Dog Bite Injury Attorney in STL
Nearly five million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, and over 365,000 of these victims visit the emergency room for their injuries. Young children and the elderly are among those most commonly hospitalized for dog bite injuries.
Although dog bites can vary in severity, they often result in significant injuries, permanent disfigurement, and, in some cases, death. Even the victims of less-severe bites can suffer from long-term psychological distress and be forced to undergo expensive medical treatments. A 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services concluded that the average medical bill for a dog bite victim was $18,200 in 2008, and that over half of those who were hospitalized for a dog bite required sutures, skin grafts, or wound debridement. Monetary loss related to dog bites exceeds $1 billion annually.
If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, The Dixon Injury Firm can help. Our St. Louis dog bite lawyers are ready to help you understand your legal options and fight for the justice and fair compensation you deserve. We have recovered over $50 million in case results for injured individuals and the families of those wrongfully killed throughout Missouri. Let our St. Louis personal injury lawyers fight for you, too
To learn more, give our St. Louis dog bite injury lawyers a call at (314) 208-2808 or CONTACT us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Who Is at Fault for a Dog Bite?
Section 273.036.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes states that the owner of a dog is strictly liable if his or her dog bites you and causes injuries when you are on public or private property on which you are legally allowed to be.
If you are bitten by a dog in the state of Missouri, you may be entitled to file a dog bite claim against the dog owner to cover medical costs, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and all other bite-related damages. The statute of limitations in Missouri for a dog bite claim is typically five years after the incident; however, it is important that an investigation occurs immediately to ensure the dog does not attack anyone else.
Dog Bites & Children
It comes as no surprise that children have a great affinity for dogs. This affinity is often the driving factor in dog-related child injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that almost five million people a year are attacked by dogs, with 800,000 of these injuries affecting children. The CDC further estimates that 12 people a year die from being attacked by a dog.
In order to protect children from dog bites, it is important to provide both physical oversight and education. Young children are often unable to properly interpret dogs’ behavior. When a child is playing with a dog, they often do not recognize an aggressive stance or behavior. The dog will exhibit a defensive posture, while the unassuming child moves in to pet the animal. This often results in disaster.
Depending on the age of your child, they may be at a point where they are not capable of interpreting various animal attack warning signs. In these cases, it is important that your child is always being watched if he or she is around a dog. When your child is of an appropriate age to understand the meanings of various canine behaviors, time should be spent to ensure they are aware of when it is acceptable to approach and when they should back off.
Children should be aware of some basic dog bite prevention guidelines, including:
- Do not bother a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies
- Do not play aggressive games with a dog, such as wrestling
- Do not approach unfamiliar dogs
- Remain motionless if approached by an unfamiliar dog, never running or screaming
- If knocked down by a dog, remain still and in a ball
It is important to regularly review and teach children dog safety tips, especially if the child is regularly exposed to dogs.
If your child is bitten by another person’s dog, it is important that you immediately seek medical attention. Dogs are carriers of various ailments, such as rabies. If your child is bitten, you want to immediately ask the dog owner for documentation showing their pet’s vaccinations. It is important that wounds do not become infected and are properly cared for by the appropriate medical professionals. It is also important that when you arrive at the ER following a dog attack, you consult with a plastic surgeon to prevent unnecessary scarring, which often accompanies this type of wound.
Dog Bite Prevention for Children & Adults
Annually, millions of people are bitten by dogs, with a large portion of these incidents comprising children. With this information in mind, it is important for adults to have an understanding of the preventative measures they can take to keep themselves and their children from being bitten by a dog.
Here are some dog bite prevention tips for children:
- If your family plans to adopt a dog from a shelter, make sure to inquire about the dogs past well-being and temperament with staff members. Canines with a history of aggression are not suitable in homes with small children.
- Before adopting a new dog and bringing it home, assess the dog’s interaction with both people and with other dogs. If you notice that children exhibit fear or apprehension around the dog, this is typically a warning sign that the dog is aggressive. If a dog does not play well with other canines, this may also indicate the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
- It is important that a child knows not to be the first to approach an unknown dog. If the dog approaches the child, allow it to sniff them before interacting with it. Children typically like to hug dogs around the neck, grab at their faces, or kiss their necks. These tendencies aggravate some dogs and can result in a bite. Teaching children appropriate petting techniques is a good way to ensure that the interaction is mutually enjoyable.
- It can be helpful for children to understand how to read a dog’s body language. Dogs often exhibit certain kinds of body language to warn people that they are uncomfortable with an individual’s approach or energy. If a child doesn’t seem to understand this type of body language, a dog may feel his only recourse is to bite. Some examples of body language that indicate an aggressive or unfriendly dog might include stiff posture, growling, or a raised tail. Similarly, overly frightened dogs may become aggressive. Tell your child that if a dog exhibits these signs while they are interacting, the child should back away and break eye contact.
- Instruct your child to never scream or run away from a dog, as those motions may exacerbate a dog’s urge to bite. Similarly, don’t allow a child to tease a dog, especially if the dog is eating or playing with a food bowl, toy, or bone. While it is important for a parent to teach a child preventative measures for playing with dogs, it is ultimately the dog owner’s responsibility to supervise any interactions the dog has with outsiders.
Below are some actions everyone, whether they are a child or adult, should avoid doing in the presence of a dog:
- Approaching an unfamiliar dog
- Running from a dog
- Panicking or making loud noises in the presence of a dog
- Disturbing a dog that is eating, sleeping or looking after puppies
- Surprising a dog by petting it when it isn’t fully aware of your presence
- Encouraging your dog to play in an aggressive way
- Allowing young children to play with any dog unsupervised
If you are approached by a dog that appears to be acting aggressively, stop, stand still, and don’t look the animal in the eye. You should position yourself with your side facing the dog, as directly facing the dog may make it think you could act aggressively towards it. The next thing to do is place your hands on your neck and tuck in your elbows. This minimizes the possibility of being attacked and bitten.
What If the Dog Owner Argues That the Dog Was Provoked?
Missouri’s new strict liability dog bite law now holds dog owners 100% responsible for their dogs unprovoked attack on another person. However, the state maintains one caveat to the new strict liability standard—the dog attack must have been unprovoked. A dog owner is not responsible for the damage their dog causes if the victim provokes the dog into attacking. The standard of whether or not another individual provoked a dog attack still remains unclear under Missouri statute. Juries are often assigned the task of determining if a certain behavior provoked the dog into attacking the victim. This issue of provocation is determined on a case-by-case basis. However, absent any evidence of provocation by the victim, a dog owner is fully responsible for the actions of their canine.
Overview of St. Louis Aggressive Dog and Dog Bite Laws
The location where the dog bite occurred generally determines the rules applicable to dog owners. Dog attacks often occur:
- On St. Louis streets
- In public parks and recreational areas
- In designated dog parks
- On the owner’s property
- At friends/family members’ homes
- In kennels, training facilities, or vets’ offices
Showing that dog owners violated applicable St. Louis dog safety laws, either directly or vicariously, might entitle injured claimants to accelerated insurance settlements or judgments.
General Leash and Dog Park Laws
To protect public health and safety, St. Louis ordinances contain strict pet and leash laws. They require all dogs to be leashed and securely held by a responsible person capable of handling the dog when off the owner’s property. Missouri City Ordinance 10.04.220 states dog owners must leash their dogs while in public areas and that the leash may not be longer than six feet. The City permits unleashed dogs in designated dog parks but specifies that the law does not allow aggressive and sick dogs in these exercise areas. The law directly states that owners bear liability for injuries caused by their dogs, and they must immediately remove uncontrollable dogs from parks.
Owners must also continually monitor their dogs when in designated off-leash areas, and each person has a three-dog limit. However, the city also prohibits children under 14 from waving their arms, screaming, and engaging in provoking conduct while in dog parks. Defensive dog bites, meaning those occurring following a provocation, may reduce available damages. In situations involving intentional harm to dogs, provocation may prohibit victims from recovering damages.
Premises Liability Laws
Dogs have more freedom in their homes, but this does not excuse aggressive conduct. General premises liability laws apply to dog bite injuries sustained on residential property. As such, dog bite lawyers in Metro East may file premises liability claims against negligent property owners. If the victim was a guest, like a friend or family member over for dinner, then the dog’s owner must take reasonable precautions to protect the guest from aggressive dogs.
This normally includes confining the dog in a designated area, holding small dogs close, and warning guests not to interact with the animal. It may also require owners to actively prevent larger and easily excitable dogs, such as Great Dane puppies and Labradors, from jumping on guests and causing falls.
Licensees—those lawfully permitted on the property without invitations, such as landlords, firefighters, and U.S. postal workers—have similar rights. In such cases, owners must warn the licensee of aggressive and potentially dangerous dogs while following all designated enclosure rules.
Dog bites occurring without provocation might entitle claimants to premises liability damages. Adult trespassers, however, including those trespassing unintentionally or for criminal purposes, do not have the same legal protections. Dogs might even lawfully act as guard dogs.
Trespassers may not recover damages for dog bites in most cases. Likewise, anyone who assaults, abuses, or harasses the dog might forfeit their right to recover dog bite damages. Young children, however, might obtain damages if they can easily access aggressive dogs and cannot appreciate the risk associated with their conduct. If your child was bitten or harmed by a dog in St. Louis, review our child injury page for more information.
Private Enclosures and Non-Owner Property
Dog trainers, kennels/daycares, and vets often assume the risk of handling scared and aggressive animals. However, this does not prevent injured workers from recovering financial damages. Dog owners ultimately bear responsibility for injuries caused by their pets, especially if they violate applicable leash laws.
The individual handling the dog and his/her employer might also share liability for injuries. The law requiring dogs to be on short leashes with capable handlers exists to prevent aggressive tendencies from escalating into attacks. Owners (or their agents) following local dog regulations can often prevent dog bites.
Most Common Injuries and Complications Associated with Dog Bites
Dog attacks often result in severe disfigurement and infections. Even healthy dogs carry extensive bacteria on their teeth, and poorly cared for dogs might have rabies. Get medical professionals to examine and clean bite wounds, even shallow ones.
Victims of St. Louis dog attacks might suffer from the following injuries and illnesses:
- Lacerations/Puncture Wounds – Nearly all dog bites result in deep puncture wounds and lacerations requiring medical intervention. Most clients require wound debridement (cleaning) and stitches/staples. Because many dog bites occur on the hands or legs, many claimants cannot work during the recovery process.
- Bruising and Tendon Damage – Most deep dog bites inflame the damaged area and result in damaged blood vessels or tendons. Bruising and inflammation heal with time, but they often result in difficulties moving damaged joints.
- Infections – It might take up to two weeks for victims to develop symptoms of dog bite infections, including capnocytophaga. Bacterium from the dog’s mouth often enters into the bloodstream resulting in sepsis or related infections. Left untreated, these conditions may result in gangrene and necessary amputations. Some claimants must undergo surgery to clean out these wounds.
- Rabies – This virus spreads to people from infected animals. However, rabies also increases confusion and aggression in dogs. St. Louis requires all dogs to have up-to-date rabies vaccines, but many owners cannot afford this shot or refuse to vaccinate their pets. Emergency doctors normally test for rabies following dog bites because untreated infections may damage the spinal cord and brain, ultimately resulting in death.
- Disfigurement – Both the initial flesh damage and related infections may necessitate skin removal and reconstructive surgery. Health insurers often refuse to cover these cosmetic procedures, leaving claimants unable to pay plastic surgeons. In some cases, an attorney may negotiate litigation liens with local cosmetic surgeons that allow claimants to receive necessary reconstructive surgery and pay doctors from the proceeds of dog-bite settlements.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) – Many claimants underestimate the emotional conditions often associated with dog attacks. Dogs are everywhere, and claimants may develop anxiety disorders following dog bites.
Additional Dog Bite Injuries
- Head trauma
- Neck injuries
- Damage to the face, including eyes, lips, and nose
- Nerve damage
With quick medical intervention, doctors can thoroughly clean and stitch dog bite wounds. They may also administer preventative rabies treatments and prescribe antibiotics to block infections. Most claimants experience financial setbacks when they suffer from disfiguring wounds requiring reconstructive surgery. Not only is this expensive, it often requires multiple procedures and still leaves scars. Experienced St. Louis dog bite lawyers might help claimants recover the compensation needed to cover these essential procedures.
Recovering Damages After St. Louis Dog Attacks and Injuries
Not all injuries caused by dogs result from aggressive dog bites. Sometimes large, overly friendly dogs may knock over individuals in their excitement. Uncut nails may also result in painful gashes, even during non-aggressive play, and dogs grabbing for toys or treats might accidentally nip outstretched hands. The same financial recovery rights apply to St. Louis claimants injured by dogs even if they didn’t suffer from bite wounds.
Most dog bite and injury claims quickly settle with liable insurers because Missouri and Illinois are strict liability dog bite states. If dogs attack peaceful and lawfully present individuals without provocation, the owner is strictly liable for their damages even if the dog never attacked anyone before (see 510 ILCS 5/16). However, most dog owners do not have the finances necessary to pay for expensive surgeries and hospital bills.
In such cases, dedicated St. Louis dog bite attorneys generally demand compensation from property insurers, such as the policy covering the dog’s home or the premises where the injury occurred. For example, Metro East ordinances require all dog park sponsors to maintain at least a $1,000,000 dog bite and injury insurance policy. This means claimants peacefully conducting themselves in dog parks might file claims with this insurer.
Under vicarious liability principles, owners are responsible for dog bites even if another person was handling the dog. The handler and his employer (if working for dog sitting companies) can also share liability for the dog bite. The owner of the premises where the bite occurred, if different, might also be liable for your damages. St. Louis claimants have numerous options for demanding financial compensation after suffering from dog bite injuries.
Distinguishing Between Defensive/Nervous Dog Bites and Dangerous Dog Attacks
Dogs owned by friends and family members bite many claimants. As such, victims may hesitate to report dog bites because they’re afraid of St. Louis animal control. Sometimes it’s necessary to file police reports if unprovoked dogs aggressively stalk you in public places, but sometimes dog bites are simply accidents. Abused rescues may struggle to adjust to their new home, and dogs may mistake certain behaviors for aggression. St. Louis distinguishes between dangerous dogs as defined by city ordinances and dogs without vicious propensities, such as biting after provocation or fear.
With an attorney’s help, you might still recover civil damages without endangering the dog itself. However, claimants should privately discuss their unique claims with our St. Louis dog bite lawyers. Insurers will often request evidence of the dog bite, which generally means emergency room records and witnesses statements in the absence of police reports.
We might help victims of dog bites request that dog owners take additional safety precautions, including muzzling dogs outside the home and placing special warning signs on fences, during the settlement negotiation process. Your legal consultation with our experienced injury attorneys is completely confidential; as such, we can discuss your claims without endangering pets.
Financial Damages Available to Dog Bite Victims in St. Louis
Dog attacks and related injuries often involve owner negligence. As such, personal injury attorneys handle these claims. Victims may recover general personal injury damages following dog bites, which may include direct economic damages and indirect pain and suffering damages.
Your financial recovery and settlement demands may include requests for:
- Ambulance, emergency room, and hospital costs
- Doctors bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Household help
- Cosmetic treatments and surgeries
- Mental health counseling
- Lost income
- Lost employment benefits
- Physical pain
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
When the owner encouraged the dog to attack, the city already declared the dog dangerous, or the owner acted with extreme disregard for your safety, you might demand punitive damages directly from the dog’s owner. Examples include the owner intentionally violating leash laws despite having a dangerous pet or owners refusing to assist during attacks.
Settlement demands may include requests for past expenses, such as initial hospital costs and future anticipated damages. Dedicated St. Louis dog bite lawyers frequently work with cosmetic experts to submit anticipated surgical expense reports to insurers.
St. Louis Dog Bite FAQs
Dog attacks can be traumatizing, and many people are unsure of what to do. A dog bite can cause painful physical injuries, as well as emotional distress, and if you need medical treatment or suffer other losses, you likely have many questions. Below are some frequently asked questions about dog bites in St. Louis and the subsequent legal process. For information about your specific situation and rights, contact The Dixon Injury Firm directly for help from a St. Louis and Metro East dog bite attorney.
Where do dog bites happen in St. Louis?
Dog bites can happen anytime you encounter a dog – and since dogs can be anywhere, dog bites can happen anywhere.
Some places where you might experience an attack by a dog in the Metro area include:
- Public parks, including Forest Park, Tower Grove Park, Stacy Park, Queeny Park, and more
- Dog parks, of which there are many throughout the city and county
- In residential areas where someone might have a dog in the front yard, might be walking a dog, or a dog might escape from a house or yard.
- On sidewalks or streets where dogs might be walking, with or without their owners.
- In or around veterinarian hospitals, doggy daycares, or other dog-related events
- Pet stores, such as Petsmart or Petco, that allow dogs to come inside
You do not have to be anywhere out of the ordinary to encounter a dog that might bite you. In fact, you can be in your next-door neighbor’s yard at a barbecue, at a friend’s birthday party at their home, or another familiar location. Perhaps you even met the dog in question several times and felt comfortable with the dog. All of this can be true, and a dog can still suddenly react unpredictably and bite you.
Where are dog bite happens can influence certain aspects of your claim, so you will want to discuss this factor with a St. Louis dog bite lawyer right away.
How do I report a dog bite?
Report a dog bite through the proper channels whenever possible. First, you might need to call 911 following a dog bite. This can help if you have severe injuries, and it will allow you to explain what happened to law enforcement officers. They can file an incident report, which will show whether or not officers cited a dog owner for any violations.
You might also need to report the bite to authorities who deal strictly with animals, which might include:
These authorities can help to determine whether the dog is up to date on its rabies vaccinations (if it is a dog you don’t know). They can also take proper steps to inform owners and quarantine the dog to help ensure it does not bite others.
Do I always need medical treatment for a dog bite?
Not everyone who gets nipped by a dog needs professional medical care. Some puppies might seem to bite down on a child’s arm or another person, but they do not cause any open wounds. However, if a dog bites you or your child and breaks through the skin, get medical attention. This is true even if the injuries seem minor.
Dogs have sharp pointy teeth that can cause deep puncture wounds, and these wounds are often deeper than they seem. Often, people rendering first aid at home believe they cleaned the wound out sufficiently when in reality, there is still bacteria deep down inside the wound. The skin can heal, closing up the wound, trapping the bacteria underneath. This can lead to a serious infection.
If your wound is bleeding or goes past the first layer of skin, you should always get professional medical help. If nothing else, a medical professional can clean the wound to ensure all bacteria gets out.
They can also render any other medical treatment that might be necessary, including:
- Stitches for deep or wide lacerations
- Imaging tests to diagnose soft tissue injuries or fractures
- Steps to stop bleeding and swelling
- Prescribing antibiotics to prevent infection
If a dog attack results in widespread and serious injuries, it can lead to extensive scarring and disfigurement. The wounds will need to heal before you can learn about options for reconstructive surgery.
Further, if you cannot verify the dog’s vaccination status, or you learn the dog was not up to date on its rabies vaccinations, you might need a rabies vaccine. This must happen right away—often the same day as the bite—or the vaccination will not be effective. If a human does not receive the vaccine and contracts rabies, it is almost always fatal.
To be safe, it is always best to seek medical help after a dog bite. If you incur medical bills, you should then discuss your legal options for compensation with a St. Louis dog bite attorney.
What if I suffered permanent injuries from a dog attack?
In some cases, dog bites can lead to permanent injuries like permanent scarring, disfigurement, or even amputations. In the most serious cases, victims can even face injuries like traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries that may result in long-term disabilities. Such disabilities can range from paralysis to amputation to cognitive impairment.
If you suffer permanent injuries from a dog attack and the dog’s owner is liable, you can likely obtain compensation for your current and future damages. These damages can include lost future income, lost opportunities, lost quality of life, and ongoing pain and suffering, just to name a few.
In cases involving significant future losses, it is often necessary to work with financial and medical experts to determine how much compensation you should receive. Any settlement or award should reflect all of your future losses and account for career advancement, inflation, ongoing medical expenses, and other future developments.
What if my injuries keep me from working?
Some dog bite injuries may keep you from working. This is particularly true if the dog bite an injured part of your body that is critical to your job. For example, if your work takes place on a computer, any injuries to your fingers, hands, wrists, or arms can prevent you from performing your job duties. Similarly, if your work involves physical labor, any injuries at all can prevent you from working.
If you cannot do your job because of a dog bite, you will likely be entitled to compensation for your lost income. In addition, if the dog bite resulted in injuries that can keep you from ever doing your job again, you may be entitled to compensation for all of the income you would have obtained throughout your career.
Can a dog owner defend against a dog bite claim?
Under Missouri law, dog owners are strictly liable for bites. This means that they can be liable even if they had no reason to suspect that their dog had the propensity to bite people. That said, there are some defenses that dog owners might raise if their dog bites someone.
Some of the most common include:
- The defendant was not the owner of the dog and also was not responsible for harboring the dog.
- The victim was unlawfully on private property when the bite took place
- The victim provoked the dog into attacking
In some cases, the defense may try to blame you for the dog bite, arguing that somehow your negligence caused the dog attack. This is just one more reason that you need an attorney as soon as possible after a dog bite.
What happens after a fatal dog bite?
In some tragic cases, dog bites and attacks can be fatal. Fortunately, these incidents are rare when it comes to accidental deaths, as there were reports of only 46 dog bite-related fatalities in the U.S. in a recent year.
Of those fatalities:
- 15 fatalities were children age nine and younger
- Three were minors ages ten to 18
- 28 were adults
- 20 cases involved multiple dogs
- 16 involved dogs that previously showed aggression toward humans or other animals
Tragically, infants and young children under age two make up a significant percentage of dog bite fatalities each year. What can surviving family members do in the wake of such an unexpected and sudden tragedy?
Missouri law allows for such family members to file a claim for wrongful death against the dog owner. On the Metro East side, Illinois law also allows for this type of claim. If the dog bite victim was a child, the parents would file the claim, and for adult victims, a surviving spouse or children can seek compensation.
There is no doubt that wrongful death claims can be difficult. Not only are you grieving the loss of a close family member, but you also might be facing financial stress. Allow a Metro area dog bite attorney to handle every step of the legal process from start to finish. We can assess your rights, determine how to prove liability, calculate your damages, and then seek the full amount of compensation your family deserves for wrongful death.
Do I always need help from a St. Louis dog bite attorney?
It is always a good idea to consult our dog bite attorneys after any injury related to a dog bite or attack.
If your lawyer tells you that you do have a claim and substantial damages, retain an attorney to represent you. Many dog bite cases resolve by reaching a settlement agreement with the dog owner’s homeowners insurance.
While this may sound like a simple task, in reality, insurance companies do everything they can to settle cases for less than victims’ claims are actually worth. Insurance companies often engage in various tricks and tactics to get victims to say things that will justify a lower settlement or even a complete denial of their claims. Fortunately, when you retain an attorney, they will protect your rights and make sure the insurance company treats you ar fairly.
Some dog bite and dog attack cases do end up going to trial. If your case goes to court, you need an experienced dog bite lawyer in your corner to protect your rights and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve under the law.
I already have financial stress – how can I pay a St. Louis dog bite lawyer?
Many people worry about how to afford a lawyer, especially if they also face unexpected medical expenses from a dog bite. If you are in this position, there is no need to stress. At Dixon Injury Firm, we work on a contingency fee basis with all of our injured clients. What that means is that we will never collect legal fees unless we win your case.
If we secure a settlement or court judgment on your behalf, our legal fees will be a predetermined percentage of the amount you recover. If we do not get you any compensation, you will not owe us anything. By using this fee arrangement, we can ensure that everyone who needs legal representation after a dog bite can get it.
The above are only a few of the questions that our legal team hears, and you likely have additional questions and concerns. Contact The Dixon Injury Firm for more information about your legal rights in your specific case. We are here to provide the support you need after a terrifying dog bite incident.
Lawyers in St. Louis Handling Dog Bite Cases
At the Dixon Injury Firm, our dedicated injury litigators handle dog bite and injury claims throughout St. Louis. We might help injured claimants recover needed compensation from dog park insurers, homeowner’s policies, or negligent dog owners. Further, our Metro East dog bite attorneys might provide legal representation to eligible clients without any upfront fees or costs. Many of our clients even recover injury settlements without filing litigation.
Confidentially discuss your dog bite claims with our St. Louis injury lawyers by calling (314) 208-2808 or contacting us online for your free case analysis.
How a Missouri Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
Over 98% of Missouri dog bite claims are settled out of court, most often through negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company. The value of this settlement is critical in ensuring that the dog bite victim is fairly compensated for their losses. Determining the appropriate value of a dog bite settlement can involve reviewing medical records, estimating lost and future earnings, obtaining opinions regarding ongoing medical treatment, subpoenaing veterinary and police department records, and interviewing the dog owner and their neighbors and family. It can be difficult for an ordinary layperson to properly evaluate the fair value of a settlement.
In addition, in some cases, the dog owner is unable to compensate the victim due to a lack of insurance or resources. If this happens, a St. Louis dog bite lawyer from The Dixon Injury Firm can evaluate the situation to determine if there might be another party that could be held liable, such as a landlord.
Contact The Dixon Injury Firm Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite in Missouri, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today to discuss your rights. We offer free initial consultations and provide our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe any attorneys’ fees unless we recover compensation for you.
The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132