When a dog bites your child, no doubt parental instincts kick in; it becomes difficult to behave rationally, protecting your child while understanding your legal rights and those of the owner. While you very well may have a case on your hands, it’s important to act conscientiously and with forethought in order to maintain its winnability.
JD Haas, your Minneapolis team of dog bite lawyers, has a few tips below on how to keep your child safe from dog bites in the first place, as well as what to do from a legal standpoint if a bite were to hypothetically happen.
Understand That All Dogs Can Bite
In certain states, Breed Specific Legislation—often shortened to BSL—has been enacted in order to protect the public, which includes children, from dog breeds that are considered safety hazards. Such dogs can include, but are not limited to, Pitbulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds.
However, dogs labeled dangerous-looking by various states’ legal systems aren’t the only ones that can bite. Any canine can act as such when provoked, threatened, or in a situation that otherwise makes it feel insecure. Preventing dog bite legal cases is a matter of teaching your child to behave respectfully around all dogs, not just to avoid those that seem suspicious.
Lack of Provocation: Critical to Winning Your Case
As we said before, any dog can bite when provoked—and Minnesota law allows for this. According to Michigan State University’s Animal Legal & Historical Center, “Even in states with strict liability laws, the intentional provocation of a dog will excuse an owner's liability.” In other words: if a child is egging the dog on to bite, the owner may not be liable.
If, however, the dog attacks unprovoked, you may be able to establish owner liability and thus a successful case. Keep in mind, too, that Minnesota law allows for victims to seek damage for other dog-related injuries—such as jumping up—with similar rules regarding provocation.
Minnesota Law Favors the Victim
Many states allow some wiggle room for canine citizens. Often called “one-bite rules,” such laws require owners to be cognizant that their dog is a hazard to the safety of others before liability enters the picture, according to All Law. In Minnesota, it doesn’t matter if an owner knows about their dog’s dangerous potential or not; they will be held to the same strict legal standards by an injury lawyer.
That being said, the law doesn’t allow for liability if the victim was trespassing, so make sure your children know where they are and aren’t allowed to play.
JD Haas: Dog Bite Attorneys Here to Help Get You the Compensation you Deserve
Your family deserves competent, compassionate injury attorneys to get you back on your feet again. Give our Minneapolis office a call today at 952-345-1025. In addition to the Twin Cities, we also serve Bloomington and Rochester.