Dog
Attacks

dog bite injury

ST. PAUL DOG BITE LAWYER

Like most people, we love dogs. Unfortunately, some dog owners fail to properly train or supervise their dogs. When this happens, the results can be life-altering and even deadly. When you have been the victim of a Minnesota dog bite or Minnesota dog attack, you should hire a Minnesota dog bite lawyer. This page hopefully answers questions about dog bites and dog attacks. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us at Tyroler Injury Law to help answer your question or evaluate your case.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A ST. PAUL DOG ATTACK?

If you have been the victim of a Minnesota dog attack or Minnesota dog bite, there are a number of things you should do immediately.

  • Find the dog owner: if you do not have life-threatening injuries, you should first try to determine the dog owner. This may be easy if the owner is with the dog or you recognize the dog from your neighborhood. This may be more difficult if the dog is unleashed on the street or in a park.
    Finding the dog owner is important for two reasons. First, without the dog owner, you will not know the dog’s medical and vaccination history. Without this information, you may have to get expensive and painful rabies vaccinations. Second, if you are the victim of a dog bite and want to pursue a claim for those injuries, you will need to know the dog owner to be able to bring the claim.
  • Report the dog bite or dog attack to the police: documenting Minnesota dog bites and dog attacks can be extremely important to both your claim and helping keep the public safe. Getting police or animal control involved will make sure the dog owner is documented and the vaccination records produced. It also creates documentation that the dog is dangerous or potentially dangerous, so animal control can document if the dog has become dangerous to the public and needs to be removed from the owner.
    Here is some additional information about dog bites from nearby cities:Minneapolis dog bites
    St. Paul dog bites
    Oakdale dog bites
    Woodbury dog bites
    Maplewood dog bites
  • Take pictures: if possible, take photographs of the dog and the injuries. This will help if there is any future dispute as to the exact dog that attacked you.
  • Find witnesses: if there are any witnesses, make sure to get their information. Witnesses can help prove that you were not trespassing and did not provoke the dog attack.
  • Seek medical treatment: dog bites and other wounds from dog attacks need to be examined, cleaned, and treated. It is important to seek medical treatment following a dog attack, especially if the dog’s vaccination records have not been seen yet. Even if they have, appropriately cleaning the wound is important to make sure the wound does not become infected.

WHO WILL PAY FOR MY MEDICAL BILLS AFTER A DOG BITE?

Victims of Minnesota dog bites often have medical bills. Sometimes, especially if surgery or a rabies vaccine is required, a dog bite victim can have significant medical bills. Medical bills are owed by the dog owner. If the dog owner owns a home or rents, that person may have homeowners or renters coverage. Most homeowners and renters coverage have a “med pay” policy for up-front medical payments. These policies typically range from $1,000 to $15,000.

If medical bills from the dog attack exceed the medical payments coverage, homeowners and renters coverage also have liability coverage that will typically cover dog attacks. This coverage usually ranges from $100,000 to over $1,000,000. While this coverage does not pay immediate medical bills, unpaid bills and bills paid by health insurance can be sought as part of a lump-sum settlement at the end of the case.

DO I HAVE A CLAIM FOR MY MINNESOTA DOG BITE?

Minnesota dog bite laws strongly protect the injured victim. Minnesota Statutes section 347.22 addresses liability for Minnesota dog attacks. There are three main things to know about Minnesota’s dog bite statute.

  1. The Minnesota dog attack statute creates absolute liability. This is important because it means that an injured victim cannot be partially blamed. This is unlike a Minnesota car accident where the fault of two drivers can be compared. For dog bites, either the person is entitled to a full recovery or no recovery at all.
  2. The dog’s owner is not the only person who can liable to the victim of a dog attack. A person “harboring” or “keeping” a dog can also be liable to a dog bite victim.
  3. A victim of a dog attack is not entitled to recover if they provoked the dog or were trespassing at the time of the dog bite.

If you have been the victim of a Minnesota dog bite or Minnesota dog attack, you are entitled to 100% of your damages unless you provoked the dog or were trespassing.

WHAT IS MY MINNESOTA DOG BITE CLAIM WORTH?

Minnesota recognizes that dog attack victims should be compensated for their injuries. The value of a case depends on a number of factors. In addition to medical bills and wage loss, Minnesota dog bite jury instructions allow for a dog bite victim to be compensated for:

  1. Pain
  2. Disability
  3. Disfigurement
  4. Embarrassment
  5. Emotional distress

Typically, we would wait until you have either fully recovered from the dog attack or any permanent injuries or scarring are as good as doctors expect them to be. At that point, the case would be evaluated based on the above categories and we would either settle the case for a fair value or go to trial and ask a jury to award a fair amount.

DO I HAVE A CLAIM FOR INJURIES EVEN IF THE DOG DID NOT BITE ME?

Yes. Minnesota dog attack law allows for compensation for a dog attack, even if the dog does not physically bite you. As a St. Paul dog bite lawyer, we have obtained numerous settlements for these types of cases. For example, attorney Isaac Tyroler obtained a settlement of $190,000.00 for a postal carrier who broke her wrist and required surgery after a dog jumped on her and knocked her down. He also obtained an $80,000 settlement for a woman who suffered a back injury after being knocked down by a dog.

Minnesota appellate courts have ruled that Minnesota dog attack victims are allowed to recover from the dog owner in these situations. For example, in Morris v. Weatherly, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that when a dog jumped at a postal carrier and caused a back injury, the dog owner was responsible for causing the injuries, even when the dog did not make physical contact with the postal carrier.

These types of injuries happen commonly, especially in summer when people are walking dogs on trails with runners and bikers. Unfortunately, insurance companies will often fight these Minnesota dog attack claims even though the law clearly states that a dog owner is responsible for your injuries. When you suffer dog attack injuries, you should hire an experienced St. Paul dog attack attorney to protect your rights.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE DOG?

This depends on a number of factors, including whether the dog already been deemed a “dangerous dog,” if the owner has been deemed incapable of properly caring for and owning dogs, and the general feeling of the police of animal control officer who responds. Hopefully, the dog can be re-trained and reintroduced safely. Unfortunately, many dogs who bite or attack humans are deemed dangerous and taken away from the owners. As dog bite lawyers, we have no ability to control what happens to the dog. That decision is entirely up to animal control and the police.

WHAT IF I OR MY CHILD NEED FUTURE SCAR REVISION SURGERY?

One of the pieces of compensation we will seek on your behalf is future medical bills. We will always encourage our dog bite victim clients to seek an opinion from a plastic surgeon on the cost of a future revision surgery. The doctors do not always recommend surgery, but if they do, the bills can range from a few thousand dollars to well over $10,000 for a future revision. We can then use whatever estimate you get as additional proof to increase the value of the case.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO BRING A ST. PAUL DOG BITE CLAIM?

You have six years to start a lawsuit for a Minnesota dog bite claim to comply with Minnesota’s dog bite statute of limitations.

INJURED? CONTACT A ST. PAUL PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

If you have suffered injuries because of a dog attack or bite, make sure you have an experienced Minnesota dog bite attorney on your side. Contact Tyroler Injury Law at 651-259-1113 for compassionate, experienced representation.

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