North Dakota Dog Bite Attorney

Beware of Dog sign in backyard

Being attacked by a dog can be scary and traumatic. It can also leave a person with serious injuries. If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be able to hold the dog owner, or anyone who had control of the animal at the time of injury, responsible for paying for your damages. Here is what you need to know about dog bite cases in North Dakota. If you’ve suffered from a dog bite and are seeking justice and compensation, don’t navigate this process alone. Contact Pringle & Herigstad today, and let our experienced premises liability lawyers guide and support you every step of the way.

Dog Bite Laws in North Dakota

Most states have dog bite and animal attack laws on the record. North Dakota is not one of these states. Yes, North Dakota is in the minority here as it has no laws regarding dog bites or animal attacks. As such, courts and attorneys involved in these cases have come to depend on the standard established in the 1970s court case Sendelback v. Grad as a guidepost in determining negligence.

The court in Sendelback ruled that North Dakota’s laws regarding standard negligence were applicable in dog bite cases. As such, in order for a victim in North Dakota to bring a successful legal action against a dog owner, they must be able to prove that:

  • The dog’s owner owed them a duty to prevent the animal from causing injuries.
  • The dog’s owner failed to uphold this duty.
  • The failure to uphold this duty was the direct cause of the victim’s injuries and damages.

For those who can prove every one of these elements, they are entitled to compensation from the dog’s owner. It is worth noting, however, that North Dakota courts will often abide by the “one bite rule.” What this means is that a court may not necessarily hold a dog owner liable for the first time the dog bites or attacks someone else because they will assume the owner did not know that the dog had such dangerous tendencies. After the first bite or attack incident, however, an owner should be aware that the dog is dangerous and, thus, would be negligent in letting the animal injure anyone else.

Comparative Negligence in Dog Bite Cases

In some states, if a victim’s own behavior contributed in any way to the incident, it could reduce or even eliminate their ability to receive compensation. This concept is called “comparative negligence,” and while North Dakota does not have specific statutes about dog bites, it does follow a modified comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases.

What this means for dog bite victims is that if they are found to be partially at fault for the incident, for example, by provoking the animal or trespassing on private property, their awarded compensation might be reduced by their percentage of fault. It’s crucial to note that in North Dakota if a victim is found to be 50% or more at fault, they may be barred from recovering any compensation.

It’s imperative for victims to consult with an experienced attorney, like those at Pringle & Herigstad, to understand the nuances of comparative negligence and how it may affect their claim.

Compensation in a Dog Attack Claim

In a successful claim, a victim may receive compensation for expenses related to the attack, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Cost of future medical care
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Considering how traumatic a dog bite can be and how severe the resulting injuries can be damages in a dog bite case can be quite substantial. Consider the fact that a dog bite victim may be hurt not only by the animal but by being pushed to the ground as well. Dog bite victims may sustain both short and long-term injuries as a result. Short-term injuries may include:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Scratches
  • Lacerations (sometimes severe)
  • Broken bones

A dog bite or attack can also lead to serious, long-term injuries for a dog bite victim. The victim may experience long-term medical problems such as:

  • Infection
  • Permanent nerve and muscle damage
  • Loss of limb function
  • Loss of vision
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

North Dakota Premises Liability Attorneys

Being attacked by a dog can be an overwhelming and painful experience. Let the team at Pringle & Herigstad take on the legal challenge of pursuing your right to full and fair compensation so that you can focus on your health and recovery. Contact us today.

Pringle & Hergistad, P.C. represents dog bite and dog attack victims across Grand Forks, Minot, and North Dakota. Our experienced legal team is committed to fighting for the rights and compensation of those who have suffered due to canine-related incidents.