If you have been injured by a dog in the state of Minnesota, the owner of the dog is responsible for your injuries. You do not need to prove fault. This kind of liability is known as “strict liability,” meaning that the owner is liable even if there is not fault on the dog owner’s part.
There is a defense available to a dog owner. Teasing or harassing a dog would be a defense in most cases, but the burden of proof is on the dog owner. This is considered “provocation” and an owner is not responsible for injuries caused to someone who provoked the attack.
Dog groomers and dog kennel keepers can’t sue a dog owner under the strict liability statute (under the theory that they assume the risk in these settings) but they could still recover under a theory of ordinary negligence, depending on the circumstances.
If you are the victim of a dog bite, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Sometimes dog owners give away a dog or claim it is someone else’s dog in an attempt to create a false impression that they are not the owner of the dog. It is always important to fully investigate the facts of a dog bite before the “trail gets cold.”Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover dog bites, but most insurance companies will drop an insured after a dog bite incident unless the owner gets rid of the dog.
Please feel free to contact our office if you are the victim of a dog bite. Initial consultations are free and if there is not a recovery, there is no fee charged.
The information in this post is not intended as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for specific questions about this subject matter.