St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs are beautiful animals that can provide companionship, love, and security to their owners. However, dogs can also be dangerous if they are not adequately trained and supervised.
It’s no secret that canines can be unpredictable, and even the gentlest breeds can become agitated and lash out, biting unsuspecting humans who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Are you the victim of a dog bite? The personal injury attorneys at Injury Lawyer Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, are legal advocates for injured victims who encountered dogs on sidewalks or running loose in the neighborhood.
Contact an experienced St. Louis dog bite lawyer to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information shared with their legal team concerning filing a dog bite lawsuit remained private through an attorney-client relationship.
Dog Bite Statistics in the United States
Any dog breed can bite. However, specific breeds are more likely to cause serious injury or death.
Victims of dog bites often suffer serious and even fatal injuries. Every year, more than 800,000 people of the more than 4.1 million dog attacks in the United States seek medical treatment for their injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 50% of dog bite victims are children. The US Postal Service reports that every year around 5,600 mail carriers are bitten by dogs.
St. Louis, Missouri Dog Bite Statistics
According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, there were 1,023 dog attacks reported in the city in 2020. The number of bites and attacks has increased over the years.
In 2019, there were 967 reported dog bites. Of those attacked by dogs in St. Louis in 2017, 21% were children between the ages of 0 and 9 years old.
Local law enforcement keeps track of “dangerous” dogs in the city limits. As of December 31, 2020, dog owners registered 516 “dangerous” dogs in the city of St. Louis.
What to Do if A Dog in St. Louis Bites You
Immediately following a dog bite, it is vital to take action to protect yourself and minimize your injuries. Try to remain calm if a dog bites you and avoid antagonizing the animal.
Have someone at the scene call the police while you tend to your injuries if you or a loved one was attacked or bitten by a dog. It is crucial to take the following steps:
- Seek medical care immediately, even if the dog bite injuries seem minor. Some dog bites can result in serious infection, nerve damage, and other complications.
- Report the dog bite case to animal control as required by Missouri law.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses to the incident and ask if anyone knows the dog owner.
- Take photographs of your dog bite injuries and any torn clothing or damage to personal property.
- Do not sign any documents an insurance company provides without consulting personal injury lawyers from our St. Louis personal injury attorneys.
- Contact a St. Louis dog bite lawyer to discuss your legal options and help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Dog owners must provide information if their pet has been adequately vaccinated for rabies and other medical conditions. Call a St. Louis dog bite lawyer from our law offices for a free consultation if you need help holding the dog’s owner accountable.
Where Dog Bites Occur Most Often
Sidewalks, parks, and streets can also be dangerous areas for pedestrians to encounter roaming dogs, especially if the dog is unfamiliar to them. Dogs may also bite people when they are meeting them for the first time, such as when visiting someone’s home or encountering a loose dog on the street.
Dogs running loose off-leash is one of the most common situations in which people are bitten. These dogs are often excited and may not be familiar with their surroundings, leading them to become startled or aggressive.
When dog owners don’t control their pet on public or private property, the animal might feel threatened or territorial around people, leading to a bite. Dogs tied up or in someone’s yard are less likely to bite, as they usually don’t feel threatened.
Dogs often feel threatened or become territorial if they feel in danger, leading them to bite people, especially if someone tries to approach the dog.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Various common injuries can be sustained from an animal bite, including:
- Crushing or bruising of the underlying soft tissues
- Tears to the skin and soft tissues
- Permanent scarring
- Severe lacerations
- Soft tissue damage
- Reduced physical function
- Raised, noticeable scars
- Penetration through the chest wall, potentially causing lung collapse
- Penetration through the abdominal wall, potentially causing damage to intestinal organs
- Severe fractures
- Joint dislocations
Any serious injuries can be excruciating and may require extensive medical attention. In some dog bite cases, animal attack victims may also suffer from psychological trauma due to the attack, involving:
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Low self-esteem
Dog bites often occur without warning and can happen to anyone, regardless of age or gender. However, children are generally more vulnerable to serious injury because their smaller size makes it easier for a dog to inflict significant damage.
Elderly people are also at an increased risk for severe injury due to frailty and potential osteoporosis.
Seek medical attention immediately after sustaining an animal bite, even if the wound appears minor. Some wounds may not appear serious at first but can become infected quickly. In more severe cases, dog bites can lead to severe infections, organ damage, and even death.
What Dog Bite Victims Should Do to Avoid Dog Attacks
The best way to avoid being attacked by a dog is to be aware of the signs that a dog may be aggressive. If a dog is barking, growling, or snarling, or if it is lunging and snapping, it is likely that the dog is feeling threatened and may attack.
Back away slowly if you see a dog exhibiting these behaviors, and avoid eye contact. If a dog attacks you, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. First, try to let the dog attack something on you that isn’t you.
For example, if you’re wearing a sweater, get your arm out of a sleeve and get that sleeve in the dog’s face. If the dog takes the bait, let it pull the sweater off, then slowly back out of the area.
To the dog, it has just gotten hold of a piece of you, which may distract you long enough to get to safety. It’s probably good practice to always have something on you that you can use, whether it’s a sweatshirt tied loosely around your waist, a stick, or even a stuffed animal toy.
If you can’t get away from the dog, try to put something between you and the dog—for example, drop to the ground and curl into a ball. Protect your head and neck by keeping your hands over your head.
Holding The Dog Owner Accountable for Dog Bite Fatalities And Severe Injuries
Most people know that dog owners are liable for their dog’s actions, but many may not be aware of the specifics surrounding this liability. In general, the pet’s owner is strictly liable for any damage or injuries their dog causes, regardless of whether or not the owner was negligent.
What is Strict Liability?
In general, people are only held legally responsible for their actions if they knew or should have known their actions could cause harm. The incident could happen on public or private property.
For example, if you drive carelessly and crash into another car, injuring the driver, you can be sued for negligence. The other driver would have to prove that you were careless and that your carelessness caused the accident and their injuries.
However, there are some situations where a person can be held legally responsible even if they did not know their actions could cause harm or if they took precautions to prevent harm, or in legal terms, strict liability. An example of strict liability is when a product manufacturer is held legally responsible for injuries caused by a defect in their product, even if they did not know about the defect.
Why Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit with the Pet Owner’s Insurance Company Might Be Necessary
Some activities are considered so dangerous that anyone engaging in them can be held strictly liable if someone is injured. Strict liability includes both injuries inflicted by bites and other means of attack.
In some cases, however, an owner may be able to avoid liability if they can prove that the victim was trespassing or provoked the attack. Despite these exceptions, the injured person harmed in a dog attack can receive compensation from the owner’s homeowner’s insurance company.
If a dog attack has injured you, you must understand your rights and seek legal counsel from a St. Louis dog bite lawyer from our law office as soon as possible. Our personal injury lawyers can handle every aspect of your dog bite lawsuit to ensure you are adequately compensated for damages.
Fatal Dog Attack
There have been many fatal dog attacks in the United States. The breeds of dogs that are most often responsible for these attacks are Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. These breeds account for 76% of all such attacks. Dogs classified as Mastiffs and Siberian Huskies also rank high on the list.
Many fatal dog attacks occur when a person is bitten by a dog they know. In some cases, the dog may be aggressive and pose a threat to people, even if it has never bitten anyone before. In other cases, the dog may play around and not intend to cause any harm, but a person may still get injured.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim or Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Any dog owner can be held legally accountable when their pet attacks and hurts adults, children, other pets, or destroys personal property. A St. Louis dog bite lawyer will follow state leash laws to represent injured victims in animal attack cases to ensure they are compensated for damages.
Dog Bite Fatalities and Wrongful Death
Missouri law allows surviving family members who lost a loved one and a dog attack to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner, citing wrongful death. Qualifying family members might include the surviving spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, sibling, or relative.
Typical Damages in Dog Bite Claims
Our personal injury law office can build the dog bite case to seek compensation on your behalf. Possible damages could include:
- Emergency room expenses
- Hospital costs and current medical bills
- Future medical expenses for additional surgeries and procedures
- Mental health care costs for treating PTSD and other psychological conditions
- Pain, suffering, mental anguish, and emotional trauma
- Funeral and burial costs in cases involving dog bite fatalities
- Loss of consortium and companionship
Our St. Louis dog bite attorneys understand the physical, financial, and emotional impact a severe injury can have on your life. The dog bite attorney from our law office will investigate the dog bite attack to determine all liable parties and help you seek maximum compensation for your damages.
Contact Our Experienced St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers
If a dog attacked you or someone you love, we want to hear from you. Our St. Louis dog bite lawyers will review your case for free and help you understand your legal rights and options.
Contact our St. Louis personal injury attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced dog bite lawyer.
Our personal injury legal team accepts every dog bite claim and wrongful death lawsuit on a contingency fee agreement. This promise ensures you will pay no legal fees until your dog bite lawyer resolves her case, a negotiated settlement, or a jury award.