Seeking Compensation for a Minnesota Dog Bite Injury
Dog bite injuries are common in Minnesota and they occur in many different situations. Often dogs bite people in the home of a friend, relative, or acquaintance. Dog bite injuries may also occur in public areas where dogs are legally allowed to be off-leash, such as a dog park. However, leashed dogs being walked on the sidewalk by their owners are also a common source of dog bite injuries. Most people who are bitten by dogs are at least somewhat familiar with the dog. Unfortunately, it is impossible to perfectly predict or prevent many dog bites.
Dog bite injuries are sufficiently common that they are generally covered by homeowners and renters’ insurance policies, with a few exceptions. Some insurers may not cover injuries caused by certain breeds of dogs, or may deny coverage to anyone who owns certain breeds of dogs. Similarly, some landlords prohibit dogs of certain breeds or sizes from apartment buildings because of the increased liability. If you have been injured by a dog bite, it is very likely that an insurance policy is in place that can help compensate you for your medical treatment and recovery costs. However, finding the responsible insurer and holding them accountable can be difficult. This is where an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Dog Bite Injury Compensation
Injuries caused by dog bites can present more variables and obstacles to recovering compensation than other common injuries like slip and falls or car accidents. Even in Minnesota where the law clearly establishes a presumption of liability for the owner of a dog that bites someone, other factors may be taken into consideration, such as the dog being provoked by the bite victim, the owner losing control of the animal for a reason out of her control, or even questions about the ownership of the dog. People also do not automatically associate dog bite injuries with insurance coverage. Unlike after an auto accident, the parties are unlikely to immediately exchange auto insurance information. However, if you are involved in a dog bite injury, it is important to gather relevant information and preserve it. Be sure to record the name and contact information of the dog’s owner and any witnesses, especially if the bite occurred in public or not on a person’s property. It will be essential to be able to contact the involved parties to move forward in obtaining compensation for your injuries.
What Damages Could a Dog Bite Lawsuit Pay For?
Medical Bills: Dog bites can inflict severe injuries that can accumulate massive sums when it comes to medical bills. Getting bit by a dog means that you may have to make an emergency trip to the hospital. This means ambulance fees, emergency room fees, the cost of seeing the doctor, the cost of the materials used to treat your wound, as well as the cost of drugs like painkillers and antibiotics. This is just in the case of a dog bite that only results in some puncture wounds and bruising. Dog bite injuries can potentially be much worse with broken bones, infections, rabies, and even organ damage which means even more expensive medical bills.
Pain and Suffering: To put it simply, dog bites hurt. Dogs don’t just clamp down on you but they shake their heads to rip and tear as well resulting in more damages and terrible pain. There is even more pain and suffering when a dog bite injury suffers from complications or results in disfigurement and scarring. Suffering a dog bite injury can come with not just physical trauma but mental trauma as well. The experience of being physically attacked by an animal can easily leave someone in significant emotional and psychological distress. Not only is this painful but it can also lead to the development of PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Lost Wages: It is very easy for a dog bite injury to put someone out of work for a period of time. People can suffer bites to limbs that are essential to the performing of tasks in their career leaving them unable to earn much-needed wages while they recover. Dog bite injury lawsuits can recover these lost wages calculated by taking the number of hours someone could have worked while knocked out of commission by their injury and multiplying them by the hourly wage a dog bite injury victim normally earns.
Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney
With extensive experience in dealing with the insurance claim process, from talking to adjusters all the way through a court trial, our lawyers focus on obtaining the most favorable results for our clients. Sometimes that may be a relatively quick settlement, and sometimes it may require a jury verdict. In any case, we are committed to doing what is best for the client.
Recently, we handled a case involving a dog bite injury complicated by the fact that the dog’s owners were living in a home that had been foreclosed on. As a result, it was initially unclear whether the dog’s owner, the homeowner’s insurance company, the foreclosing bank’s insurer or the title company would ultimately be responsible. Cases like this can present new legal issues that do not have a definite determined outcome in the court system. Our attorneys harnessed legal research and diligent investigative work to trace the records and identify the party that held an applicable insurance policy on the property at the time of the dog bite. By presenting a well-crafted legal complaint to the responsible party, we are able to demonstrate liability clearly and cut through a complicated scenario to obtain a favorable result for the client.