BIT BY NEIGHBOR’S DOG SHOULD I SUE?
Our attorneys handle many dog bite cases in Minnesota every year. Not surprisingly, many of those cases involve a dog that bit a neighbor. Sometimes the dog bite or dog attack occurs when a neighbor comes to visit the dog owner. It may happen in the dog owner’s house or in their yard. However, in many cases, the dog runs into the street to bite a neighbor, or the incident happens at a nearby park. Should you sue your neighbor because their dog bit you? The answer depends on several considerations – mostly how serious the injury is.
No one wants to be in a dispute with their neighbor. The dog owner usually feels very bad and responsible for their dog having bitten or injuring a neighbor. Likewise, the neighbor who was bitten often does not want to cause trouble for the dog owner.
HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COVERS DOG BITE INJURY COMPENSATION
Fortunately, in most cases the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance will cover the injuries from the dog bite. The neighbor’s homeowners insurance should provide full compensation to the injured person without anybody suing anyone. This is good for both neighbors. The dog owner usually feels responsible, in addition to being legally responsible.
A good neighbor wants to compensate the person their dog bit – especially if it is a neighbor, friend, or family member. The medical bills from a serious dog bite can be substantial. The neighbor who was attacked or bitten by the dog is benefited because they won’t be out of pocket from the incident. In addition, they can also be compensated for future needs and harms. These cases rarely require anyone to sue the dog owner. Minnesota law is strict in holding the owner responsible and the homeowners insurance can usually be persuaded by the lawyer to make a fair settlement.
Yes, the neighbor who owns the dog may have their insurance rates go up somewhat because of a dog bite claim. But any premium increase is going to be small compared to the benefit received by the person who was bitten. Having medical bills and other compensation paid without a deductible or co-pay will be far more significant in most cases. Of course, if the injury is little or not serious, you and the neighbor may want to think about it further before making the claim. You are welcome to call us and speak with a lawyer to discuss if it’s worth it.
DOG BITE LAWYERS
If you have been bitten or injured by a neighbor’s dog or cat in Minnesota, call us and speak with a lawyer for a free consultation. We will answer your questions and make sure your rights are protected.