Statistics reveal that 35% of households in the United States own a dog, which results in approximately 5 million people each year being bitten by a dog. The Center for Disease Control reports that a person in the United States has a one in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog. These bites result in one out of every six people requiring medical attention as well as 17 people being killed each year. If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog in Minnesota or North Dakota, it is important to understand the difference between how these two states’ laws address dog biting.
North Dakota Dog Bite Law
Even though there is not a specific law regarding dog bite cases in North Dakota, in the case of Sendelbach v. Grad the court ruled that the standard negligence law in North Dakota applies to dog bite accidents. This means that to win damages from a dog owner in North Dakota after an accident, a person must establish that:
- The owner had a duty to prevent the dog from causing injuries.
- The owner failed to live up to this duty.
- The owner’s breach of duty caused specific injuries or damages.
This duty often involves reasonable care to maintain a dog so that it does not attack or bite another person. A duty can also be created by the presence of a specific statute like a leash law that requires dogs in a certain area to be on a leash. As a result, a dog owner’s failure to follow this law could be viewed by the court as failure to uphold a duty.
North Dakota’s statute of limitations restricts the amount of time that a person has to initiate a dog bite injury case to six years. Usually, this period begins on the date that the injury occurred. Failure to file after the six-year period means that a person will be prohibited from receiving compensation for his or her damages.
Minnesota Dog Bite Law
In the state of Minnesota, if a dog without provocation attacks or injures any person who is in a place where he or she can lawfully be, the dog’s owner will be found liable for damages. An owner can include any person who keeps a dog.
Like North Dakota, the state of Minnesota has a six-year statute of limitations in which to file a dog bite action.
Steps to Take if You are Attacked by a Dog
If you or a loved one is attacked by a dog, no matter the location, it is a wise idea to know what safety steps are best to take. It is recommended that a person take the following action in these cases:
- Immediately seek medical attention because dog bites can be serious.
- Report the accident to law enforcement. Documenting matters with the authorities can help establish how an accident occurred as well as who should be held responsible for your situation.
Speak with a Dog Bite Accident Attorney
If you live in North Dakota or Minnesota and have suffered bites or any other types of injury from a dog attack, it is critical to speak with a seasoned criminal defense attorney at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss today. Our experienced legal team understands just how devastating dog bite accidents can be and will work hard to make sure that you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Tim O’Keeffe, Tatum O’Brien or Sara Monson today by calling 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.