Missouri Police Dog Attack Lawsuits
Attack by a Vicious Police Dog
Police train powerful and dangerous dogs to attack suspected criminals. The law protects officers when their dogs inflict minor injuries, but not all injuries that result from a police dog attack are lawful or justified. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a police dog bite, please contact an experienced St. Louis dog bite attorney to examine your legal rights and options.
Use of Force
Police officers are granted certain rights to use force during an arrest. In certain circumstances a dog may be used to bite and hold a suspected criminal. Police must give a suspect the opportunity to surrender before unleashing a dangerous attack dog. If the dog attacks an unsuspecting, innocent individual for no reason or without provocation, that individual has a right to claim compensation from the police department as well.
Under federal laws, the police may not use unreasonable force when making an arrest. The victims of unreasonable force may pursue compensation for their losses under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In cases involving serious injuries because of unreasonable force, punitive damages may also be available to the victim. Under these federal laws, the victim of unreasonable force may pursue compensation for their loss including attorney fees.
Police officers often take care of the dogs they work with when they are off-duty. This allows them to build a bond with the animal. When a police dog attack occurs while the animal and officer are off duty, the victim is granted the same rights as anyone attacked by any type of dog. In the state of Missouri, this means that the dog owner may be held liable for the damages assuming the victim was legally on the property where the attack took place. Determining whom the dog technically belongs to in these cases may be complicated and a skilled attorney may be needed to hold a government entity liable for the damages.
Proving Liability for a Police Dog Bite Attack in Missouri
An injured victim of a police dog attack will need to prove that the police officer used excessive force and that the victim suffered an injury because of that force. A knowledgeable dog attack attorney will work with law enforcement experts to show that the officer worked outside the normal operating procedures or did not follow proper protocols. An attorney may also seek the support of a dog specialist who can help prove that the animal was inherently dangerous or improperly trained.
Dog bite attorneys at Page Law protects the rights of injured Missouri residents. We recognize the difficult task our officers have in making arrests, but when excessive force is used, the injured victim should be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. To discuss whether or not you have a valid claim, please contact our law offices. We offer no-cost consultations. Let us help you determine if you can seek financial compensation for the injuries you have suffered in a Missouri police dog attack.