Individuals in Rochester, Minnesota and beyond throughout the state are benefitting from laws that protect people, service animals, and pets from dangerous dogs that are uncontrolled. If you have been injured by a dog, it is imperative to seek medical treatment and then consult with your attorney.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 5 million people in the United States suffer from dog bites annually. Over 1,000 of those go to the emergency room daily and approximately 16 people die each year from dog bites.
The third week of May is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The U.S. Postal Service, the CDC, and the American Veterinary medical association are teaming up to educate people about dog bite prevention. Part of this education is telling people what situations they can avoid to prevent such attacks, such as approaching an unfamiliar dog that is confined, eating, sleeping, or caring for their puppies; running away from a dog if it approaches you; leaving small children and babies alone with a dog; or looking a dog in the eyes.
Even if a dog bite is a minor scratch, it can become infected.
In Minnesota, the law states that a dog owner who causes an injury is liable for the damages suffered by the victim. Minnesota Statute 347.22 says that the victim can obtain compensation for their losses, which can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, compensation for lost wages due to missed work, and scarring or disfigurement.
Minnesota also has laws that protect other domestic animals from dangerous dog, which means owners could be entitled to compensation that covers monetary damages done to them as a result of the attack on their pet.
It is an obligation of each dog owner to keep their dog confined to their property and to keep the dog under control when it is off of the property. Any owner who intentionally or negligently allows their dog to run unsupervised and uncontrolled, or fails to keep the dog confined, is guilty of a crime if the dog bites someone.