While dogs often make loyal companions, they can also present a danger to their owners and others who come into contact with them. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to a dog bite, a Minnesota dog bite lawyer can help you take the appropriate steps to hold the owner accountable for their negligence and seek fair financial awards. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 816-0755 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Why Dogs Bite
As the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) points out, dogs bite for many reasons, and any dog can bite under the right circumstances. Dogs bite as a form of communication, typically a reaction to something they do not like. If they feel stressed, scared, sick, or territorial, they may resort to biting as a way to tell the offender to back off. Unfortunately, these bites can often cause serious injuries, and even playful dogs who accidentally nip too hard can hurt humans.
Effects of Dog Bites
While many dog bites do not require medical attention, those that do may have long-term effects on the victims and their families. In addition to the physical pain associated with dog bites, some victims also suffer emotional trauma that can interfere with how they live their daily lives. In the worst instances, dog bites can cause fatalities.
According to MedlinePlus, physical injuries that may result from dog bites range from mild to severe. They may include:
- Cuts in the skin
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Injury to the tendon or joint
The most common injuries experienced by children under the age of 10, who make up a large portion of dog bite victims, include trauma to the head and neck. Injuries to the upper and lower extremities, such as lower arm, hand, groin, and leg, occur commonly in older children and adults who experience dog bites. If you or your child suffered physical injuries as the result of an attack, a Minnesota dog bite lawyer can help you pursue financial recovery.
While dog bite fatalities occur rarely in Minnesota and throughout the U.S., studies show that they typically take place as the result of one or more preventable factors. The National Canine Research Council (NCRC) analyzed the circumstances surrounding dog-bite related fatalities and found that common elements include:
- Lack of intervention by an able-bodied person
- Unfamiliarity with the dog
- The owner’s failure to spay or neuter the dog
- A victim’s age or physical condition limiting their ability to fend off the attack
- Lack of socialization
- The owner’s mismanagement, abuse, or neglect of the dog.
In most cases, owners can take reasonable steps to prevent their dog from causing fatal injuries to innocent victims. If you lost a loved one in a dog attack, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you hold the owner responsible for the financial losses incurred by the victim’s passing. Contact our legal team online at any time with more information about your case.
Mental and Emotional Distress
In some cases, dog bites can have a lasting impact on your mental and emotional health. They may leave you feeling fearful of dogs and anxious about places you may encounter them, which can affect your daily life. Dog bites can also cause repeated nightmares, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, and trouble controlling emotions, especially in children. Physical scars can also have an impact on your emotional state, as you may feel embarrassed or sad about the way they changed your appearance. A medical professional can help you address these concerns, and a Minnesota dog bite lawyer can help you seek compensation to assist in your recovery.
Proving Liability in Your Dog Bite Case
Minnesota law holds that, “If a dog, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is acting peaceably in any place where the person may lawfully be, the owner of the dog is liable in damages to the person so attacked or injured to the full amount of the injury sustained.”
The victim must report the bite so that animal control can conduct an observation of the animal. After reporting the incident, the victim or their family may also seek the assistance of a lawyer, who can help them establish the liability of the dog owner in their case. They can do so by proving that the actions or failure to act of the owner constitute legal negligence, which consists of four criteria.
- The dog owner had a duty of care to protect the victim from an injury.
- The dog owner breached that duty of care through their actions or omission.
- The victim suffered injuries as a result of the dog owner’s breach of duty.
- The victim’s injuries left them with significant damages.
By proving liability, a Minnesota dog bite lawyer can help you pursue a premises liability claim, in which a person holds responsibility for accidents that occur on or as a result of their property, to pursue financial recovery for your injuries.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today to Get Started on Your Case
If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries due to a dog bite, Minnesota allows you a specific amount of time during which you can file a claim. The attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you determine how much time you have and get started on your case right away to avoid preventable delays in the process.
We can handle your case from start to finish, and we do not charge you anything unless we achieve financial awards in your favor. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 816-0755 to speak with our legal team about your case.