BIT BY NEIGHBOR’S DOG SHOULD I SUE?
Our attorneys handle many dog bite cases in Minnesota every year. Unfortunately, many of those cases involve a dog that bites a neighbor. Sometimes the dog bite or dog attack occurs when a neighbor comes to visit, either in the house or in the yard. In many instances, however, the dog runs into the street to bite a neighbor or the incident happens at a nearby park. Whether or not you should sue your neighbor because their dog bit you 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 attacked or injured 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 and 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 who has medical bills because of the incident. Of course the neighbor who was attacked or bit by the dog is benefited because they won’t be out of pocket from the incident and 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 – and you are welcome to call us and speak with a lawyer to discuss if it’s worth it.
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.