How Do You Sue If You’re Bit By a Dog in Missouri?
By Chris Dixon
Missouri uses the rule of strict liability, which allows dog bite victims to sue a dog’s owner to recover compensation for their harm and losses caused in a dog bite accident. However, if the accident occurred on private property or the victim provoked the dog and contributed to the accident in any way, the total number of damages that the injured person can recover is proportionate to the percentage of fault they had in the accident. Not to mention, Missouri has a strict deadline for dog bite claims and several requirements that must be met before suing for damages. Hiring an experienced lawyer to represent your case makes sure that you are eligible to sue for damages after being bit by a dog in Missouri and ensures that you are following Missouri’s requirements for filing a personal injury claim.
Can You Sue a Dog’s Owner If You’re Bitten by a Dog in Missouri?
There are many ways that a dog bite accident in Missouri can occur, but typically, if a person provokes a dog, trespasses on private property, or is otherwise negligent and is bitten by an animal, the victim is ineligible to sue the animal’s owner for damages. In the state of Missouri, if there is substantial proof that a person was bitten by a dog without provocation, on public property, and the owner knew the dog was dangerous, under strict liability, an injured person can recover compensation for emotional, physical, and property damage from being bitten by a dangerous dog.
What Damages Can I Sue For If I’m Bit By a Dog in Missouri?
Missouri’s statute of limitations requires injury claims to be filed within five years of the date the accident. Generally, a dog bite claim includes a copy of the police report from the accident, evidence of injuries, a copy of the report made to St. Louis Animal Control regarding the attack, and proof that the accident happened on public property without provocation.
An experienced lawyer can help gather this information quickly, determine if you can sue the dog’s owner, and if you are, develop a claim to recover compensation for your harm and losses caused in the dog bite accident. Dog bite injuries can be severe, and the primary victims of these accidents are children under the age of 9 with a dog in their household, or at a close friend or family member’s home. The most commonly reported injuries in dog bite attacks include damage done to the head, lips, and face, which can be slow-healing, and in some cases, permanent.
It’s essential to keep in mind that every case isn’t eligible to sue for damages, but hiring a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer right after the accident happens can increase the likelihood of recovering compensation. The most common types of damages that can be sued for after being bit by a dog in Missouri include:
- Medical bills, medical accessories, and other expenses that stemmed from the dog bite accident
- Dog bite accidents can be traumatic – compensation for emotional or mental distress after a dog bite accident is often recoverable
- If a victim had to miss work or experienced a loss of income because of their injuries, they could be eligible for reimbursement
- Depending on the severity of an accident, dog bites can be severe and can cause lasting damage to personal property such as phones, glasses, and other items that a person had on them when the dog attacked
Speak with a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Louis Today
If you are unsure what to do after you’re bitten by a dog in Missouri, you need to hire a lawyer. An experienced lawyer can make sure that you are eligible to file a claim given the circumstances of the accident, help you gather evidence to support your claim with, and create a personalized plan to recover the compensation that you may be entitled to because of the dog owner’s negligence.
Christopher Dixon and the St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm know Missouri’s dog bite laws and statute better than anyone. Our lawyers are committed to doing everything they can to obtain justice for personal injury victims in St. Louis and will take the time to make sure that you and your family are taken care of during this difficult time. Chris Dixon has repeatedly been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers, and has recovered more than $35,000,000 in settlements and recoveries for personal injury victims.
If you have been bitten by a dog in Missouri, and need help determining if you are eligible to sue for damages, call (314) 409-7060, 855-40-2724, or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation with our St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers.