Dog-Bite Statutes in Minnesota

Dog bites in Minnesota fall under “strict liability” statutes. When dogs cause injuries, Minnesota can impose liability on dog owners under certain conditions. A Minnesota personal injury lawyer who handles dog-bite cases is familiar with state dog-bite statutes that impact a court’s decision.

Minnesota Dog-Bite Laws

Under Minnesota’s dog-bite laws, an injured person can hold a dog owner liable for injuries caused by the dog, if all of the follow conditions apply:

  • The injured person was lawfully in the place where he/she was bitten or injured
  • The injured person was “acting peaceably” at the time of the incident
  • The injured person did not provoke the dog

Minnesota dog-bite laws apply to any damages caused when a dog injures another person. This includes injuries from dog bites, as well as injuries caused by other dog behaviors. For example, if a dog jumps up on a person and causes injuries from a fall, the injured person is allowed to seek damages. According to a Minnesota personal injury lawyer, an injured person is not required to show that injuries were cause by an owner’s negligence under Minnesota dog-bite laws.

Strict Liability Statutes

Minnesota follows “strict liability” statutes for dog bites. This means that a dog owner will be held liable for dog-bite injuries as long as all conditions (discussed above) are met, even if the owner did not know or have reason to know that the dog would act aggressively, bite or attack. States that do not impose strict liability statutes for dog bites, follow a “one-bite rule”. The one-bite rule states that a dog owner must know, or have reason to suspect, that his/her dog is dangerous before liability can be imposed.

Dog-Bite Injury Cases

Under Minnesota dog-bite laws, trespassing and provocation can provide a legal defense for a dog owner:

  • Trespassing – Strict liability statues require an injured person to be lawfully in the place where he/she was injured. If the injured person was trespassing, the dog owner may not be liable for injuries.
  • Provocation – Strict liability statutes specify that an injured person must be injured without provocation. If injuries result from the injured person provoking the dog, the dog owner may not be liable for injuries.

In Minnesota, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case is two years. Dog-bite cases should be filed by a Minnesota personal injury lawyer in Minnesota’s civil court system within two years of the injury.

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