Dog bite injuries occur all too often. Attacks that result in a dog bite may happen because a dog is a violent animal or because the owner was negligent in the restraint of their dog. Dog bites can cause devastating injuries to unsuspecting bystanders. This is why there are laws in place that hold dog owners responsible when their dog injures someone.

St. Louis dog bite lawyers have the knowledge and understanding of these types of cases to help dog bite victims pursue a claim for compensation. If you were injured by a dog, a personal injury lawyer could help you pursue damages for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.

Strict Liability for Dog Bite Injuries

Strict liability is a law that allows injured parties to bring forth a claim without having to establish that the other party is at fault. In the case of a dog bite, the fact that a dog bite occurred at all would be enough to pursue a claim under strict liability.However, if a person merely had an unwanted encounter with a dog which did not result in a bite, they may not have grounds to pursue a claim under this law.

According to the Missouri Revised Statutes § 273.036, dog owners in St. Louis are strictly liable for dog bite injuries, as long as the injured individual did not provoke the dog and the bite occurred on a property where the victim was lawfully present. Additionally, the owner may be liable if they knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous propensities.

This statute, however, does not follow the “one bite rule,” meaning that a dog’s dangerous nature will cause the owner to be strictly liable after one bite. If a person is bitten because they provoked the dog into attacking them, the damages they are entitled to receive will generally be reduced proportionately to their fault.

Cases Based on General Negligence

As an alternative to a strict liability case, dog bite victims may be able to argue their case under the laws of negligence. To prove negligence, the victim must demonstrate that the dog owner failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent an injury. Determining what was reasonably necessary to prevent a dog bite injury will depend on the facts of each case.

However, Missouri courts generally view the failure of a dog owner to maintain adequate control over their dog by not having them on a leash as an indication of negligent behavior.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Injuries sustained from a dog bite have the potential to cause devastating injuries including:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Infections
  • Lesions
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Fractures
  • Emotional distress

In some instances, people have actually died from a vicious dog bit. Regardless of how serious or minor a dog bit may be, they almost always
require medical treatment. Ongoing medical treatments or surgery may be needed to properly treat a dog bite injury and can be costly. When dog owners are at fault for a victim’s injuries, a victim can receive compensation for medical costs and other damages.

Work with a St. Louis Dog Bite Attorney Today

The statute of limitations in Missouri for dog bite and other personal injuries is five years, according to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.120. Claims for injuries sustained from a dog bite should be initiated within five years of the date of the attack to avoid being barred by the statute of limitations.

If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog, call to schedule a consultation with a dedicated St. Louis dog bite lawyer. They work to get victims the compensation they are entitled to as a result of their injuries.