4 Important Dog Bite Facts In Minnesota

According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, nearly 4.5 million dog bites happen in the US each year. [1] That’s a staggering dog bit statistic. What happens if you or a loved one is bitten by a dog in Minnesota? Here’s a look at the owner-liable law in MN. – 347.22 DAMAGES, OWNER LIABLE.

“If a dog, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is acting peaceably in any place where the person may lawfully be, the owner of the dog is liable in damages to the person so attacked or injured to the full amount of the injury sustained. The term “owner” includes any person harboring or keeping a dog but the owner shall be primarily liable. The term “dog” includes both male and female of the canine species.” [1]

The Owner Is Liable for Damage

A dog bite is not uncommon and dog bite injuries can be severe. The owner of the dog is liable for damages when their dog bites someone when:

  1. The person is being peaceful – they are not causing a disturbance or acting in such as way that the dog may interpret what they are doing as aggression.
  2. The person is where they should be or where they are legally able to be. If you invite someone to your home and your dog bites them, you could be liable. If they are breaking and entering into your home or yard and your dog bites them, You may not be liable. If you are at the public park and your dog bites someone who is not being aggressive towards you, you are most likely liable.

The Owner May Not Be Liable

There are situations where the owner of a dog who bites someone is not liable for the damages incurred from the dog bite.

  1. Generally, and there are usually a lot of variables in these situations, when the dog is acting to protect a property or its owner, and the aggression from the dog is brought on by the person who was bitten or by someone else, then the owner may not be liable for damages.
  2. If you are someone else acting aggressive and the dog bites then you are likely going to be held responsible. There is an entire argument over self-defense versus aggression.

Dog bite cases are considered personal injuries and a personal injury attorney is needed to help you understand your legal rights and options following a dog bite incident. We mentioned that there are a lot of variables in every dog bite case and also a lot of “he said, she said”. That is why it is important to talk with a personal injury attorney. Every dog bite case is unique. If you have been bitten by a dog and you feel that you had not provoked the dog, then you should consider your rights for compensation and medical care and expenses.

Contact NGSW&B To Learn More About Dog Bit Injuries

NGSW&B provides personal injury legal services throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Learn more about your legal options and rights by reaching out to our team.

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