15th April 2021
In a 13-year period from 2005 to 2017, there were 433 fatalities associated with dog bite injuries and attacks. Most fatal attacks occur because of Pit bulls (65.6%) and Rottweilers (10.4%).
North Dakota Dog Bite Laws
In North Dakota, you are permitted to recover compensation if you can prove that the dog owner was negligent in not preventing your dog bite injury from occurring. This is true whether they knew that the dog was vicious prior to the attack or not.
North Dakota doesn’t have a specific statute of limitations for a dog bite claim. So you must follow the personal injury statute of limitations. This means that a dog bite claim must be filed within six years of the injury, or two years if wrongful death occurred.
When receiving compensation for your injury, you can claim damages such as medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Monetary losses like medical bills are calculated based on the amount you’ve billed overall, while non-monetary losses are calculated based on how much your quality of life has changed.
Tips to Avoid Dog Bite Injuries
Of course, it’s not all your responsibility to avoid dog bite injuries. Owners owe others a duty of care to protect friends (and strangers) from their dogs. However, when they don’t offer that care, you can take these essential steps to protect yourself from danger.
Be Alert of Your Surroundings
Make sure to pay attention to where you’re walking, and look out for any signs that may alert you of a dangerous dog. Don’t go onto or into anyone’s property without permission. While dog bites may happen in public spaces, they most often happen in the homes of friends and family.
Recognize Warning Signs of Aggressive Dogs
Recognizing the warning signs of aggressive dogs can help you avoid dog bites. For example, aggressive dogs might try to make themselves appear larger. The fur on their back and tail will stand up or puff out, and their ears will be up and forward.
They may have a stiff or straight-legged stance, and they’ll likely stare directly at what they believe is a threat. Bearing teeth, growling, lunging, and barking are also all signs of aggression.
Don’t Tease, Startle, or Bother a Strange Dog
If you aren’t familiar with a dog, the best way to protect yourself is to stay away from it. If the dog is friendly and looking for companionship or attention, they’ll come to you. You should never pester a dog for attention, as they might snap back at you. It’s best to leave dogs that you don’t know (or aren’t familiar with) alone.
Never Leave a Child Unattended with any Animal
Even if you’re familiar with an animal, you still should never leave a child alone with them. Children may pester or provoke an animal to the point of causing it to bite or attack. Even the nicest dogs may get annoyed by the constant pestering of a child. Child injuries can be especially severe because of the size difference.
Protect Yourself from an Aggressive Dog if Possible
There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from dog bites, including:
- Standing slightly sideways to make yourself a more narrow target. Make sure to keep the dog in your peripheral vision.
- Avoid direct eye contact.
- Keep calm-assertive energy, and claim your own space back. Place an umbrella or cane in front of you to appear bigger and more in charge of your space.
Once a dog senses that you aren’t threatened by it, they’ll likely back off and leave you alone.
Seek Medical Attention Right Away After a Dog Bite
To keep your dog bite injury from worsening, you should always seek medical attention immediately. If you don’t seek medical attention, your injuries could worsen and become infected, leading to a more serious injury overall.
Insurance companies may use this as a way to diminish your dog bite claim, stating that if your injuries were serious that you would have seen a doctor right away.
Report a Dog Bite to Local Authorities
And finally, you should always report the incident to local authorities. Having this on record will help provide evidence for your case. Filing a report will allow you to obtain information about the dog’s owner, the dog’s history, and the dog’s vaccination information.
This investigation can provide vital evidence for your case, so we highly recommend that you get a report filed right away after you’ve been injured.
Contact a North Dakota Dog Bite Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog bite attack, please contact an experienced dog bite injury attorney for help building your claim. Our team of talented attorneys here at Sand Law in North Dakota will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve for your damages.