What Should You Do If You’re Bitten By a Dog?
By Chris Dixon
When a dog bite accident happens, it’s essential to stay calm and immediately consult an experienced lawyer. An estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, many of which require medical treatment for their injuries. If you are one of the thousands of people injured in dog bite accidents every year, a Dog Bite Lawyer can help you determine the best way to proceed with your case, get justice for your injuries, and fight for the maximum amount of compensation that you could be entitled to from the dangerous dog’s owner.
Most Common Causes of Dog Bite Accidents
Dog bite accidents can inflict severe injuries and financial damages on victims, and even cause chronic pain and suffering. The most common victims of dog bite accidents are children under 9 that have a dog in their household. According to a study on pediatric facial dog bites, the chances of a child getting bitten by a dog during their lifetime are around 50%, with 80% of severe dog bites involving injuries to the victim’s head or neck.
Many things can cause a dog to bite someone, whether it’s due to the victim or dog owner’s negligence. Some of the more common causes of dog bite accidents include:
- Disturbing a dog while it is sleeping, eating, or drinking water
- Children engaging in rough play with a dog
- Touching a dog without the owner’s permission
- Yelling or throwing things at a dog
- Trespassing on someone else’s property
- An owner allowing a dog to roam around unrestrained and unsupervised
Proving Liability When You Are Bitten By a Dog
Dog bite laws vary from state to state, and whether a dog’s owner is liable for the animal’s actions if someone is bitten depends on the rule of negligence that the specific state observes. For example, comparative or contributory negligence. The state of Missouri uses pure comparative negligence for dog bite accidents, which states that if another person’s animal bites someone, the victim can sue the dog’s owner to recover compensation for their harm and losses, even if the owner wasn’t aware that the dog could potentially harm other people or animals. Under the strict liability tort in Missouri, liability in a dog bite accident can be proved by providing evidence of injuries, proof that the victim wasn’t trespassing or provoking the dog, and by filing a claim within the state’s dog bite statute of limitations, but in other states, proving liability can be more challenging.
Some states, such as Texas and Virginia, observe the “one bite rule.” The one bite rule allows for dog’s to get “one free pass” if they bite or injure another person, property, or animal. However, this can be overruled in most states by the victim with substantial evidence. Generally, if there is evidence that proves that the animal acted dangerously in the past or the owner knew or reasonably should have known that the dog was capable of harming others, the victim can file a claim against the dog’s owner and recover compensation for their injuries and financial damages. That being said, if the dog’s owner can prove that the injured person provoked the dog or was trespassing on private property at the time of the accident, the victim could be barred from recovering damages. The process of recovering compensation for a dog bite accident can be complicated and requires substantial knowledge of a state’s personal injury laws, but with an experienced attorney on your side, this can significantly increase the likelihood of winning damages.
Speak with a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer Today
No one understands your state’s dog bite rules and regulations better than a lawyer. If you or someone you love has been harmed in a dog bite accident, a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer can assess your situation and create a personalized plan to recover damages from the negligent party involved. Dog owners often attempt to push back against claims that their dog is dangerous and a threat to others and could try to claim that you provoked the animal or trespassed on private property at the time of the accident, which could result in your claim being thrown out.
Christopher Dixon and the St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm are committed to preserving details from your dog bite accident and making sure that you are protected during this difficult time. Our lawyers have the legal knowledge required to recover even the most challenging to get evidence and can ensure that your case has the strongest claim possible. To date, Christopher Dixon has recovered more than $35,000,000 in settlements and recoveries for personal injury victims and has repeatedly earned recognition as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers Association.
If you have been involved in a dog bite accident, and need help figuring out what you should do after being bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to call (314) 409-7060, 855-40-2724, or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation with our Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Louis.