Dog ownership in the United States is on the rise. In 2017, there were an estimated 90 million dogs owned as pets in the U.S. Dogs provide companionship and protection, but, unfortunately, sometimes a dog can rage out of control and cause extensive physical and psychological damage to its victim. According to the CDC, approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year, and 800,000 of those dog bites result in medical care. Dog bites can cause pain and injury, but they can also spread germs that lead to infections.
Any dog can bite; thus, it is important to learn how to enjoy dogs without getting injured. There are many reasons why a dog may become aggressive, but the most common reasons for dog attacks are if the dog is provoked, feels threatened, or is poorly trained. In Missouri, owners and possessors of animals have a legal duty to control their pets.
If you’re on either side of a dog bite claim in Missouri, whether as a dog owner or as someone who was injured, you want to have an understanding of the state laws that could affect your case. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at Missouri’s “dog bite statute,”.
Missouri’s Dog Bite Laws
Under the Missouri state law, anyone who has been bitten by a dog can seek financial compensation for their injuries. As long as the victim did not provoke the attack in any way, the owner is now liable for any and all injuries. Victims of a dog bite can seek financial compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, pain, psychological or emotional trauma and future disabilities.
Until 2009, Missouri used to be a “one bite state”. The dog bite tort law in MO used to require the personal injury victim show the dog had vicious propensities and that the owner of the dog knew of the propensities.
What To Do After a Dog Bite
If you are injured in a dog attack, don’t talk to anyone, especially the animal owner’s homeowners’ insurance company. Seek medical attention, take photographs and then call a personal injury lawyer.
If You’ve Been Attacked By a Dog Speak to Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Since the laws surrounding these injuries are complex, it is always best to speak to an experienced injury attorney after a dog attack. Sticklen Dreyer Tinney Law Firm assists dog bite victims across Columbia, Missouri, and the Joplin metropolitan area, on a contingency fee basis, so we do not collect any fees or payments until after your case is won. Contact us today to set up your free initial consultation.