Protecting Clients’ Rights For Over 30 Years

Holding Negligent Dog Owners Responsible For Your Injuries

Animal attacks can be traumatizing and sometimes carry lifelong consequences. When dog owners fail to appropriately watch over their animals, the damage the dog can inflict upon another individual can even be deadly. If you file your personal injury claim for a dog bite injury within the given time frame, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical treatment and personal suffering, as well as hold the dog owner responsible for your suffering.

At Ruth Law Firm in Fargo, I have over 30 years of experience helping clients obtain the compensation they deserve after suffering in a dog bite accident. You can trust me to strategically guide you through the legal process in North Dakota and Minnesota.

Recovering Damages For Your Dog Bite Injuries

When you file a claim after an animal attack, you are seeking compensation for damages that resulted from that attack. This can include a variety of expenses related to the injury. For example, after the dog bite, you likely sought medical attention. The projected settlement aims to cover these expenses. Depending on the circumstances of your case, different parties can be held liable for your injuries.

Individuals who can be held responsible for dog bite attacks can include:

  • Guardians or parents of a minor who owns the dog who inflicted the injury
  • Owners of the dog who attacked you
  • Property owners who are responsible for the land on which an animal was allowed
  • Landlords whose tenants own aggressive animals and occupy their property

In addition, while receiving medical attention, you may not have been able to work. Lost wages are then factored into your settlement as well due to your personal injury. A less measurable consequence is the personal suffering and pain you have endured during this experience. Occasionally, you may be able to recover punitive damages against the owner as a consequence of his or her failure to adequately control the animal involved in the attack.

North Dakota Dog Bite Laws

Each state has its own set of laws regarding how dog bite lawsuits need to be proven, as well as possible defenses that the dog owners may present.

In order to collect damages for a dog bite, you will need to be able to prove the following:

  • The dog owner had a responsibility to keep their dog from hurting anyone
  • The dog owner failed to prevent the incident from occurring
  • The dog owner’s actions (or inaction) resulted in you suffering specific injuries or damages

One of the more common defenses a dog owner may present is that of “comparative negligence.” Comparative negligence implies that the injured party was either partly or completely at fault for the incident. However, as long as your fault is proven to be less than 50%, you may still obtain compensation for whatever percentage of fault the dog owner held. For example, if you are found to be 20% responsible for the incident, but the owner is found to be 80% responsible, you may still recover 80% of the damages.

Another common defense in dog bite claims is that the injured person was trespassing at the time of the accident. The only time this defense may not apply is if the victim was on public property or their own property at the time of the accident.

Let Me Help You File A Timely Claim For Damages

Every claim must be filed within a certain amount of time. That time limit depends upon the nature of the injury. I can advise you as to your claim’s requirements. In North Dakota, the time period to file a personal injury claim after an accident is six years, but the earlier you get started, the better.

Contact me today to schedule your free consultation by calling 701-581-9098 or by completing my online contact form.