BIT OR ATTACKED BY DOG MN ATTORNEYS
A dog owner in Minnesota is liable for injury caused by their pet. In some states, there is only liability if the owner knew the dog had a tendency to bite. However, other states, including Minnesota, have laws making the owners liable whether or not they knew the dog had a tendency to bite. Some states and municipalities have “breed specific” statutes that identify breeds such as pit bulls as dangerous; in others individual dogs can be designated as vicious.
At least two states have laws that prohibit insurers from canceling or denying coverage to the owners of particular dog breeds. In Ohio, for example, owners of dogs that have been classified as vicious are required to purchase at least $100,000 of liability insurance. The American Kennel Club reports that while many municipalities have enacted bans on specific breeds, several states have laws barring municipalities and counties from targeting individual breeds.
The injury lawyers at our firm have seen the terrible damage that can be done to a person bit by a dog or because of a dog attack, which is why it is so important that MN holds the owner liable. After a dog bite or dog attack, there can be significant medical bills and bad scarring that can often require future plastic surgery. It makes the most sense that the dog owner should pay these expenses rather than the person who was bit or attacked. Our Minnesota lawyers make sure that our clients get the compensation they need and are entitled to from the dog owner’s insurance.
Dog Owners’ Liability: There are three kinds of law around the county that impose liability on owners:
1) A dog-bite statute: where the dog owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes without provocation. This is the law in Minnesota that our dog bite lawyers use every day.
2) The one-bite rule: where the dog owner is responsible for an injury caused by a dog if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that type of injury—in this case, the victim must prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
3) Negligence laws: where the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless (negligent) in controlling the dog.
Insurers are Limiting their Exposure: Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits (typically $100,000 to $300,000). If the claim exceeds the insurance limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount. Some insurers do not ask the breed of a dog owned when writing or renewing homeowners insurance and do not track the breed of dogs involved in dog bite incidents. However, once a dog has bitten someone, it poses an increased risk to bite again. In that instance, the homeowners insurance company may charge a higher premium, nonrenew the insurance policy or exclude the dog from coverage. Some insurers are taking steps to limit their exposure to such losses. Some homeowners insurance companies require dog owners to sign liability waivers for dog bites, while others charge more for owners of breeds such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers and others are not offering insurance to dog owners at all. Some will cover a pet if the owner takes the dog to classes aimed at modifying its behavior or if the dog is restrained with a muzzle, chain or cage.
If you have been attacked by a dog or sustained a dog bite, call us and speak with one of our experienced MN dog bite lawyers for a free consultation. Our dog bite lawyers have more than 25 years’ experience representing hundreds of people in injury cases throughout Minnesota. A top MN dog bite lawyer will make sure your rights are protected and you get the compensation you need and are entitled to.