Gabrielson Law Offices, LTD. - personal injury

Key aspects of a dog bite claim

A dog attack can be quite scary and unexpected. It can also present serious injuries.

If you or a loved one suffered a dog attack, you may be able to seek reparations. Should you choose that option, there are a few important aspects of the claim process you need to understand.

The law

There are a few laws that comprise the laws regulating dog bites. It is important to know the laws also apply to the dog knocking someone down or destroying another party's property. Along with those statutes, personal injury laws would be applicable in the claim process. Understanding both laws can be quite helpful for those considering filing a claim.

One free bite

Years ago, dog owners were not liable for their dogs attacking others if the dog had not attacked anyone previously. In essence, this gave the dog "one free bite" and allowed the owner to avoid responsibility, even if the dog was of an aggressive breed or had aggressive tendencies. However, many states now have statutes in place that increase the owner's responsibility. Particularly in Minnesota, dog owners are liable if the party the dog attacked was on the premises lawfully, was acting peacefully, and did not provoke the canine.

Ownership

While owners are usually liable for dog bites, the owner title encompasses a few different people. According to the law, owners include people harboring or keeping the dog, along with those who have actual ownership of the canine. For example, if a person took a neighbor's dog to work and it bit a co-worker, the person who brought the dog in the facility would be liable.

While knowing these aspects will not automatically result in a successful claim, it can help claimants in choosing the best path for them. It may also be beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable professional in regards to the case.

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