The instance of pet ownership among American households is at an all-time high, with over half of the homes in the country owning dogs and close to 40% of American families owning cats. In many of these homes there are multiple animals, with countless numbers of families owning more than one dog or cat, or a combination of both. Given these statistics, it is no wonder the likelihood of being bitten by your neighbor’s dog or being the victim of another type of animal attack is high. Luckily, there are laws on the books designed to protect victims of dog bites and animal attacks, and if you are harmed by a dog or other animal you should take action to hold the owner responsible.
The Minnesota dog bite laws are some of the most favorable in the nation to the victim. The laws apply not only to dogs, but also to other animals that cause harm. Some highlights of the animal attack statutes include the following provisions:
- Bites and other injuries, such as a mauling or deep scratch by an animal, are compensable under the law. This means you can hold the owner or person harboring the animal responsible for the attack and seek compensation for your injuries.
- A hurt person can bring an action against not only the dog’s owner, but also any person that is keeping the animal in their care (referred to as harboring an animal).
- The defense of contributory (or comparative) negligence is not available.
It is perhaps this third bullet point that provides the most protection to a hurt person. In most personal injury cases, if the injured party played a part in causing their injuries, the general rule is that the recovery is limited proportionately to the fault of the parties. There are, of course, exceptions to these general rules. For a dog bite, which is a strict liability statue, there are limited defenses. Trespass and provocation are defenses available to the animal owner, and absent a showing of one of these defenses, a victim is entitled to recover damages sustained. To determine if you are entitled to recover from a dog bite or other animal attack, seek the advice of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to learn more. We have helped others hurt by animals reach a full and fair compensation for their injuries, and we can help you too. Call us today for an analysis of your case.
If you have been bitten or seriously injured by an animal, call our office to learn your options. Let an experienced attorney help you figure what is best for you. Call a Bloomington, Minnesota personal injury attorney today.