Williston Dog Bite Injury Attorneys
Get Compensation for your Dog Bites Injury in Williston, Williams County, and across North Dakota
In the US, more than 38% of households own at least one dog. This statistic—which equates to more than 48 million households—is important in understanding just how common contact with a dog is for most people. In fact, approximately 5 million people are bitten by a dog each year in the United States. That is a lot of injuries that are often overlooked by insurance companies and the population at large as “not serious”. But as someone who has ever been attacked by, say a German Shepard, before knows, it is very serious.
The Center for Disease Control reports that any given American has a 1 in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog in their lifetime. Of those incidents, 1 in 5 require medical attention for their bites.
These statistics stand to prove that dog bites are common and they can and do cause damages and injuries. This means medical bills, lost time off work, and a plethora of other small costs like medications, driving time, surgeries, etc.
If you were injured by a dog attack or bitten by a dog requiring medical attention, we strongly encourage you to speak to a North Dakota dog bite attorney in order to better understand your rights, options, and potential for financial compensation. There’s no obligation during a free case evaluation, so speak to a Williston injury attorney at Sand Law today.
Common Injuries Caused by Dog Attacks
Dog bites can cause a range of injuries, from a little scratch to serious, life-changing paralysis. Below are some of the most common injuries that result from a dog attack or bite.
- Lacerations – cuts or wounds into skin, muscle, bones, nerves, or blood vessels
- Punctures – deep hole(s) caused by the teeth, similar to a laceration but often deeper and smaller in affected area
- Infection – about 10 to 15% of dog bites lead to infections caused by the bacteria in a dog’s mouth
- Rabies – a contagious and fatal viral disease carried by dogs and other mammals that can cause madness and convulsions, and is transmissible through contact with saliva. In the US, rabies is far less of a problem than in other places. But since, incidents can and do occur where an owner does not keep up with vaccinations and allows their rabies carrying dog to bite someone.
- Tetanus – a rare bacterial disease that can be transferred to a human during a dog bite, causing rigidity and spasms of the voluntary muscles.
- Crushing Injuries – such as broken bones, along with muscle and nerve damage
- Avulsion – which refers to losing a body part, like a finger or ear
- Scarring – which can create the need for costly reconstructive plastic surgeries
- Nerve Damage – certain dog bites can cause nerve damage, which may lead to temporary or permanent paralysis or loss of function in the affected body part.
- Death from Dog Attacks – some dog attacks can be extremely serious and may result in death. Unfortunately, this is often the case in the most vicious of dog attacks on children, since their little bodies stand no chance against an aggressive predator like a large canine.
North Dakota Does Not Have a Specific Dog Bite Statute
North Dakota does not have a specific personal injury statute that deals with dog bite injuries. Instead, North Dakota injury attorneys refer to a previous case (known as case law) to prove dog bite cases. The case that most North Dakota personal injury attorneys refer to is known as Sendelbach v. Grad. This case allows attorneys to prove that dog bite victims deserve compensation because a dog bite injury fits within the standard negligence laws in North Dakota.
Attorneys use this case to argue that dog bite owners have a ‘duty of care’ to prevent their dog from attacking and biting other people. One this is proved, the attorney can then use this information to prove that the negligent act (allowing the dog to bite someone) directly caused that person damages and thus deserves compensation.
Sand Law PLLC is experienced in handling dog bite cases in Minot and across North Dakota. Our aggressive dog bite attorneys are here to help you understand your rights and get compensation for your dog bite injuries, so contact us today for a free consultation.
The Statute of Limitations on North Dakota Dog Bite Claims
A statute of limitations is a time limit for legal cases. The law requires personal injury attorneys to file a claim with the court within a specific amount of time to ensure that the trial is fair, evidence is still reliable, and witness testimony is still accurate.
North Dakota’s statute of limitations for dog bite claims is the same as other personal injury claims: 6 years from the day the injury occurred.
This may seem like a long time, but the deadline’s importance is not a simple matter of whether or not someone filed within the six years. Instead, every day, week, or month delayed is more ammunition for the defense to claim that the injury or damages are not serious. The typical argument goes something like, “if they were really injured and in need of money to pay their medical bills, why did they wait to two years to file a claim?”
Of course, there are many reasons that someone may wait to file a claim, but in general, the sooner the better.
North Dakota’s Dog Bite Laws
As we mentioned above, North Dakota doesn’t have a specific law relating to dog bites. Instead, the precedent set by other personal injury cases and the North Dakota Supreme Court case of Sendelbach v. Grad set the standard of negligence in North Dakota in regard to dog bite injuries and damages.
In order to receive compensation for any damages caused by dog attack in North Dakota, you must prove three things:
- the dog’s owner had a “duty to care” to prevent their dog from biting,
- that the dog’s owner breached that duty, and
- That because the dog’s owner breached their duty of care, it caused damages to the dog bite victim.
Reasonable Care as it relates to Dog Bite Claims
Courts rely on a concept known as reasonable care to decide whether a dog owner’s had a responsibility to restrain, train, or control their dog so that it wouldn’t attack anyone or cause damage in some other way. The court asks: did the dog owner take reasonable care to prevent the dog from hurting someone?
Using Other Laws to Win a Dog Bite Case
Although North Dakota doesn’t have a specific dog bite statute, other laws can still be used to prove win compensation for injuries caused by a dog. For example, if a dog bites a woman while they are jogging in the park, and the dog wasn’t on a leash, then an attorney can use local leash laws to prove that the owner was negligent.
Comparative Negligence in a Minot Dog Bite Case
Comparative negligence is commonly used in North Dakota personal injury cases that weighs the injured person’s fault for their own injuries versus the fault of the other party. For example, a dog owner’s lawyer may attempt to reduce or deny a dog bite injury claim by using comparative negligence to claim that the injured person was partly or totally to blame for the dog attack.
Using comparative negligence, the judge or jury decides what percentage each person is at fault and reduces the damages by the percentage of fault assigned to the injury victim, assuming the dog bite victim is not more than 49% at fault, in which case they are not eligible for any compensation.
Contacting an Experienced North Dakota Dog Bite Injury Attorney
Sand Law has helped hundreds of dog bite victims across North Dakota get the compensation they need to fully recover from their injuries. We have assembled a team of experienced and dedicated personal injury attorneys who are skilled and passionate about representing victims of negligence in all types of personal injury matters, including dog attacks.
We have offices conveniently located in Watford City, Minot, Williston, and Bismarck. We also have a vast network of resources and witnesses that we can employ if necessary to help make a client’s case as strong as possible, helping to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve.
Contact Sand Law today to schedule your free consultation by calling (701) 609-1510 or by filling our our contact form. We look forward to helping you and your family in your time of need with compassion and understanding.