment. The American Veterinary Medical Association notes that dog bites are often a reaction to a situation. For example, if the dog believes itself to be in a stressful situation, it may bite to defend itself or its territory. Additional reasons a dog may bite:
- The dog feels scared or startled
- The dog feels threatened
- The dog is protecting something valuable to them
- The dog isn’t feeling well
- The dog is playing and engages in light biting or mouthing
Every dog has a different threshold for what prompts them to bite someone. The two most prevalent indicators for whether a dog will bite are its behavior and history.
What dog breeds bite most often?
While it’s true that any dog is capable of biting, statistics show that certain breeds bite more than others:
- German shepherd
- Doberman pinscher
Due to this, select home insurance companies have a list of banned breeds. This means the insurer does not have to provide coverage for the injury if their customer owns a restricted breed; some insurance companies approach this notion on a case-by-case basis. According to an article on banned breeds in Forbes, insurance companies’ three most banned dog breeds are doberman pinscher, pitbull, and rottweiler.
State Farm is among the short list of insurers without dog breed restrictions. Heather Paul, a State Farm home insurance spokesperson, states, “Any dog, regardless of breed, can bite, and most bites are the perfect storm of situation and circumstance.”
Amica, Auto-Owners Insurance, Chubb, and USAA are additional home insurance companies without breed restrictions.
Injuries That Dog Bites Can Cause
Dog bites can be traumatic, especially for young children. At Milavetz Law, P.A., we are here to help you seek damages for your dog bite injuries, which may include:
- Lacerations and cuts
- Puncture wounds
- Strains, sprains, bruising, and other soft tissue damage
- Trauma to the eyes and face
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Illness or disease, including rabies or tetanus
- Wrongful death of a family member in a fatal dog attack
Seek medical care for dog bite injuries immediately. Once your injuries are accounted for and treated, don’t hesitate to contact our dog bite attorneys in St. Paul. We will explain your legal rights and how we can help you get the compensation you deserve and need.
Who is liable for a dog bite in Minnesota?
According to Minnesota Statute 347.22, owners are strictly liable for injuries resulting from an unprovoked dog attack or injury, including dog bites. Certain states have a “one free bite” rule before an owner can be held liable. Minnesota does not enforce this rule; owners are liable regardless of whether the animal has never been aggressive or bitten anyone in the past.
Furthermore, victims don’t have to prove an owner was negligent. If a dog bites you, you simply have to establish who owned the dog and who else may have owed you a duty of care.
Additional Liability in Minnesota Dog Bite Cases
Minnesota Statute 347.22 states that “any person harboring or keeping a dog” can also be responsible for resulting harm. This could include a dog walker, a boarding facility, or even a friend or family member who is dog-sitting. The owner will still be primarily responsible, however.
While negligence does not have to be proven to recover damages, victims can seek additional compensation on the grounds of negligence. Negligence might involve failing to keep a dog in a fenced-in yard, violating the St. Paul leash law, or even failing to post warning signs about a dangerous dog on the premises.
Minnesota Dangerous Dog Law
Under Minnesota Statute 347.50, Minnesota citizens who own a dog that is considered dangerous must register the dog per Minnesota Statute 347.51. This requires the dog to wear a dog tag that indicates it is dangerous and the owner to display a sign with a dangerous dog warning symbol on their property.
What do I have to prove to win a St. Paul dog bite case?
When you file a personal injury claim under Minnesota’s dog bite statute, you have the burden of proving:
- You were attacked or bitten by a dog without provocation.
- You were lawfully and peacefully on the premises where the attack occurred.
- You suffered damages from the dog bite.
Damages Available in St. Paul Dog Bite Injury Cases
Dog bite victims are entitled to damages for the financial costs of their injuries and those related to their pain and suffering. These are known as economic and non-economic damages, respectively, and can include:
- Medical transportation, hospitalization, medication, and other current medical expenses
- Ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, and future medical bills
- Reduced earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Nursing care and assistance
- Emotional distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Reduced quality of life
If the evidence proves the dog attack resulted from intentional misconduct or a “deliberate disregard” for your rights or safety, punitive damages may also be applicable.
Why should I hire a St. Paul personal injury lawyer if a dog has bitten me?
Minnesota has some of the best protection for dog bite victims in the nation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean getting the money you deserve will be easy. The dog’s owner, other responsible parties, and insurance companies will fight you every step of the way.
The best way to win your case and increase the odds of a full financial recovery is to hire an experienced St. Paul personal injury lawyer to represent you. With Milavetz Law, P.A., you will benefit from a team of attorneys with decades of experience and a demonstrated ability to win tough dog bite cases like yours.
You will also benefit from the opportunity to rest, recover, and move forward while we:
- Investigate the dog attack and gather critical pieces of evidence to build and support your claim for damages
- Determine who, other than the dog’s owner, might be financially responsible for your injuries and suffering
- Defend against claims that you provoked the animal or were trespassing when the attack occurred
- Consult with respected medical professionals, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and other experts who can provide insight and strengthen your case
- Negotiate with defense attorneys, insurance adjusters, and other parties on your behalf
We aim to negotiate a swift and favorable settlement so you can move past your traumatic dog attack. We will refuse to leave money on the table or sacrifice the quality of your legal representation to make a quick deal. If we believe you will get a better result by taking your case to court, our accomplished lawyers will be more than ready to argue your case in front of a jury.
You don’t have to go through this challenging time alone. Focus on getting better. Let our nationally recognized dog bite attorneys in St. Paul take care of your fight for compensation. Call now to learn more and set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Trusted St. Paul Dog Bite Lawyers Ready to Fight for You
You have limited time to file a dog bite injury lawsuit in St. Paul. Minnesota’s statute of limitations for a dog bite is six years under Minnesota Statute 541.05. You lose the right to demand accountability and recover compensation if you miss the deadline for your case.
Reach out to our experienced St. Paul dog bite lawyers to get started on your case today. We are here to provide the guidance, experience, and resources you need to win and achieve the best possible results.
Your first consultation is free, and our St. Paul personal injury law firm works on contingency; it costs nothing to hire us unless we win your case. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team.