Dog Bite Injuries: How to Obtain the Compensation You Deserve

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, an average of 4.7 million people a year are bitten by dogs in the U.S. Many of these injuries are serious enough to need ongoing medical treatment, especially if the victim is a child. If you or someone you love has been attacked and bitten by a dangerous dog or another domestic animal, take the following steps immediately to protect your right to recover damages.

  1. Seek immediate medical attention if necessary

If you appear to be bleeding heavily, the first priority is getting treatment. Put pressure on the wound and call 911 or ask someone to do it for you.

  1. Identify the owner of the dog that attacked you

If you don’t need emergency medical care, try to find and identify the owner of the dog. If the animal was unleashed and unaccompanied, this can be difficult, although not impossible. If the owner was present or you succeed in locating them, get their contact and insurance information and confirm that the dog is current on its rabies shots. At the same time, talk to any witnesses to the attack and get their contact details.

  1. See your doctor

See your doctor right away or, if they are unavailable, go to the nearest emergency room. Dog bite wounds become infected easily because a dog’s mouth is generally full of bacteria and any larger or deeper lacerations may need stitching. If you have severe facial wounds, you may need cosmetic surgery.

  1. Comply with all medical treatment instructions

Follow your doctor’s orders to the letter. Not only will this support your recovery, but you will also be able to refute any claims by the dog owner’s insurer that you contributed to your own injuries by not following medical advice.

  1. Do not discuss responsibility

When you speak to the dog’s owner, either at the time of the attack or afterward, do not discuss responsibility. “I shouldn’t have approached your dog” or “I didn’t think he’d really bite if I pet him” are examples of statements that can put your claim at risk. Be equally careful if the owner’s insurance company contacts you.

Missouri Revised Statutes section 273.036.1 states that if you were on public property or legally present on private property and did not provoke the dog to attack you, the owner is subject to a $1,000 fine and any damages you can prove in a personal injury lawsuit, such as medical and rehabilitative costs and lost wages. If the owner knew the dog was dangerous and did not take reasonable steps to keep the public safe, they may also be charged with a Class B misdemeanor or even a felony, depending on how badly you were hurt.

If you or someone you love was injured by a domestic animal attack in Missouri, contact Ryan R. Cox & Associates. We understand that dog bite attacks are traumatic experiences that take an emotional, physical, and financial toll and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you about your case and discuss your legal options. Contact us or call 636-946-6886 today for a free and confidential consultation.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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