Can I Get The Dog Owner’s Insurance To Pay For My Dog Bite?

by Benjamin Tarshish on May 20, 2019

Often, the injured person knows—or is even friends or family members with—the dog’s owner. When that is the case, the injured person may be reluctant to “go after” her friend or relative. Fortunately, most dog owners have homeowners or renters insurance that specifically covers the injuries suffered from the dog attack. Even if you don’t want to sue the dog’s owner, it still makes a lot of sense to hire an attorney to investigate whether the injuries are covered by an insurance policy.

A Dog’s Owner Is “Strictly Liable” For Injuries Inflicted By The Dog.

In car crashes and other common injury cases, an injured person has to show that the other person was “at fault” for the incident—that they did something wrong—in order to be awarded damages. Dog bite cases in Minnesota are different: a dog’s owner is “strictly liable” for injuries caused by the animal. This means a person injured by a dog can recover from the dog owner’s insurance regardless of whether the dog’s owner did something wrong.

Even though owners are presumed “strictly liable” for injuries their dogs’ cause, insurance companies vigorously defend against such claims.  Usually, those defenses fall into one of three categories: the dog was provoked, the injured person was in a place he or she shouldn’t have been (trespassing), or that too much time has passed since the injury (statute of limitations).  But as long as the injured person did not provoke the dog, had a legal right to be where he or she was at the time of the injury, and the claim is brought within the applicable statute of limitations period after the incident, he or she is likely entitled to a recovery.

Who Is the Dog’s Owner?

Under Minnesota law, more than one person can be a dog’s “owner.” The term “owner” includes people other than the dog’s actual owner, like someone who cares for the dog by taking it on walks or feeding it, or someone who provides shelter to the dog. So even if the dog’s registered owner does not have insurance, another “owner” might.

How Can We Help?

It’s critical to hire an experienced and aggressive dog bite attorney to investigate all possible “owners” to make sure that an injured person is justly compensated for his or her injuries. At Tarshish Cody, PLC law firm, our personal injury attorneys have handled many dog bite cases and have helped our clients recover the compensation they deserved. Our attorneys offer a free consultation and only get paid when there is a recovery, because we handle dog bite cases on a contingency fee arrangement. We welcome your call today at 612-808-8999 (or fill out the free Case Evaluation Form) to help you through the legal issues of your dog bite injury case.


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