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Home » Eight Factors That Will Affect The Value of Your Minnesota Dog Bite Claim 

Eight Factors That Will Affect The Value of Your Minnesota Dog Bite Claim 

Maple Grove Dog Bite Attorney

Dog bite incidents can have a profound impact on individuals and families in Minnesota. Dog bite victims often experience physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens after the attack.  In the aftermath of a Minnesota dog attack, it is important to understand your legal rights and how insurance companies value dog bite claims.

Understanding the unique factors that affect the value of your dog bite claim is essential to ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.  These factors can range from the severity of your injuries to the specific facts regarding liability to the amounts of available insurance coverage.  Here, we’ll examine eight key considerations that can influence the value of your dog bite claim in Minnesota, providing you with valuable information to help you navigate your case.

Severity of Injuries:

The severity of your injuries is one of the primary factors that will determine the value of your dog bite claim.   Dog bites often lead to serious injuries.  Dog’s strong jaws and sharp teeth often lead to lacerations, nerve damage, tendon and ligament damage, muscle damage, fractures, infections, and long-term scarring.

When evaluating a dog bite claim, an insurance company is going to look at the nature and extent of the bite, and what damage it has caused.  Typically, the more severe the injury, the higher the recoverable damages are.  Recoverable damages for dog bites in Minnesota include your past and future medical expenses, wage loss, and pain, suffering, emotional distress, and disfigurement.  Insurance companies will value claims higher if there are long term, permanent injuries resulting from the bite, or if surgery is required. 

Medical Expenses:

When determining the value of your dog bite claim, the insurance company is going to look at the total cost of your medical treatment, as well as what, if any, future medical expenses will be needed. This includes expenses related to emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgery, medications, plastic surgeon consultations, rehabilitation, and therapy.  Keep thorough records of all medical bills, receipts, and other out of pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of the dog bite incident.  This can be used when presenting your damages to the insurance company.

Your doctor may be able to give an opinion about what, if any, future medical expenses you will need to incur as a result of your injury, and the cost thereof.  A comprehensive medical report from your doctor laying out your future medical expenses may be needed to prove these damages to the insurance company.  

Lost Income and Future Earning Capacity:

If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you may be able to recover the value of the lost income. Additionally, if your injuries impact your future earning capacity, such as requiring a career change or reducing your earning potential, this can also be factored into the value of your claim.

Pain and Suffering:

Dog bite injuries can be accompanied by significant physical pain and emotional distress. Compensation for pain and suffering is intended to address the non-economic impact of the incident on your life, including physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.  If the dog bite related injuries have caused severe pain and suffering, this can substantially increase the overall value of your claim.  The psychological impact can be especially troublesome on young children, who may develop PTSD, anxiety, and fear of dogs as a result of the bite.

Scarring and Disfigurement:

Scarring and disfigurement resulting from a dog bite can have long-lasting effects on your appearance and self-esteem. Compensation for scarring and disfigurement takes into account the visibility and permanence of the scars, as well as any psychological effects they may have. Factors such as the location of the scars and the effectiveness of any medical treatment or cosmetic procedures can also influence the value of your claim.

Insurance companies will often value scars differently depending on who the scar is on.  For example, they may value the claim higher on a woman than on a man; they may value the claim higher on a younger person that they would on an older person; or they may value it higher if the scar is on a very visible part of the body as opposed to an area that is often concealed or covered.

Liability or Fault

In Minnesota, dog bite claims are governed by strict liability laws, which hold dog owners accountable for injuries caused by their dogs regardless of the animal’s previous behavior or the owner’s knowledge of its aggressive tendencies. Under Minnesota Statute § 347.22, a dog owner is liable for damages if their dog bites or attacks a person who is lawfully in a public or private place, including the owner’s property. This means that even if the dog has never bitten anyone before and the owner had no reason to believe the dog was dangerous, they can still be held responsible for the victim’s injuries.  Strict liability simplifies the legal process for dog bite victims, as they do not need to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner to recover compensation for their damages.  However, it’s essential for victims to seek legal guidance to ensure their rights are protected and to navigate any complexities that may arise in their case. 

Insurance Coverage:

The availability and policy limits of the dog owner’s insurance coverage can impact the potential recovery in your dog bite claim. Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies typically provide coverage for dog bite incidents, but the amount of coverage may vary depending on the policy limits. If the dog owner is uninsured, it may adversely affect your ability to recover compensation for your damages.  Some policies may exclude coverage for dog bites, or limit the amount and type of coverage provided to their insured for certain breeds of dogs.  A thorough review of the possible insurance coverages, and the insurance policy itself is necessary to fully evaluate how the possible insurance coverages may affect the value of your claim.

Legal Representation:

The expertise and experience of your legal representation can also influence the outcome of your Minnesota dog bite claim. A knowledgeable Minnesota personal injury lawyer who has experience handling dog bite cases can build your case in a fashion that sets you up to maximize your recovery from the insurance company.  They will advocate for your rights, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary. Having skilled legal representation can help you navigate the complicated insurance and legal process, maximize the value of your claim, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.


When dealing with a Minnesota dog bite claim, it’s important to understand the various factors that affect the value of your claim.  From the nature and extent of injuries to liability to issues involving insurance coverage, each factor significantly influences the compensation you may be entitled to after a dog bite.  At Nelson Personal Injury, we recognize the challenges you are facing in the aftermath of a dog bite, and we are here to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.  Our experienced Minnesota dog bite lawyers will help you navigate the complexities of the legal process, advocate for your rights, and recover the maximum compensation provided by law. If you’ve been a victim of a dog attack in Minnesota, let Nelson Personal Injury provide you with the expert legal guidance and representation you need to secure the compensation you deserve.  Call us today for a free consultation.

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