Dog Bite Injuries Can Be Devastating
Have you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a dog bite or other animal attack? While most animals are kind in nature, there are instances when a dog can attack, inflicting serious injury, or even death.
At TorHoerman Law Firm, an experienced St. Louis dog bite lawyer can help with any questions you may have regarding a dog bite lawsuit.
What Should I Do If I’m Bitten By a Dog?
While dogs are a man’s best friend, they can inflict serious injury and damage if they attack. After an attack, you, or your loved one, should seek immediate medical treatment. Either call 911 or go to the emergency room. In St. Louis, there are a number of hospitals you can choose from – Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Saint Alexius Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Saint Louis University Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital are some of the most prominent.
Regardless of the medical center, you choose to get your injuries treated, medical care is a priority. Once your injuries have been taken care of, and before talking with an insurance company, you should contact a St. Louis dog bite lawyer to help you with further steps.
Steps in a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawsuit
In the situation that you have been attacked by a dog or other domesticated animal, follow these three steps to ensure that you have a strong case against the owner.
- Seek medical attention right away. Contact emergency responders or visit your doctor for a thorough exam.
- Record important information such as photos of the injury and scene, contact information of the owner, witness testimonies, and a detailed description of the incident and the animal.
- Report the incident to both the St. Louis Animal Regulation Center and the St. Louis Police Department as soon as possible after the incident has taken place. Both agencies need to know about dog bite victims.
What are the Laws in Missouri?
Missouri law defines the liability of animal attack incidents by strict liability rules. According to the law, if an unprovoked dog attacks a person on public property, or lawfully on private property, the dog’s owner is held liable.
If the animal attacked another person or animal and was unprovoked, the owner is liable for the injuries sustained from the attack regardless of the dog’s nature, breed, or history of non-violence.
Missouri used to have a “dangerous dog breed” law that basically held owners of certain dog breeds to a higher standard because of their “inherently more dangerous nature.” However, this law was changed and liability is the same for all dog owners, regardless of breed.
The statute of limitations in Missouri is two years from the date the incident occurred. If you were bitten by a dog and suffered a dog bite injury, it is important to contact a lawyer right away.
How to Take Legal Action
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision, but after choosing a St. Louis injury lawyer, they will be able to assist you in further legal action.
To file a claim against a dog owner, it must first be established that the owner can be held liable for the incident. The injuries that you endure must be the direct result of the dog bite.
After establishing a liable party, make a list of all current and future costs resulting from the injury. These costs may include:
- Medical Bills
- Expected Future Medical Costs
- Lost Wages
- Permanent Scarring
- Permanent Disability
A dog bite is a traumatic event and often results in psychological scarring. Along with physical damages (injury), you may be entitled to compensation, in the form of punitive damages, for any emotional damages that you endured.
You will likely have to deal with an insurance provider at some point during the duration of the claims process. It is important to compile tangible evidence to prove that the bite did occur, otherwise the insurance provider may refuse to cover you. Examples of tangible evidence include:
- Photographs of the Scene and Injuries
- Medical Bills
- Incident Reports
- Witness Reports
Collecting evidence to present to insurance providers is very important because often, insurance companies will try to place blame on the injured individual by suggesting they provoked the attack. While this tactic is shameful, it can work if there is not enough evidence to prove otherwise. A St. Louis dog bite lawyer will help ensure you have every box checked when filing a lawsuit and subsequently negotiating for a settlement.
St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer
At TorHoerman Law, our focus is people. One of our experienced St. Louis dog bite attorneys is here to help you receive the help you need, which includes getting you the compensation you deserve for the injuries and suffering you endured.
Contact the TorHoerman Law personal injury lawyers today for a free, no-obligation dog bite case consultation.
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