The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 4.5 million dog bite injuries occur annually in the United States.
The CDC report states that out of 5 dog bites 1 bite injury requires medical attention. Another report by the Insurance Information Institute states that over half of dog bites actually happen on the dog owner’s property.
Missouri law regarding dog bites is very specific when it discusses the responsibility that dog owners have when it comes to liability for bite injuries. Missouri has revised its laws in favor of the victims of dog bites. Until recently, in order to seek compensation for their injuries, bite victims had the responsibility of proving that the animal had a history of dangerous tendencies. But the law has been changed to remove that stipulation. Now any dog owner is responsible for injuries that occur on their property or on public property due to a dog bite and is liable for damages that the victim suffers, regardless of the dog’s history.
Dog bite injuries
Injuries caused by dog bites may require medical attention, especially if the dog was especially large or vicious. Some injuries from dog bites or attacks can even be fatal. Common injuries from dog bites include the following:
- Puncture wounds
- Bone fractures
- Tissue loss
What to do after a dog bite
Because getting rabies is extremely serious and can be fatal, it is very important to seek medical attention if you sustain dog bite injuries. It is also important to immediately clean the bite area. If you do not know the dog owner and are unaware of the rabies vaccination history of the animal, you should also report the incident to the local animal control organization so that they can investigate.
You should contact a Missouri personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an accident because there are statutes of limitation involved when it comes to dog bite injuries. If you plan to file a claim and do not do so within a certain amount of time, you may forfeit your right to do so entirely. Additionally, there can be variations in law depending on jurisdiction by city or county, so your attorney will need to be familiar with the laws in your area to advise you regarding the strength of your claim and what you need to do to in order to seek compensation.
In order to pursue compensation, it is necessary to show that you did not provoke the dog, ignore warning signs, or trespass on the dog owner’s property at the time that the injury occurred.
Missouri Dog Bite Lawyer
Injuries for dog bites can be serious and can require significant treatment that can be costly and can include the cost of surgeries and cosmetic procedures. In addition to physical injuries, you may suffer from mental anguish and lost wages. In order to cover these expenses it can be necessary for bite victims to pursue compensation for damages. A Missouri personal injury attorney in your area can protect your rights and help you to get the compensation you are entitled to.
Call (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free consultation.
photo credit: State Farm