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A dog bite has the potential to cause serious harm, leaving the victim with injuries such as torn flesh and muscles, pain, permanent disfigurement, and even disability. According to a report in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, a 42-year-old man went to a district hospital with a low-grade fever, loss of energy, and trouble breathing – symptoms he’d been having for 3 weeks. He said he was bitten by his dog 3 days before he started feeling sick. The dog bite had caused an infection in his heart valves, which was only diagnosed after a complex DNA analysis. The man needed surgery to replace his aortic heart valves and “needed life-long anticoagulant therapy.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 4.5 million people suffer dog bite injuries every year. Of those, 20% receive medical attention. Although the wounds may heal, the physical and emotional scars can last for years. If you or a loved one was attacked and bitten by a dog, you have the right to hold the owner (or person responsible for the dog) financially liable for damages you suffered. In these types of cases, it’s crucial to get the medical care you need. It’s also important that you gather as much information about the incident as possible. Then, reach out to our St. Paul dog bite attorneys. We have in-depth knowledge about the process of filing a claim and the laws concerning your rights.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, your injuries may result in medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses and losses because of the incident. You shouldn’t be stuck paying for something that wasn’t your fault. Fortunately, you have the right to seek compensation for the damages you suffered. A dog bite claim is complicated, and various questions can arise as you progress with yours.
For instance, you might wonder:
- Who’s responsible for compensating you?
- Do you go through the dog owner’s insurance company or your own?
- Does the incident warrant a claim?
Making matters even more complicated is that many dog owners might fight back against the allegations. They may try to prove that their dog is not at fault, and the injured party was responsible for their dog’s actions.
Unfortunately, because of the difficulties surrounding a dog bite case, many victims don’t pursue claims. However, to recover the deserved compensation, it’s essential not only to take action but also to retain legal services when doing so. At Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, PLLC, our team can provide the representation you need and the sound guidance to effectively navigate the complicated process. We’ll help you make informed decisions every step of the way.
In-Depth Knowledge of Minnesota’s Dog Bite Laws
Minnesota dog bite statutes are among the strongest in the country. The strict liability law holds that, under most circumstances, the dog owner has no viable defenses against your claim for damages.
For you to have a claim, the incident must have occurred without provocation, meaning you did nothing to cause the dog to act. Additionally, you must have been in a place you were lawfully allowed to be. For instance, you weren’t trespassing when the attack occurred.
If you were acting lawfully and peacefully when you suffered a dog bite, the dog owner or person in control of the animal should take responsibility. If you can show that the dog owner failed to use reasonable care to prevent the dog from causing an injury, you may also be able to sue for negligence.
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Effectively pursuing a dog bite case requires an in-depth examination of the incident.
At Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, PLLC, our St. Paul dog bite lawyers will:
- Investigate the incident
- Put the dog owner on formal notice of your legal rights
- Follow-up with any liability insurance companies
- Present your claim for pain and suffering, scarring, and other financial damages
- Seek an insurance settlement after you reach optimum healing
- Settle your claim with the dog owner if they have no liability insurance
- File a lawsuit if necessary
What Should You Do If You Are Bit by a Dog?
- Stay calm. Most people panic when they get bitten by a dog. However, that doesn’t help the situation at all. You need to get yourself to a safe space and breath in and out until you are able to calm down.
- Make sure that you wash the wound right away. Even if you only have access to soap and water, you should clean the wound right away. Dog’s mouths are filled with bacteria so you need to make sure that you avoid the germs as much as possible.
- You should seek medical attention, no matter how insignificant you feel the bite is. It is important to call your doctor or go to the emergency room to get the bite wound checked out. They will make sure that you get the treatment that you deserve to make sure that you aren’t seriously injured. If it is serious, they will do everything that they can to make sure that you heal as well as you possibly can.
- Make sure that you get the owners information right away. You are going to need to be able to contact the owner so you should get their name, address, and phone number so that you can call them if you have any problems.
- Even more important, you need the dog’s information. Besides getting the basic information (name, age, and sex), it is even more important to find out if the dog was up-to-date on his or her rabies vaccination. You may also want to call the veterinarian to double check this information. This may be the difference between a simple dog bite and a rabies problem. If the dog is not vaccinated against rabies, you may find yourself going through post-exposure vaccinations and the dog itself may need to quarantined or euthanized to be tested.
- Talk to a lawyer. If you have been bitten by a dog, you should contact a lawyer. He or she will be able to discuss your case to see whether or not you really have one. Then, he or she will be able to talk to you about your options so that you can figure out how you want to proceed.
Helping You Move on with Your Life
A dog bite injury can be very serious. When the incident wasn’t your fault, it’s important to hold the dog owner accountable.
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