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Minnesota’s dog bite laws- an overview

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2020 | Personal Injury

A dog bite can be a serious occurrence in the lives of both the dog owner and the person who sustained the bite. If a dog bit you in Minnesota, you might wonder how the state laws apply to your injury and what your legal options are.

By familiarizing yourself with the basics of Minnesota’s dog bite laws, you may feel more at ease navigating your legal options.

Who is liable for a dog bite injury?

Minnesota’s dog bite statute is favorable to dog bite victims. The state law is a “strict liability” statute which means that dog owners are liable for any injuries their pet causes. It does not matter if they were not aware of dangerous or erratic behaviors their dog exhibited prior to the bite. They are liable for the injuries regardless.

The only time the statute does not apply is if the person who the dog bit either provoked the dog or was trespassing on private property.

What is the time limit to file a dog bite lawsuit?

As an adult who is a victim of a dog bite, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. The deadline is longer for victims who are mentally incompetent or are minors.

What potential damages can I recover as a dog bite victim?

The Minnesota statute states that the dog owner is liable “to the full amount of the injury sustained.” Depending on the seriousness of your injury, you can attempt to recover damages for a variety of things.

If you need hospitalization, medical or emergency room visits, psychological therapy or plastic and reconstructive surgery, you might recover those expenses in a lawsuit. Additionally, you could potentially request a court grant damages for any lost wages stemming from the injury, for diminished quality of life and for disfigurement and disability.