Taking Legal Action for Dog Bites
Although dogs usually make great and loyal pets, sometimes they may end up attacking someone and leave a person seriously injured. Too often the news is filled with horror stories surrounding dog bites with victims ranging from infants to the elderly. In the News This past spring, a dog estimated to be more than 100 pounds attacked a 2-year-old girl from central Missouri, causing injuries severe enough that medical personnel took the girl to University Hospital by helicopter. The child had “multiple serious injuries,” including severe bite marks to the head, lower abdomen, and hip. Owners may deny that their dog has been aggressive in the past, despite the harm their dog may cause. However, Missouri law holds that a dog owner is responsible for any injuries that result from their dog biting someone. Getting a Legal Opinion If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you should consider consulting a lawyer. An attorney will be able to tell you whether you have a legal claim, and what damages you may be able to recover. For example, if an animal owner knows in advance that their animal is dangerous and could cause injury to a person, the animal owner can be held liable for the animal's harmful actions.
Recovering Damages from Dog Bites
Depending on the seriousness of injuries resulting from an animal attack, you may be entitled to recover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
In some instances where the owner's behavior was intentional, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. For example, if a dog owner knew his dog was aggressive but allowed the dog to run free near a school, and the dog eventually attacked a child, a jury could conclude that punitive damages are appropriate.
Necessary Steps to Obtain Compensation
If you experience a dog bite in St. Louis, take these important steps:
- Immediately get any necessary medical attention and take photographs of your wounds
- Gather any information you can about the dog and the bite including dog's color, breed and size, owner's name and contact information and any witnesses to the incident
- Report the incident to the appropriate authorities such as to the Louis Control Center and the local city police department
- Consult an attorney to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages
If you have been bitten, knocked over by, or otherwise injured by someone else's dog, we can help. At Wolff & Wolff our St. Louis, Missouri office proudly serves the St. Clair, St. Charles and surrounding communities. Our expert team understands that dog bites can be painful and require medical attention. We will handle your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery from this traumatic event. We are dedicated to producing the most advantageous result for our clients who have been victims of a dog bite. Contact our expert team now at (314) 241-2500.