30th December 2021
When you’re near a dog you don’t know, whether that’s in a friend’s home or you’re on a dog-friendly patio at a local restaurant, you probably do whatever you can to avoid suffering a bite. But bites can happen, no matter how many precautions we may take. If this has happened to you, there’s a good chance you might be able to file a dog bite lawsuit.
The attorneys with Sand Law have a long history of fighting – and winning – these kinds of cases. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you or someone close to you has suffered injuries due to a dog attack. You can schedule a free consultation by contacting us online, or by giving us a call at 701-609-1510.
Dog Bite Injury Laws in North Dakota
As with all personal injury cases, you only have a certain amount of time to take legal action if you’ve been the victim of a dog bite. This time period is known as the statute of limitations. In North Dakota, the statute of limitations is six years from the date the dog bite took place.
In order for you to be able to obtain compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered, then you’ll have to act within this timeframe. If you don’t then you won’t have the chance to obtain anything. The attorneys with Sand Law will be ready to help you get the fair compensation you deserve for the suffering you’ve endured.
Even though North Dakota law doesn’t specifically address dog bite liability, previous cases have set a precedent. You’ll have to prove the following if you are to win your case.
- The owner of the dog (or whatever animal bit you) had a duty to prevent the animal from attacking others and causing harm.
- The owner of the dog was in “breach” of that duty, meaning he or she failed to carry out the duty.
- You were injured as a result of that breach of duty.
Where Do Dog Bite Injuries Occur?
The majority of dog bite injuries occur on private property. You may, for example, be visiting the home of a friend, a neighbor or a family member and suffer an attack. It could be from a dog new to that home, or a pet that has been in the home for several years.
There are other instances where a dog bite takes place in a public setting. You may be visiting a local park or a lake where someone is letting their dog roam, and you could be attacked even though you were doing nothing to provoke the animal. More and more restaurants are allowing customers to bring their dogs with them to enjoy a meal on a patio. These owners might not realize this is sometimes not a good idea, because their dogs haven’t been properly socialized
In many instances, a dog owner may try to avoid accountability – especially when the victim of an attack is a stranger. They may promise to cooperate, only to refuse to answer phone calls. This is one of the many reasons you’ll need an attorney. Your legal representative can file a lawsuit against that owner, forcing them to respond within a certain amount of time.
How to Determine Liability for a Dog Bite Case
When a dog attack occurs at someone’s home, the victim will oftentimes hesitate to take legal action. After all, the owner could be a close friend, or a beloved family member. It will be important to know that if you take legal action, it won’t be against the owner – it will be against the owner’s insurance company. You won’t be taking their home, and you won’t be sending them to financial ruin.
Homeowner’s insurance will typically cover on-premises liability – and all homeowners are required by law to have insurance coverage. This makes it possible for the victim of a dog bite to obtain the compensation needed to take care of issues such as medical bills and lost wages.
Can You Collect Damages for a Dog Bite Case?
Losses associated with a dog bite, such as the aforementioned medical expenses, lost wages and others, are known as damages in legal terms. These might actually just scratch the surface of the damages you’ve incurred due to the bite. Others include the following:
- Reduced potential future earnings
- Long-term disability
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
In cases where a dog bite has proven fatal, members of the deceased’s family may take action through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Do I Even Have a Case Against the Dog’s Owner?
The chances are very good that you’ll be able to take action to obtain compensation in the event of a dog bite. However, in order to win your case, you’ll need to produce evidence. One of the most important things you’ll need to do will be to determine the owner of the dog, and get his or her contact information if you don’t know that person.
You’ll also need to get whatever medical attention you may need – even if you think the injury isn’t that serious. Dog bites can lead to severe – potentially even fatal – bacterial infections.
But getting medical care will be just as important to your case as it will be to your health. Take pictures of your injury, and keep all medical records. The pictures will help prove your case, and the medical records will play a major role in determining how much compensation you may be able to obtain.
Talk to An Attorney to Discuss Your Potential Claim
The sooner you talk to a personal injury attorney after a dog bite, the sooner that attorney can get to work representing you. At Sand Law, we will match you with a skilled, experienced attorney who is extremely familiar with this area of the law. You’ll receive the personal attention you deserve, and we’ll keep you completely informed through all phases of your case.