Can You File a Personal Injury Claim for a Dog Bite?

There are many types of personal injuries you can receive through the fault of another, from car accidents to a slip-and-fall incident at your local grocery store. However, what kind of recourse do you have when your injury is caused by a dog? Dog bites are common throughout the United States, and if you have received injuries from someone’s pet, there are a few steps you can take to recover monetary damages.

Dogs Are Property 

You may believe that because an animal caused your injury, there is little you can do when it comes to filing a lawsuit. However, animals are considered property in most states, and therefore, the individual who owns the dog will likely be liable. This statute covers most breeds, as any type of dog is capable of biting, no matter their size. If you know who owns the dog that attacked you, then you can serve a lawsuit against that individual.

Review the Circumstances of the Attack With a Lawyer 

If your injuries were serious enough that you needed medical attention and are now facing the cost, it may be wise to speak to an attorney about the case. He or she can review the circumstances and gauge whether you can collect compensation based on a few factors that may include:

  • Where the attack took place 
  • Whether the dog was leashed or otherwise confined 
  • Your actions before and after the attack 

The more details you can share with your attorney, the stronger a case he or she may be able to put together. It is important to offer as many details as you can remember but not to embellish them.

Document Your Injuries Right Away 

It may take some time to put a case together and in that time, your injuries will likely start to heal and might look less severe in court. Consider taking photos of them right away so a judge and jury can see the extent of the damage as it occurred on the day of the attack.

Research Local Animal Control Laws 

Most cities have their own animal control laws, and dog bites are usually considered a misdemeanor unless a death occurs as a result of the attack. However, there may be leash laws and other restrictions concerning domestic animals that apply to your area. You may want to have your lawyer investigate whether the dog that bit you has ever acted aggressively in the past, as this can strengthen your case and show that the owner might have known about his or her pet’s bad temperament but let it run loose regardless.

Being involved in a dog attack can be frightening, but there are ways to seek compensation. Contact an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, today to schedule an initial consultation.

Thank you to the experts at Johnston | Martineau PLLP for their input into personal injury law.