Millions of people across the U.S. get bitten by dogs each year. Half of all dog bites are inflicted upon children and almost 20% of dog bite victims require medical attention. If you are the victim of a dog attack or the owner of a dog that bit someone, there can be physical, emotional, and legal consequences.
That’s why the McCallister Law Firm recommends consulting Missouri dog bite injury specialists about your dog bite claim. They can help familiarize you with the laws and build a case to help you recover maximum compensation.
Missouri Dog Bite Laws
Missouri Revised Statutes section 273.036 states that dog owners are liable when their animal bites if:
- the injury was the result of the dog bite
- the injured person was on public property or was lawfully on private property
- the injured person did not provoke the dog to bite
The statute goes on to say that a liable owner must pay a fine of $1,000.00, in addition to paying any other damages that the injured person can prove in the case, such as medical bills or property damage.
Missouri is a “strict liability” state, meaning owners can be liable even if they take reasonable care to prevent the attack. The law also stipulates a statute of limitations of five years that dog bite victims have to file their claim.
Dog Bite Information
Dog bites occur for many reasons, including improper training, stress, or because the dog feels threatened. Training a dog can help owners prevent accidents. Also, providing active supervision for dogs, and keeping them on a leash in public, can help prevent attacks.
Knowing when to avoid a dog can also prevent attacks. Always act appropriately with any animals to avoid any aggressive tendencies or bites. Dog bite legal professionals suggest avoiding dogs when they’re eating, sleeping, nursing, hurt, or sick.
If you are a victim of a dog bite or your dog has bitten someone, you may soon face complex legal proceedings. It is important to understand the applicable laws in Missouri and your options
Dog Bite Damages
When a dog bites someone, the resulting injuries can be mild to severe. The most common injuries associated with dog attacks are:
- Broken bones
- Emotional trauma
- Nerve damage
- Open cuts or lacerations
- Permanent scarring
Missouri allows financial recovery in a dog bite case. These damages often include all expenses incurred as a result of these injuries. Injured persons may be compensated in a dog attack lawsuit for the following damages:
- Loss of wages and income
- Medical treatment costs
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Rehabilitation costs
Dog Bite Legal Options
After you’ve been attacked by a dog, it is important to collect as much information as you can about the incident. This includes any medical documents, police reports, animal control records, witnesses’ names and addresses, and letters from the insurance company. This information can help your dog bite attorney build a strong case.
Dog Bite Case Average Settlement
Dog bite settlements are calculated using various factors in the case. The settlement you’re entitled to will depend on the type and severity of the damages suffered and the circumstances surrounding the incident. Most dog-bite claims for which liability rests on the dog’s owner are paid by the owner’s insurance.
Considering these factors and the amount of damage suffered by the injured person, the dog owner will try to avoid going to trial by negotiating a settlement. Settlements allow for adequate compensation while both parties avoid expensive trial expenses. The average settlement for a dog bite claim can range between $25,000 and $50,000.