When it comes to dog bite injuries, each state has its own laws. Some of the laws are as follows:

  • Negligence Standard. Under this law, a dog owner is liable if the owner knew (or should have known) that their dog had dangerous tendencies but failed to take preventative actions to protect others from the dog’s aggressive behavior.
  • One Bite Standard. With the one bite standard, a dog owner is not liable for the first dog bite but may be held liable for any damages or injuries caused by the dog after the first incident.
  • Strict Liability Standard. Under this law, a dog owner is liable for any injuries or damages caused by their dog regardless if it has never bitten anyone or shown aggressive behavior prior to the incident.

Minnesota is a “strict liability” state, meaning that Minnesota’s dog bite laws impose liability on the owners in a wide range of circumstances if their dog causes injury to others.

In today’s post, we will be going over what this means in detail, including how to file for a Minnesota dog bite lawsuit in court and the possible defenses that the dog owner might raise in response to a lawsuit. Keep reading to learn more, and if you have any questions or would like to get started working with a personal injury lawyer for your dog bite case, give us a call at Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis today.

Dog Bite Law in Minnesota

Minnesota’s dog bite law states that an injured person can hold a dog owner liable for injuries caused by their dog if they were lawfully in the place where he or she was bitten (public property or lawfully on private property), the person was acting peaceably, and the person did not provoke the dog. This law also applies to any damages caused when a dog “attacks or injures” another individual. This includes both injuries from the dog bite itself and injuries caused by other dog-related behaviors, including if the dog jumps and knocks someone down. The injured person also is not required to show that the dog-related injury was caused by the owner’s negligence.

Deadline for Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit

In Minnesota’s statute of limitations, a deadline is set for filing a personal injury case of any kind in the Minnesota civil court system — including dog bite cases. While each state and the federal government have their own deadlines for different types of cases, you may lose your right to bring a dog bite lawsuit to court if you do not file your case within two years of the date on which your injury occurred. If you would like further information on Minnesota’s statute of limitations or have any questions regarding filing for a case, reach out to our personal injury lawyers at Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis.

Potential Defenses to a Dog Bite Claim in Minnesota

A dog owner who is facing a lawsuit under Minnesota’s strict liability law typically has two defenses for their case:

  • Provocation
  • Trespassing

It is specified in Minnesota’s dog bite statute that the injured person must be injured without having provoked the dog, and if they did, the owner may not be held responsible for damages. For example, if an individual is provoking and trying to get a reaction out of a dog by repeatedly poking it with a stick and is bitten as a result, the owner has every right to argue that the injured person provoked the dog and that they should not be held responsible.

It is also required that the injured person had to be “lawfully” in the place where they were injured, such as in a public place or lawfully in a private place. However, if the injured person was trespassing, the dog’s owner may not be held liable for any injuries.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis

If you have any further questions regarding Minnesota’s dog bite law or need help with your case, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Woods & Thompson, P.A. today. Whether you are the one who was injured or feel you are being wrongfully accused and should not be held liable, our experienced and knowledgeable law team will work tirelessly to bring you the results you deserve.