Over a 17-year period in the US, the most common dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club that was involved in fatal dog attacks were Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. German Shepherds are common family dogs and gentle by nature, but all dogs can be dangerous if raised in a hostile environment where they aren’t socialized.
If you’ve been involved in a German Shepherd attack in Missouri, the Dixon Injury Firm created this guide to offer information on dog bite law and provide support during this trying time. For more information on what to do if you are injured in a German Shepherd attack, feel free to contact our dog bite lawyers in St. Louis now.
German Shepherd Attack Statistics
800,000 people require medical treatment for dog bite injuries in the United States every year, and dozens more are killed in fatal dog attacks. According to a 2016 study on dog bite fatalities, German Shepherds were responsible for roughly 10% of the 49 dog bite fatalities in the U.S. in 2017.
German Shepherds, if left untrained and unsocialized, can become dangerous, unruly, and aggressive animals. Weighing between 50 to 90 pounds, if a German Shepherd attacks a young child, which accounts for 50% of dog bite attacks, the victim will likely suffer severe or fatal injuries.
With most dog bite attacks occurring in a victim’s household, or at the home of a close family member or friend, German Shepherd attacks are entirely preventable, but a severe concern in Missouri. Fortunately, if you are injured in a German Shepherd attack, under Missouri law, victims can often recover damages from the dog’s owner.
Dog bite laws by state vary though, so it’s imperative to know the laws in the state where the attack occurred.
Are German Shepherds Dangerous?
While German Shepherds are a great choice for those in search of a guard dog, they are still a dangerous dog breed. It’s a simple thing to get a dog trainer and give them the obedience training that’s necessary to ensure the safety of everyone they come into contact with. In fact, finding out how to stop German Shepherd aggression while still allowing them to become the attack dogs that people need to guard their family and home is recommended for anyone who owns one.
That being said, GSDs can still be loveable and friendly dogs.
What to Do if a German Shepherd Attacks You
There are quite a few different ways in which German Shepherd attacks can happen, be it negligence by the owner in training the dog, failing to properly leash the animal, improper restraints such as fencing, the victim trespassing on someone else’s property or the dog being provoked by the victim. It doesn’t matter why it happens, the fact is that German Shepherd attacks in the U.S. are a preventable issue.
If you find yourself among the many people injured in the U.S. each year in a German Shepherd attack, it’s critical for you to know what happens after a dog bite is reported to prevent the animal from attacking other people, protect your case details, and allow the dog bite attorneys to get you the compensation you deserve from the dog owner because of the animal’s actions.
The first thing that you need to do is to get the medical treatment you need for your puncture wounds. The injuries you sustained during the attack will be noted in your medical report by the physician, and this is evidence for the claim you have.
Once you’ve been examined and treated, you’ll need to involve the police and animal control. This is imperative. The police report will preserve the details regarding the incident, like what happened, who happened to be involved, when and where it occurred, if the property where it happened was public or private, and whether or not there were witnesses.
Once the police report has been filed, the next step is to let Animal Control know that the animal attacked you. This organization keeps records of each dog attack, and filing a claim with them can keep other people safe from dangerous dogs.
Additionally, by contacting them, you’ll be able to access any previous reports against that particular dog, get owner information, and vaccination reports. It is best to contact our office immediately after an attack so we can assist you with creating a claim against the owner of the dog and making sure an investigation occurs immediately.
Who Is Liable in a German Shepherd Attack in Missouri?
The legal system in Missouri allows German Shepherd to attack victims to file a claim for up to five years after the date of the attack. Under Missouri law, if a dog attacks someone without provocation or on public property, the victim can often sue the dog’s owner and recover compensation for medical expenses, emotional and mental distress, loss of income, property damage, and loss of consortium damages caused in the attack.
While there are some situations where both a victim and the dog’s owner are liable in an attack, most of the time, the dog’s owner or “keeper” is the party at fault. However, in situations where both parties involved are liable in an attack, Missouri uses the rule of comparative negligence, so the victim is still eligible to recover a portion of damages from the attack.
What Happens to the Dog if It Bites Someone?
In the state of Missouri, there’s no “one bite law,” however, there is a strict rule regarding dog bite law where euthanasia is a possibility. That means that if you’re bitten by a German Shepherd or any other breed of dog, and the owner is found to be liable, there will be a fine of as much as $1,000 for them to pay.
This is a criminal fine only and the civil case against the liable parties for injuries is much higher. If you’re wondering if a dog that bites someone will be put down, that typically only happens if the incident causes serious harm or even death, or if the animal in question has attacked anyone else before it attacked you.
If your dog happens to be bitten by a German Shepherd, our lawyers will let you know the answer to the question can a dog be put down for biting another dog too?
How Can a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer Help With My Case?
The circumstances of every attack are different, but the one thing that remains constant after a German Shepherd attack is that you need to consult an experienced lawyer. The St. Louis dog bite lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm can help every step of the way when seeking compensation for your case.
From gathering evidence to creating a strong claim, our attorneys will always be by your side, protecting the best interests of your German Shepherd attack claim. Christopher Dixon has earned repeated recognition as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers Association, and his efforts have recovered more than $50,000,000 in settlements and recoveries for personal injury victims in St. Louis.
If you are ready to begin your German Shepherd attack claim, and recover compensation for your dog bite injuries, call (314) 208-2808 or contact the St. Louis dog bite lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm today for a free case review or consultation.