October 14, 2021 | Dog Bites
Dogs are commonly called “man’s best friend” due to their loyal nature, but if a dog, especially a hunting dog such as a Doberman, is put on the defensive or trained to fight, the results can be severe and often fatal. The Dixon Injury Firm understands how painful it is to be the victim of a sudden dog bite attack and how terrifying it can be not to know how to proceed with your case.
Our dog bite lawyers in St. Louis put together the following guide on Doberman attacks to hopefully help victims, and their family members determine their next step during this difficult time.
Most Common Types of Doberman Attacks
There are more than 4.5 million dog bite attacks in the U.S. every year, with 800,000 of these injuries requiring immediate medical attention. Dangerous dogs such as Dobermans, Pit Bulls, and Rottweilers caused most of these severe dog bite attacks. In 2018, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery for dog bite-related injuries cheek, mouth, and head trauma.
While all dogs can hurt people, Dobermans are one of the most common instigators of dog bite attacks. Dobermans have a bite force of around 305 pounds per square inch, and their small yet sharp jaws allow this dog breed to bite someone in rapid succession.
The most commonly reported types of Doberman attacks include:
- Stray dog attacks
- Children-related dog bite attacks
- Attacks that involve a neighbor or the dog’s owner
- Unleashed dog attacks
Potential Injuries and Other Consequences of Doberman Attacks that Occur in and Around St. Louis
When a large dog like a Doberman attacks a fully grown adult or a small child, the resulting injuries can be extremely serious and can impact the bite victim for many years to come. When a dog bites a person, it can create teeth marks on the victim’s skin, along with one or more puncture wounds, cuts, and abrasions. As a result, the accident victim may need to visit a hospital emergency room or urgent care center to get stitches.
If the wound is deep enough, the dog bite victim can develop a scar. If the scar is visible on the bite victim’s body, it can result in extreme shame, humiliation, or embarrassment for the victim.
In addition to seeking medical care at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center following a dog bite, the bite victim may need to seek additional treatment, including following up with a primary care doctor or specialist or undergoing a medical procedure, such as surgery.
In some instances, the dog may not only bite the victim but also attack the victim. This can cause the victim to lose his or her balance and fall to the ground, sustaining one or more serious injuries. This is especially true if the victim’s head, neck, or back strikes the ground during the attack.
Potential injuries in these types of incidents can include:
- Traumatic head and brain injuries.
- Soft tissue contusions (including muscular sprains and strains).
- Bone fractures.
- Other serious injuries.
Suppose you have suffered one or more of these injuries due to a dog bite or attack. In that case, you may be eligible to pursue and recover various types of monetary compensation by filing a personal injury claim or a lawsuit in the court system. The skilled St. Louis dog bite attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm can review the circumstances of your dog bite case with you and discuss available ways of pursuing monetary compensation on your behalf.
Missouri Doberman Attack Laws
If a Doberman attacked you in Missouri, you can be entitled to compensation from the dog’s owner for your injuries and financial losses. Missouri’s Dog Bite Statute states that a dog’s owner is liable in an attack if the animal in their care attacked someone without provocation or trespassing on private property.
Bringing a claim against a dog’s negligent owner can be overwhelming, but with substantial proof of your injuries, reports filed with the correct authorities, and representation from an experienced lawyer, victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, property damage, and loss of consortium.
Additionally, some cities in Missouri have ordinances against dangerous dogs, such as Dobermans and pit bulls, that restrict or ban ownership of these breeds. In Missouri, cities with dangerous dog breed ordinances that include Doberman pinschers include Chaffee, Jamestown, Monroe City, Pilot Grove, Rock Port, and Trenton.
In cities that have a law that bans ownership of a Doberman, if an attack occurs, the dog’s owner is automatically liable for the victim’s damages and charged with fines, animal control confiscates the animal, and in most cases, the court strips the resident of all rights to own a dog.
In cities that restrict owning a Doberman or categorize this dog breed as inherently dangerous or vicious, victims often recover full compensation for their harm and losses, and the dog’s owner usually receives fines, faces impoundment of their animal, and may or may not lose custody of their Doberman pinscher.
Bringing a Claim Against the Dog Owner and/or the Dog Owner’s Insurance Company
If you have suffered an injury in a dog attack that a Doberman caused, you can bring a claim against the dog owner’s homeowner insurance policy. In many cases, these insurance policies provide coverage for injuries sustained in dog attacks.
When dealing with an insurance company, it is important to keep in mind that it is a big business. This means that the insurance company is not going to do you any favors when trying to resolve your case. After all, insurance companies lose money when they have to pay out personal injury claims. They make money by collecting premiums from their insureds—and by keeping as much of this money in-house as they possibly can. Therefore, it is extremely helpful to have a knowledgeable St. Louis dog bite attorney representing you throughout negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company.
A dog attack or dog bite claim begins when the bike victim’s attorney files a demand package with the insurance company. The demand package will include a monetary demand for settlement, as well as other important documents.
These documents might include witness reports, a police report (if police prepared one), medical records, medical bills, photographs of the dog attack injuries, and a victim impact statement that describes the overall effects that the dog attack has had on the person’s life.
Once the insurance company receives and reviews this information, an adjuster will decide whether or not to accept liability for the dog attack incident. If liability is accepted, the victim’s attorney and the insurance company will likely go back and forth to try and negotiate a favorable settlement.
Although early settlement offers are usually low, the offers may go up as negotiations continue. Those negotiations will typically stop once the case is settled or the parties reach a disagreement. If the insurance company refuses to offer the dog attack victim full and fair compensation, then the dog attack victim’s lawyer may file a lawsuit against the dog owner in civil court.
Once an attorney has filed a lawsuit in the court system, settlement negotiations between the insurance company and the bite victim’s attorney can continue. If the parties still cannot agree on a favorable settlement after the litigation process is complete, the parties may decide to take their case to trial or an alternative dispute resolution proceeding, such as mediation or arbitration.
At mediation, a neutral case mediator will try and help the parties resolve their differences and reach a settlement in the case. On the other hand, in an arbitration proceeding, a neutral arbitrator will listen to the evidence presented and will usually only decide the issue of damages.
If you have suffered an injury in a Doberman attack, the knowledgeable St. Louis dog bite attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm are ready to assist. Our legal team can help you file your claim, negotiate with the insurance company, and, if necessary, litigate the case in the state court system.
Statute of Limitations in St. Louis Dog Bite Cases
If you have suffered an injury in an attack that was caused by a vicious Doberman, you have a limited time in which to file a claim or lawsuit against the dog owner—and/or against the dog owner’s insurance company.
Victims of dog bites and other personal injuries in Missourians have a period of five years from the date of their incident in which to file a claim or lawsuit seeking the various types of monetary compensation and damages—absent some extremely limited circumstances. In the majority of personal injury cases, however, these exceptions do not apply.
The personal injury statute of limitations in Missouri and elsewhere is extremely unforgiving. If you fail to file your claim or lawsuit within the applicable deadline, you will waive your right to monetary compensation and damages. The main purpose of statutes of limitation in dog bite cases is to ensure that witnesses remain available and that memories of the incident remain fresh if the matter has to go to trial in the state court system.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of a Doberman attack, retain an experienced attorney to represent you as soon as possible in your case.
The skilled St. Louis dog bite attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm can investigate the circumstances of the dog bite occurrence, including finding out who the owner of the dog is, as well as the identity of the insurer (usually a homeowner’s insurance policy). We can then make sure to promptly and efficiently file a claim or lawsuit—and well within the five-year statute of limitations deadline.
Potential Damages that You Might Recover as Part of Your Doberman Attack Case
If you were the victim of a Doberman dog attack, you might be entitled to recover various types of damages. Dog attacks and dog bites can lead to serious complications, some of which might end up being permanent.
In addition, dog attack victims will often have to seek emergency medical treatment, attend follow-up doctor visits, and even need to undergo surgery or some other medical procedure to fully recover from their injuries.
All of that treatment can cost a lot of money, and medical bills tend to pile up very quickly. Even if the dog attack victim has health insurance to pay for some or all of the damages, a dog bite claim can cover the deductible. It can also and provide compensation for many other damages, such as counseling, physical therapy, and pain and suffering.
The types and amounts of damages that a dog attack victim in St. Louis can recover depend on a variety of circumstances. First of all, the types and amounts of your damages will depend upon the nature and extent of your injuries. Generally speaking, the more serious your injury or injuries sustained in the dog attack, the higher your medical damages.
For example, if you had to undergo a reconstructive operation or surgery as a result of your dog attack injury, you can pursue greater damages than if you suffered a relatively minor cut, scrape, or abrasion in the incident. Another factor that will influence the amount of your damages is the extent and cost of your medical treatment. Again, the more expensive and extensive your medical treatment following a dog attack, the higher your potential damages will likely be.
Finally, the amount of your damages will depend on whether or not you are likely to require a future medical procedure, such as an operation or surgery. For example, a healthcare provider can state in writing, and to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that you will likely need a future medical procedure to fully recover following your dog attack injuries.
In addition to pursuing and recovering medical compensation for your dog attack injuries, you can pursue a claim for lost wages. This is especially true if you had to miss a significant time away from work because of your injuries in the dog attack. The dog may have injured your arms, hands, feet, or legs, so you can’t perform your occupational duties and miss work.
Further, some dog attack victims suffer injuries so severe that they are unable to return to the same job or occupation. Frequently, they have to work at a different job at a much lower rate of pay. When that happens, the dog attack victim might file a claim for loss of earning capacity. Also, in terms of economic damages, the accident victim can claim other out-of-pocket costs as part of his or her dog bite claim.
In addition to the above-referenced economic damages, victims of dog attacks and dog bites may recover non-economic damages. These damages are not always quantifiable in terms of dollars and cents. However, they are important and compensable nonetheless. Non-economic damages compensate dog attack victims for all of the inconvenience, pain, and suffering that they had to endure because of the dog attack and resulting injuries.
If the dog attack resulted in one or more permanent injuries, as determined by a qualified medical provider, dog attack victims can seek compensation for those permanent damages. Dog attack victims can also seek compensation for loss of the ability to use a body part and/or loss of life enjoyment related to injuries sustained in a dog attack.
If you have suffered an injury due to a dog attack or dog bite, you need skilled legal representation on your side as early on as possible in your case. The knowledgeable and experienced St. Louis dog bite attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm can assess the types of money damages that you might pursue in your dog bite case.
You can rest assured that we will advocate for your interests, both at the negotiating table and in the courtroom and that we will pursue the maximum amount of monetary compensation available to you in your case.
Begin a Claim With Help From Our St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers Now
If a Doberman pinscher attacked you and you feel that you deserve compensation for your preventable harm and losses caused in the attack, speak with our dog bite lawyers in St. Louis immediately about your case.
Christopher Dixon takes the time to understand the individual details of your case and will create a personalized plan for recovering the maximum amount of compensation from the negligent party involved.
The Dixon Injury Firm has recovered more than $35,000,000 in settlements for personal injury victims in St. Louis and is committed to fighting for the highest settlement for injuries due to a Doberman attack. Christopher Dixon’s efforts have earned the status of Top 100 Trial Lawyer from the National Trial Lawyers Association and repeated recognition by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star.
When you choose Chris Dixon and his St. Louis dog bite lawyers to present your case, you can feel confident that our St. Louis personal injury attorneys will do everything in our power to produce the best results for your case.
If you are ready to begin your claim with our Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Louis, and recover compensation for your losses caused by a Doberman attack, don’t hesitate to call (314) 208-2808 or contact the Dixon Injury Firm now for a free case review or consultation. Our legal team can immediately start to work on your case by undertaking an investigation and gathering your medical treatment records and bills.
We can then review your legal options with you and begin the claims-filing process. If the dog owner’s insurance company refuses to offer you the compensation that you need and deserve for your dog attack injuries, our legal team welcomes the opportunity to take your case to settlement negotiations, and if necessary, trial, mediation, or arbitration to obtain a favorable result for you.