Were you or your family member bitten by a dog in St. Louis, MO? Dog bite injuries can be extremely serious. Fortunately, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced St. Louis dog bite lawyer at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers can help you seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering, contact us today at (314) 444 4444.
Collectively, our lawyers have decades of experience helping injured clients recover the compensation they deserve. In fact, we’ve already recovered over $50 million for accident victims.
You don’t have to deal with the insurance companies alone. To get the legal advice you deserve, call our law offices in St. Louis, Missouri, to schedule a free consultation today.
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How Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Dog Bite in St. Louis
At Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers, we know that a dog bite can be a traumatic experience for the victim and their family. While you can’t hold the dog liable, you can fight to hold the dog owner accountable for the harm they’ve caused.
Dog bites are covered under most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies. On the other hand, the insurance company won’t make it easy to recover compensation that covers all of your losses. You’ll need an experienced St. Louis injury lawyer by your side.
Our lawyers have decades of experience handling cases like yours. Over the years, we’ve been recognized as Super Lawyers and National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers.
When you hire our AV-rated lawyers to protect you, we will:
- Gather evidence to prove your case
- Assess the fair value of your personal injury claim
- Hire top-rated experts and specialists as needed
- Handle all paperwork and communications with the insurance company
- Negotiate with the insurance company to recover the maximum compensation possible
Let us put our years of experience to work for you. Call to schedule a free consultation with our St. Louis personal injury attorneys today.
How Common Are Dog Bite Injuries in St. Louis?
According to CDC estimates, about 4.5 million Americans suffer dog bite injuries each year. About 800,000 dog bite injuries are serious enough to require medical care. According to research published by the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners’ insurance policies paid out roughly $882 million for dog bite injury claims in 2021.
In a single year, 355 dog bite claims were reported to insurance companies in Missouri. Those claims cost insurance companies about $16.83 million.
Many dog bite victims are children. Kids often fail to realize that a dog can be dangerous. Unfortunately, children are also most likely to suffer the most serious injuries when a dog attacks.
What Is My St. Louis Dog Bite Case Worth?
It’s important for your lawyer to carefully review the facts before estimating your case value. Like a car accident claim, your case value will depend on a variety of factors.
Some of the most important factors include:
- The nature and severity of the injuries you’ve suffered
- The cost of your past medical treatment and anticipated future expenses
- The value of your lost wages
- The pain, trauma, and personal suffering you’ve endured
- Whether the attack will impact your future work, education, or quality of life
- The circumstances of the attack and the nature of the dog owner’s actions
Unfortunately, children often suffer the most serious long-term trauma. It’s important to account for all potential future damages before accepting a settlement, including ongoing pain and PTSD.
In complex cases, our lawyers will work with experts and specialists to estimate your case value. With their assistance, we’ll be well-prepared to demand the maximum compensation you deserve.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims?
You only have one chance to recover compensation for all of the damages you’ve sustained. Under Missouri law, you have to identify the specific losses you’ve suffered.
Accident victims in Missouri can recover compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages. While economic damages compensate for your financial expenses, non-economic damages represent your personal suffering and trauma.
As a dog bite victim, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses, including ER visits, hospitalization, follow-up doctor’s visits, reconstructive surgeries, and medications
- Lost wages and income
- Lost future earning potential
- Physical therapy
- Nursing care and in-home assistance
- Counseling, especially if the victim was a young child
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium
Our lawyers can help you gather the information and evidence you need to prove the types of damages you’ve suffered. Just call for a free case evaluation today.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Dog Bite in Missouri?
Missouri follows a pure comparative negligence law. In most accident cases, victims can recover compensation even if they’re partly responsible. However, your compensation will be reduced if you share some of the blame.
Shared fault laws are typically only relevant in negligence cases. While dog bite owners can be strictly liable for damages, shared fault may still be an issue. For example, if the owner claims you provoked the dog, you could end up taking home less money than you deserve.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can cause significant injuries. Often, those injuries are much more serious than the puncture wound itself.
Some of the most common types of dog bite injury include:
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Severe bruising and contusions
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Facial injuries
- Avulsions, or deep breaks in the skin that tear it from the underlying tissue
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
Our legal team at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you fight for compensation regardless of the types of injuries you’ve sustained. All you have to do is call our law firm to schedule a free initial consultation today.
Do I Have to Prove Negligence to Recover Compensation After a Dog Bite in Missouri?
Missouri dog bite victims don’t have to prove negligence to recover damages. In other words, the dog owner can be held strictly liable for damages under Missouri dog bite laws.
Dog owners can be strictly liable:
- The dog bites and injures you
- You were lawfully on private property or on public property
- You did not provoke the dog
The dog owner can be held liable for damages even if the owner had no prior knowledge that the dog was aggressive. So, to recover damages for a dog bite injury, you won’t have to prove that the dog owner was careless or reckless.
Negligence Theories in Dog Bite Injury Cases
However, you may have to prove negligence in other cases. The strict liability statute only applies if the dog bites and injures you. If the dog attacks but doesn’t bite, you’ll have to prove that the dog owner was negligent to recover damages. For example, you may be required to prove negligence if the dog jumps, claws or scratches and causes injuries.
There are many different ways to prove negligence. For example, you may be able to recover damages if:
- The dog was allowed to roam the neighborhood unsupervised
- The dog wasn’t confined to a secure location
- The dog’s owner violated St. Louis leash laws
Cases involving dog bites and animal attacks can be complicated. Our St. Louis dog bite attorneys at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers can conduct a full investigation. You can count on us to find the evidence you need to support your dog bite claim.
Defenses to Strict Liability Laws
In most dog attack cases, strict liability laws will apply. However, it’s possible that the owner might raise a valid defense.
Valid defenses include:
- The dog attacked but did not bite you
- You were trespassing at the time of the dog bite
- You provoked the dog
These defenses could make it more difficult to recover compensation. That makes it especially important to have an experienced lawyer in your corner.
Our lawyers will do everything we can to prove negligence in these cases. We’ll interview neighbors, search for past animal control reports, locate any video footage, and more.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite in Missouri?
A five-year statute of limitations applies in Missouri personal injury cases. That means you have five years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait any longer, you’ll lose your right to seek compensation.
Contact a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or your child were bitten by a dog, our experienced lawyers are here to help. Having a trusted advocate in your corner can greatly increase your chances of recovering full compensation. Take the first step and call Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation with a St. Louis dog bite lawyer.