Despite their popular billing as “man’s best friend,” not every dog is friendly to all people and animals they encounter, especially if they think that they, their owner, or their territory is being threatened. When animals of any size hurt others, they can cause substantial injuries that take months or years to heal and may live permanent physical and emotional scars behind.

If you sustained a wound because another person failed to control their pet as they are legally required to, you have grounds to file suit against that person with a Ballwin dog bite lawyer’s assistance. A seasoned personal injury attorney could help you recover comprehensively for any damages you experienced because of a violent attack.

When are Animal Owners Liable for Bite Wounds?

Usually, individuals who suffer injuries due to another person’s reckless, careless, or intentional conduct must prove that person was negligent to recover compensation. This means they must show that party’s irresponsible conduct breached a duty of care that a reasonable person would have followed. Claims based on dog bites are a notable exception to this trend, as owners do not necessarily have to be negligent to bear fault for the harm their pet caused.

Under Missouri Revised Statutes § 273.036, canine owners—or parties in direct control of the animal—are strictly liable for any harm that animal causes to another person. This is also the case for damage caused to property, other domesticated animals, or livestock under similar circumstances. They are also liable to pay a fine of up to $1,000 in addition to whatever they already owe.

The attack must be without provocation for strict liability to apply, which means that people bitten by a dog who harassed it into hurting them or who were trespassing on the owner’s property when an attack occurred may not have grounds to seek compensation in this way. A local dog attack attorney could explain in more detail how state law addresses cases like this and what options plaintiffs have for effectively pursuing financial restitution.

Recovering for Injuries Caused by a Canine Attack

If a dog owner is found liable for that canine physically hurting someone else, they may be held financially accountable for all losses experienced by the person attacked as a direct consequence of a bite. A comprehensive claim may seek recovery for both past and future repercussions that have objective or subjective financial values, including:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses for rehabilitative care, physical and psychological therapy, or assistive medical equipment
  • Physical and psychological pain stemming from a dog attack
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Lost earnings or future earning capacity
  • Lost or damaged personal property

While M.R.S. § 516.120 allows plaintiffs up to five years to pursue litigation over personal injuries, it is generally best to retain a knowledgeable lawyer and start the filing process for a dog bite in the area sooner rather than later.

Talk to a Ballwin Attorney Adept in Dog Bite Claims Today

Anyone who finds themselves in the path of an aggressive or vicious animal may wind up sustaining immense physical, financial, and emotional harm. While it is possible to hold the owner of that animal liable for their pet’s misbehavior, doing so effectively is rarely as simple a prospect as it might seem at first glance.

To give yourself a valid chance at the positive case result you want, you should consider retaining a Ballwin dog bite lawyer with experience successfully handling situations like yours. Call today for a personalized consultation.