Missouri Dog Bite Third Party Liability
Can a Third Party Be Held Liable for Injuries in a Dog Bite Attack?
Victims of dog attacks usually suffer significant injuries and as a result, incur expenses for treatment. In any dog bite case, it is important to determine who was liable for the attack. Most of the time, it is the dog owner who is liable for the attack. However, there are many cases where a third party may be liable for certain damages suffered.
A Dog Owner’s Responsibility
Under Missouri Statute 273.036.1: “The owner or possessor of any dog that bites, without provocation, any person while such person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner or possessor of the dog, is strictly liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s or possessor’s knowledge of such viciousness.” This means that the dog owner may be held liable for the damage his or her dog caused regardless of where or how the dog attack occurred and whether or not the dog has attacked before.
Third Party Liability for Missouri Dog Attacks
There are circumstances when the dog owner is not the only party liable for the attack. For example, when someone is attacked by a dog while on the job, they may be covered by workers compensation benefits. Perhaps the most common example of this type of attack involves postal workers or delivery workers. Anyone who has a job involving walking onto properties where a dog may be present is at risk of a dog attack. In such cases, the injured victims will be eligible for workers compensation benefits.
Another third party that may be considered following a dog attack is the property owner. All owners of properties that are open to the public have a legal responsibility to provide reasonably safe environment for the visitors. Property owners who have dangerous dogs on the premises may be held liable for any injuries the dog causes.
The Importance of Proving Liability
The losses suffered in a vicious Missouri dog attack can have long lasting financial implications for the victim. Medical bills for emergency care, plastic surgery, therapy and medication can add up fast. The victims of dangerous dogs should not be left holding these costly bills. An experienced Missouri dog attack attorney will make sure that the responsible parties are held civilly liable for the damages. Compensation may be available for all related medical expenses, time spent away from work and non-financial losses like physical pain and mental anguish.
Our dog bite lawyers understand the complex liability issues in a Missouri dog attack. We help victims understand their rights and hold the negligent parties accountable. If a dog has injured you or a loved one, please call our law offices for a free and comprehensive consultation. We will help you understand your legal rights and options and help you obtain fair and full compensation for all your injuries, damages and losses.