St. Louis Dog Bites Lawyer
Missouri Dog Bite Laws
Compensation for Dog Bite Victims
A dog bite injury attorney with experience can help victims collect the compensation they deserve for their injuries. This compensation may be derived from the following, depending on the facts of your case:
- Past and Future Medical Expenses
- Past and Future Income
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
Having an experienced dog bite lawyer on your side will help ensure that you collect all of the compensation you deserve for the injury you have suffered. In dog bite cases, compensation for damages usually come from the homeowner's or renters' insurance policy. If the dog owner is uninsured or underinsured, we may be able to find you additional coverage through an umbrella insurance policy, excess insurance policy, or canine liability policy. At Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, we are dedicated to doing anything necessary to get you the compensation you deserve, even if that means recovering damages directly from the dog owner's assets. We will take care of your entire case - from start to finish. If you or a loved one have been affected by a dog bite injury, we encourage you to immediately speak with a dog bite attorney. Our legal team is ready to help you get the maximum compensation available to you, and more importantly, the justice you need to move forward.
What Are the Dog Bite Laws in Missouri?
Statute of Limitations
Missouri's Dog Bite Statute
Missouri has a personal injury law that specifically covers dog bite injuries. Section 273.036 Missouri Revised Statutes holds the dog owner liable if:
- The injury was caused by a dog bite;
- The person who was bitten was on public property or lawfully on private property; and
- The person bitten did not provoke the dog.
Missouri Strict Liability
Strict liability means that the dog's owner is liable if the dog bites a person, even if the owner did not know and could not have known the dog would be aggressive. Some states require that the owner knows or should know that their dog is capable of being aggressive (i.e., the dog has bitten someone before). Missouri does not have this requirement for strict liability, which essentially means the owner can do nothing wrong and still be held accountable for their dogs' aggression.
However, this strict standard of liability only applies to injuries caused by actual dog bites. If some other dog behavior causes the injury (e.g., jumping), the dog owner would not be strictly liable. Instead, the injured person must bring a standard negligence case to show the dog owner should be held responsible.
Defenses to Liability
In Missouri, three of the most commonly used defenses against dog bite claims are:
- The dog owner may not be held liable if the person who was bitten provoked the dog beforehand.
- Ex: Hitting or poking the dog repeatedly until it bites.
- The dog owner may not be held liable if the person who was bitten was not on public property or lawfully on private property.
- Ex: Cutting through the dog owner's backyard without their permission and getting bit by their dog.
- Comparative Negligence
- The dog owner may not be held fully liable if the person who was bitten was partly or entirely responsible for the injury.
- Ex: The court finds the injured person to be 80% liable for their own injury, so the dog owner would only need to compensate the injured person with 20% of the total damages.