St. Louis County Dog Bite Lawyer
Many people in St. Louis County consider their dogs to be an important part of their family. Others see dogs merely as a tool they use for security or other purposes. Regardless of the attitude displayed by a dog owner, the owner is required to take responsibility for the actions of their dog.
When a dog bites someone or causes other injuries, the owner may be liable to pay for the consequences. A St. Louis County dog bite lawyer could assist if you suffered injuries caused by a dog. A skilled injury attorney could determine whether you may be entitled to compensation and represent your interests throughout the claims process to help you achieve a fair outcome.
What Responsibilities Do Dog Owners Have?
In St. Louis County, dogs may be prohibited from roaming at large and are required to be kept in a cage, building, or restrained on a leash.
Dog owners may also be required to use reasonable care to prevent their dogs from causing harm to others, such as by jumping on them or knocking them over. A St. Louis County dog bite attorney could argue that failure to fulfill these responsibilities is proof that a dog owner was negligent and should be held liable for harm caused by their dog.
Strict Liability Dog Bite Statute in St. Louis County
According to Mo. Rev. Stat. §273.036, dog owners are held strictly liable when their dog bites someone “without provocation.” If someone is on public property or lawfully enters private property and suffers a dog bite, the owner of the dog is liable regardless of whether the owner has knowledge of a previous propensity to bite. This statute applies even if the dog bite occurs on the dog owner’s property.
Since the statute only applies to those who are “lawfully” on property, a dog owner could argue that the person bitten was trespassing. A dog bite lawyer in St. Louis County could gather evidence to demonstrate lawful entry onto the property.
If the person bitten was partially to blame for the incident, the statute specifies that the contributory responsibility would not prevent recovery of damages. However, the amount received would be “reduced by the same percentage that the damaged party’s fault contributed to the incident.”
What Damages May Be Recovered After a Dog Bite?
Many economic factors may be provided for in a damage award, as a dog bite or other injury caused by a dog may have many consequences. For example, victims may miss time at work in order to heal from their injuries. In addition, they may also incur medical costs which could prove to be expensive.
In addition, victims may able be able to receive compensation for non-economic factors such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment. A St. Louis County dog bite lawyer could calculate an appropriate value for these consequences based on prior case law.
Consult a St. Louis County Dog Bite Attorney
Improperly restrained dogs may cause someone a significant amount of harm and pain. When those injuries require medical treatment, it may be wise to consult a St. Louis County dog bite lawyer to discover your options for recovering compensation.
The Missouri statute of limitations allows five years from the time of an injury for someone to file a claim seeking damages. However, to obtain evidence that can be used to establish liability, it is wise to act well before the statutory deadline becomes an issue. For a free consultation, call now.