Dobermans are beautiful dogs that are medium to large in size and extremely intelligent. Years of breeding have made them swift with a powerful and damaging bite. Combine this with their fierce loyalty and territorial behavior, and you have a dog that will protect its territory and family from anything. Unfortunately, if not properly cared for and trained, these traits can also lead to Doberman attacks. About five million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year. Victims of a Doberman attack can suffer severe injuries that require emergency medical attention. Someone who experiences a dog bite injury may find it helpful to speak with a skilled personal injury dog bite attorney.
Contact the experienced dog bite attorneys at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law at (651) 259-1113 to learn about the rights of a victim who suffered a Doberman attack.
Why Do Dobermans Bite?
Dobermans have a reputation as a dangerous or aggressive dog breed. However, there is usually a logical reason behind a dog’s behavior. Once a victim understands why a dog bites, they can safely interact with a Doberman.
Dogs are territorial animals, so they will defend their territory and pack. They react to a person who makes them feel threatened, fearful, or in pain. Unfortunately, there are also times when their natural predatory tendencies kick in. Responsible dog owners should recognize these signs and correct undesirable behavior:
- Dominance aggression
- Defensive aggression
- Territorial aggression
- Predatory aggression
- Redirected aggression
- Punishment elicited aggression
- Pain elicited aggression
- Food aggression
- Fear aggression
Who Are the Most Likely Victims?
Anyone can be a victim of a Doberman attack. Unfortunately, children experience more dog bites than adults. Small children running around can trigger a Doberman’s predatory aggression. In addition, they may unknowingly and unintentionally trigger the Doberman’s defensive, territorial, or fear aggression by invading the dog’s space.
What Are the Typical Injuries?
The injuries inflicted in a dog bite attack can be more extensive than anyone initially realizes. Seeking medical attention right away ensures the injuries are properly treated. Possible medical treatment can require various treatments, including stitches, staples, skin grafts, or even surgery. There is also a risk of infection or disease. If the dog is not up to date on its shots, rabies is also a potential risk.
Additionally, seeking out medical attention creates a record of the injuries. This is how a victim creates a direct correlation between the incident and their injuries. The documentation helps the victim argue their case and pursue their claim for damages. Without documentation, a victim’s claim may lack the necessary documented proof of damages to prove the case.
Minnesota dog bite law covers a variety of injuries. The most well-known are bites, but they could also include injuries from the dog jumping on someone, knocking someone down, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by the attack.
Who Is Responsible For a Dog Bite?
Victims in Minnesota have two years to file a lawsuit and pursue damages for their dog bite claim. It can take time to gather the appropriate evidence for the claim, so it can be helpful to start early, so time does not run out. Once the statute of limitations runs, victims are barred from making a claim.
A dog owner is strictly liable for the actions of their dog. The owner does not need to be told that the dog may bite, attack, or act aggressively. If the dog owner is also a homeowner, their homeowners’ insurance typically covers the victim’s injuries.
Victims can also include a claim against the dog owner’s landlord if they can prove that the landlord knew or should have known that the dog is dangerous. If the dog owner rents, they most likely will not have the necessary insurance to cover the injuries. Showing that the landlord knew of the dog’s dangerous tendencies could provide another avenue for recovery.
Dog Watcher or Sitter
In the state of Minnesota, someone entrusted to care for the dog also takes on the same liability as the dog owner while the dog is under their care. In some situations, this may be a business with insurance that could cover the victim’s injuries.
Pursuing a Dog Bite Claim
Under Minnesota law Chapter 347 Section 347.22, a victim of a dog bite or attack may hold the owner of the dog or the party harboring the dog liable if they meet certain requirements. The skilled lawyers at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law take the time to explain to their clients what the law requires and the evidence necessary to prove a claim. They work tirelessly to help assist their clients in pursuing a claim for damages.
- The person did not provoke the dog.
- The person acted peacefully
- The person was in a place they were legally allowed to be in
The injured party does not need to show negligence on the part of the dog owner. Negligence is not relevant in dog bite cases because the dog’s past good behavior does not change the outcome of a claim.
A solid possible defense to a victim’s dog bite claim is provocation. Under Minnesota law, if the dog owner can show that the victim provoked the dog, then they may also be able to argue that the victim should not receive damages.
Another possible argument is that the victim was not lawfully in a place where they should be. If the victim was also a trespasser, then the dog owner could argue that they are not liable for the injuries.
A third possible defense the dog owner could present is an assumption of the risk. A victim may “assume the risk” of receiving a dog bite by agreeing to take on the responsibility and care of the dog. An example of this would be a dog owner taking their dog to a groomer. The groomer would assume the risk and would not be able to sue if the dog bites them.
Speak With a Lawyer About Your Doberman Attack Experience
If you or a family member are the victim of a Doberman bite or attack, it could help to speak with a personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options. Doberman attacks can cause severe injuries that result in expensive medical costs. Seeking a claim against the owner or another responsible party could help you with your damages.
Speak with an experienced attorney from Tyroler Leonard Injury Law at (651) 259-1113 to discuss your experience and learn about the process of filing a claim.