Missouri Dog Bites On the Rise

Dog bites in the US? Nearly 4.5 million per year, according to CDC statistics. When you take these numbers into consideration, the scope of the problem (including liability claims, animal control, etc.) begins to come into focus.

Dog and animal bites are a serious issue. The dog bite lawyers at Dixon Injury Firm handle several of these cases every year in Missouri and Illinois. Our goal is simple: To protect our clients and our families via recompensation of medical bills, hardship, emotional harm, and other expenses.

Injury claims like dog bites should not be taken lightly. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites accounted for more than $600 million in insurance liability claims just two years ago. The amount of money involved in dog bite claims is ridiculous when you consider the average hospital stay ($18,200) and the likelihood of being party to a dog-related injury.

Dog Bite Claims

For Missouri residents, it appears we have the highest animal bite rate in the country. 2,700 insurance claims in 2016 alone.

So what do you do if you’ve been bitten by a dog?

This depends on a lot of factors. Among these, dog bite lawyers look to see if the victim was legally allowed on the property where the bite occurred, if the attack was provoked, and other variables your St. Louis dog bite attorney can investigate to ensure swift compensation.

There are a few different types of dog owners’ liability based on the state you are in. These include:

  1. The dog-bite statute, or when the owner is automatically liable for property damage and injuries (without provocation).
  2. If the victim proves the owner was being negligent, i.e. the owner knew the dog was dangerous/the owner was careless, the victim’s claim falls under negligence.
  3. The “one-bite rule,” or when a victim proves the owner knew the animal was capable of causing property damage or injuries.

Homeowners insurance companies are aware of the increase in dog attacks. In fact, more than one-third of payouts through homeowners insurance were due to animal bites. A lot of companies will have pet owners sign liability forms or pay higher premiums.

A recent, rising concern for dog bite attorneys is a dog’s breed. Notably, this refers (unfairly yet statistically) to pitbulls. A lot of cities have actually banned pitbulls, including Springfield, MO, Sioux City, Iowa, San Bernardino, Toronto, and others. Pitbull bans are backed by statistics, of course, and insurance companies are protecting themselves by denying claims caused by these breeds. Even the aforementioned cities are taking action.

Dog Bite Injuries

The most common injuries from dog attacks include punctures, tissue lose, fractured bones, infections, and lacerations. In 2015, more than 28,000 people (PDF) underwent reconstructive surgery. It’s important for dog owners to raise their animals well and care for them, but this responsibility comes down on both sides of the fence.

At Dixon, we deal with all kinds of personal injury and dog bite claims. With the experience, resources, and determination to win your next case, all it takes is a phone call to (314)409-7060 for a free case review and consultation. Dixon Injury Firm is here for you and your family recover from these horrible accidents. Let us know how we can help.

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