Costly Cop K9
A St. Paul police dog bit a man law enforcement was attempting to subdue. The man fit the description of a suspect that was reported to have been involved in a fight. It turned out that the dog bite victim had nothing to do with the event.
He just had the misfortune to share a similar hairstyle with the suspect’s description. The K9 officer’s attack upon this innocent citizen’s legs and feet left them permanently disfigured. This terrible injury cost the City of St. Paul $2 million dollars in damages as they settled out of court in March 2017 for the incident of last summer.
When It’s A Child
When a child is bitten, because of their diminutive height, the most common injury is facial. The face of a walking toddler is about the same height as the muzzle of a large dog. The height of a crawling toddler is about the same height as a medium-sized dog’s toothy grin. And virtually every child immediately presents their face to a dog’s face for a kiss when they first approach them. Aggressive dogs may perceive small children as prey.
A protective dog will see a child as an easy opportunity to prove their mettle to an owner, attacking even if a child represents no apparent threat. Dominant dogs may respond to an instinctual drive to discipline a child like they would a pup in a pack. This invariably involves a bite. Even a loyal family dog may view a child as a challenge to their position in the pack hierarchy. A dog will aggressively challenge the child in an attempt to secure a higher ranking status.
These particulars of the risks inherent with dogs and children resulted in a 4-year-old Minnesota girl receiving severe facial injuries in 2014. She was awarded $150,000 in a personal injury lawsuit settlement. The funds will become payable to her when she turns 18-years-old.
Ensure The Best Outcome
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, there are key steps to take that will help assure the best outcome of an injury case should you choose to pursue one:
Clearly identify the dog and dog owner, securing contact information and address if possible.
Record contact information and statements of any witnesses.
Take photos of the injury (injuries) and the scene where the incident occurred.
Request any insurance information from the dog owner that may be relevant.
Write down an account of the facts related to the incident.
Make an official report to law enforcement authorities and local animal control.
Get medical attention, securing a copy of the treating medical facility’s report.
Request local animal control authorities to conduct a “dangerous dog hearing” if this option is available in your area.
Seek the legal advice of an experienced dog bite attorney.
As important as the “do’s” after a dog bite injury, are the “don’t’s”:
Don’t sign anything presented by the dog owner, such as a document from their insurance provider or property management where the event took place.
Don’t provide a written report of the incident to any person or agency that is acting on behalf of the dog owner such as property management, insurance provider, landlord, etc.
Don’t wait too long to contact an attorney. In Minnesota, the statute of limitations for such cases is two years from the date of injury.
Professional Representation – Just A Phone Call Away
If you or a loved has been injured by a dog in Minnesota, it is important to secure legal representation soon after. If the deadline for filing passes, your case will be dismissed. The good news is that the statutes of Minnesota weigh heavily in favor of the victim. State laws create strict liability for dog owners in the event that their dog bites an individual unprovoked. Please contact us to begin the process of recovery and compensation for your injuries.