Dog Bite Attorney In St. Louis, MO
Dog Bite Attorney in St. Louis, MO
Did you know that as many as 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S.? Missouri has strict dog bite laws to protect victims of these canine attacks. If you are looking for a dog bite attorney in St. Louis, MO, Wolff & Wolff Trial Lawyers has experience with these types of cases. We’ve been practicing personal injury law for decades and have a reputation for aggressive negotiating and litigating service. We’ll represent your claim to the best of our ability. Wolff & Wolff Trial Lawyers has a proven record for success and has achieved millions in compensation. Over the years, we’ve represented more than 8,000 clients. If you choose to let us represent you, we’ll fight for your right to fair compensation too.
Missouri’s Dog Bite Statutes
According to Missouri law, a person who is bitten or injured by a dog can seek damages if:
- The claimant’s injuries were caused by a dog bite
- The victim was on public property or visiting private property lawfully
- The victim did not provoke the dog
Owing to the strictness of the state’s law, a dog owner can be liable for another’s injuries even if they didn’t know their dog was aggressive or would bite someone. Some states allow dog owners to have one ‘free pass’ with their “one-bite rule.” Missouri, however, is not such a state. It does not follow a one-bite rule. The law does, however, specify that the owner is liable for bite injuries—not injuries that may have been caused by a dog behavior like jumping.
Did You Provoke the Dog?
Dog bites can be serious—even devastating. They can cause disfigurement and even other catastrophic injuries. However, if the victim is found to have provoked the dog (i.e. poked at it with a stick), the owner may not be liable for damages. If the individual has trespassed onto the property, they may also be ineligible to claim damages if the dog on the premises attacks them. Some exceptions may apply, however, which is why it’s important to consult with your St. Louis dog bite attorney.
Missouri law also talks about comparative liability. This means that the person bitten by the dog was either partly or totally responsible for the injury caused by the dog. Or, conversely, if the dog’s owner is found to be at fault for more than 50 percent of the injuries, they are liable for a percentage of the damages.
Did you know that some dog owners can actually face criminal charges when their dog bites someone? If an aggressive dog bites unprovoked and then bites another victim down the road, the owner can be charged with a misdemeanor and, sometimes, even a felony.
Dog Bite Injuries
Sometimes dogs nip and the injury is minimal, but much may depend on the size and type of dog in question. A bite from a pug is not the same as a bite from a German shepherd or rottweiler. In some attacks, the dog may bite multiple times, causing substantial injury. However, even a single bite to a person’s face or hand can cause a life-changing injury. Moreover, after being attacked by an unprovoked dog, it’s not uncommon for people, particularly children, to experience post-traumatic stress disorder or suffer both physical and mental anguish.
If you are bitten by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation. In Missouri, victims can claim economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the expenses—medical and missing work—associated with the sustained injuries. Non-economic damages are capped in Missouri at $35,000. These damages refer to the victim’s pain and suffering. When you meet with our firm, we’ll carefully help you determine what fair compensation should look like based on the particulars of your case. If you will need future medical treatment for your injuries, we will include this as an economic expense as well. In some cases, the nature of the bite can compromise a person’s ability to work in their chosen field. Imagine you are a surgeon and a dog mauls your hand? This type of attack can be life-changing. We factor theses costs into the compensation demand.
What Should You Do If You Are Attacked and Bitten by a Dog in Missouri?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you should immediately report the incident and seek medical care. Healthcare providers will assess and care for the wound. The paperwork that this care generates can be used as evidence to support your claim. Reporting the bite to animal services is important because the dog could pose a hazard to other people in the area. The dog may even have attacked before. If you are able to, take photographs of your injuries. Police or medical providers may take photos as well. These photos provide documentary evidence that can support your claim.
Then, call our experienced law firm. We can provide you with legal guidance about what steps to take. You may be contacted by the homeowner’s insurance company. We can communicate with them on your behalf. If the dog owner engages an attorney, we can also communicate with them. Like other types of personal injury claims, these cases can be settled through negotiation. However, clients are not obligated to accept a settlement that they consider unfair. We can escalate the matter to litigation and aggressively pursue your right to fair compensation.
If you need an experienced St. Louis dog bite attorney, contact Wolff & Wolff Trial Lawyers. We will work diligently to represent your interests and fight for your compensation.