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Dog Bites

St. Louis Dog Bite Injury Attorneys

Dog Bite Liability of the Dog Owner

Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience. Injuries can range from scrapes and lacerations to serious puncture wounds and even death. Dog bites that are severe may require skin grafts, muscle surgeries, rehabilitation and even long term therapy. In addition, severe scarring may have a tremendous impact on your social life and your ability to enjoy life to the fullest.

If you or someone you love was the victim of a dog bite, it is important to seek medical attention immediately following the attack. Dog bites can easily become infected if not treated quickly and this infection can have serious consequences and long term effects.

Common Dog Bite Physical Injuries:

  • Lacerations
  • Scrapes and abrasions
  • Puncture wounds
  • Tissue or Muscle loss
  • Fractured Bones
  • Scars
  • Disfiguration
  • MRSA infections
  • Rabies
  • Cellulitis
  • Nerve Damage
  • Paralysis
  • Death

In addition to physical injuries from dog bites, being attacked by a dog can result in serious emotional injuries that can have lifelong consequences, especially in young children. Young children may have difficulty processing their emotions and may exhibit behavioral problems like wetting the bed, hitting their siblings or acting out in school. In addition, they may become clingy, nervous or have difficulty going out in public. Parents of child dog bite victims should monitor their children closely for signs of these emotional injuries.

Common Dog Bite Emotional Injuries

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Lifelong fear of dogs or other animals
  • Nightmares or Night Terrors (especially in young children)
  • Depression or Anxiety
  • Shame or embarrassment due to scarring

Dog Bites and Facial Injuries

A sudden dog attack can result in devastating injuries. Permanent facial scars are commonly suffered in these types of attacks. Facial injuries can be extremely painful physically and could result in severe disfigurement. They can also cause significant emotional distress and psychological trauma. The emotional, physical and financial devastation suffered in such an attack can be significant. If you or a loved one has sustained severe facial injuries in a dog attack, please contact an experienced Missouri dog bite lawyer to get more information about pursuing your legal rights.

Damages for Facial Injuries Caused by Dog Attacks

When someone suffers serious facial injuries because of a dog attack, he or she may hold the dog owner liable for the injuries suffered. Damages in such cases usually include:

  • All medical expenses: These types of injuries often require emergency care, medications and plastic surgery. These expenses add up fast and the victim should not be left having to pay the bills.
  • Anxiety and depression: Victims of dog attacks may be forever emotionally scarred around dogs. This emotional trauma may require expensive psychological therapy as well.
  • Post-traumatic stress: It is hard to determine a financial payment that can adequately compensate someone for the pain and suffering they experience after a vicious dog attack. The judge may compare your case to similar cases to determine a settlement.
  • Emotional distress of parents: When a child is attacked, the parents may receive financial compensation for the severe emotional distress they experience as a result of witnessing their child’s injuries.
  • Loss of wages: When the victim has to miss work during the recovery process, lost wages may be included in a settlement.

Missouri Dog Bite Liability for Non-Bite Dog Injuries

When a dog attacks, there are many injuries that can occur. Dog bites can cause scarring, severe muscle tissue and even permanent nerve damage. Dog bites are not the only way you can be injured by a dog. Luckily, no matter how you are injured by a dog, Missouri law is now on your side. Victims of a dog injury can seek financial compensation for any injury caused by a dog — even if the dog has never had a history of aggression.

A dog can injure a person in many ways:

  1. Scratching;
  2. Tripping;
  3. Jumping;
  4. Pushing a person down; and
  5. Frightening severely.

Dog scratches can range from mild irritating marks to deep open wounds. If left untreated, dog scratches can quickly become infected. Even if treated quickly, a dog scratch can still become infected and lead to staph infections, MRSA infections, cellulitis and even death. A severe scratch can require stitches or plastic surgery to completely fix. An experienced Missouri dog bite victim injury lawyer will be able to help you determine the value of your dog bite injury insurance claim.

Dogs that are allowed to run wild can easily become excited or aggressive. The dog may run after unsuspecting people. In an effort to avoid a serious dog bite, the fleeing victim may trip, fall down stairs, break a leg or hit their head. When this happens, the dog owner can be held liable for dog attack tort liability.

What To Do If You Are Bitten by an Animal in Missouri

If you or someone nearby has been bitten by a dog, stay calm. Once the dog and the victim have been separated, the first thing to do is seek medical treatment for serious injuries. Even if you don’t think the wounds require an emergency room visit, the American Academy of Family Physicians suggests that you seek medical treatment for a dog bite in the following situations:

  • The bite is to your hand, head or foot.
  • The bite is very deep or gaping, the bleeding doesn’t stop in 15 minutes or it looks like a bone is broken.
  • The bite looks infected.
  • Your last tetanus shot was more than five years ago.
  • You have a chronic health condition that might affect your ability to fight infection, such as diabetes, lung or liver disease, cancer or AIDS.

The next thing to do is try your best to identify the dog. If it was a stray, call the local animal control authorities immediately to see if they can find it and check it for rabies. Most domestic animals in America don’t have rabies, but if this one does, you should start rabies shots as soon as possible. Authorities may also want to pick up a loose dog deemed dangerously likely to attack, in order to avoid further attacks, identify any owner and if necessary, euthanize the dog. If the dog has an owner, ask that owner for its vaccination record. The dog may have to be quarantined to double-check it for rabies.

In the days following the attack, you or someone you trust should document as much of the incident as possible. Write down the names of any witnesses to the attack; you may have to return to the scene and ask neighbors and regular passers-by whether they saw what happened. Take photographs of your wounds and the clothes you wore during the attack. Keep copies of all of the documents related to the incident, including medical bills, the dog’s licensing information and any correspondence between you and the dog’s owner. Write down conversations or comments you remember from the scene while they’re still fresh in your mind.

The owner of the dog may be insured against dog bite lawsuits in Missouri; it’s likely that he or she at least has homeowner’s or renter’s insurance that covers dog bites. If that’s the case, you may hear from the insurance company. Write down the name of the company, the claim number, the contact information of the person who called and the amount of coverage available to pay medical expenses. If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit related to the dog attack, don’t accept a settlement or even discuss money with the insurance company. Just take down their contact information and bring it, along with the other facts related to the case, to a qualified dog bite attorney as quickly as possible.

Contact a Missouri Dog Bite Lawyer Immediately

If you or someone you love was the victim of a dog bite, it is important to contact a Missouri dog bite tort law attorney immediately to review your case. Your attorney will make sure you are taking the necessary steps to protect your interests.

Missouri dog bite law is on your side and an experienced animal attack lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve after a serious dog bite injury. Our personal injury attorneys know how traumatic a dog bite can be. We work aggressively to obtain the maximum compensation for all of our dog bite victims and their families. We help real people – with real problems. Contact us immediately for a free consultation. You will never pay any fees unless we recover money for your injuries. Please call (314) 322-8515 for an immediate response from an attorney at Page Law or contact us online at john@pagelaw.com.

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St. Louis Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by Page Law, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee upon the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation. This site is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Missouri or Illinois. Page Law may co-counsel or associate with other law firms around the country at its discretion from initial intake through litigation when it deems appropriate. © 2018 Page Law, LLC. - All rights reserved.

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