Dog Bites

So you decide to go for a peaceful walk with your spouse and let the kids ride their bikes through the neighborhood. Out of nowhere, here comes a giant beast of a dog, charging at your daughter and her bicycle. Before anyone can do anything, the dog attacks the bicycle and in the process, the dog severely bites your daughter’s leg. What started out as a fun, family adventure, has turned into a traumatic experience for the entire family. The pain and suffering your daughter will experience, all of the on-going medical treatments and surgeries that she will endure, the long term rehabilitation strategies and medical costs, can take a toll on any family.

The AW Smith Law Firm in Columbia, continues to help Mid-Missouri families who have suffered serious injuries, from dog and animal bites. It is important to know your rights as a victim of a dog bite or attack. Victims from dog bites and attacks can suffer years of physical and mental distress. Dog bite wounds are also known for their scars and destruction of muscle tissue. Your family deserves the very best care, to ensure a complete and full recovery.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries from a dog bite or attack, call the AW Smith Law Firm at 573-777-3333. You can also contact us through our website at www.AWSmithLaw.com. Our personal injury attorneys have a lot of experience with dog bite cases in Missouri. We can and will, be a source of knowledge and strength for you and your family. We can even help you find the best doctors and medical care, for the kinds of injuries that have been suffered.

Once the wounds have been treated, it’s important for you to write down every detail about the incident. Be sure to include location of the attack and time of day. Be thorough with the description of the dog including; breed, color, size and weight, collar color, owners name and address and everyone, who witnessed the attack. Many of our clients who have suffered dog bites, actually captured pictures of the dog and the owner’s residence, after the attack was over. Photos of the wounds and any damaged clothing or property, as well as, photos of the location, are all very helpful.

After you have received medical treatment and have documented the details of the dog bite, be sure to call animal control and your local police department to file a report and complaint. Then, let our team at the AW Smith Law Firm, take it from there. You focus on your recovery and we will focus on your claim.

Personal injury claims, including dog bites, generally have a 5 year statute of limitations. It is important that we move swiftly with the investigation. Missouri is a strict liability state, which means that the owner or possessor of a dog that, without provocation, bites someone on public property or lawfully on private property, is strictly liable for the damages "regardless of the former viciousness of the dog" or the "knowledge of such viciousness." Plainly speaking, the dog owner is liable whether the dog has bitten before or whether the dog owner had any knowledge of the dog biting anyone.

Our job is to prove that the dog bit you without provocation, while you were on public property or lawfully on private premises, so the dog owner must pay your damages. In rare cases, sometimes victims are partially at fault. This means that any damages awarded to you would be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. Also, Missouri Law states that strict liability will not apply if your or your family provoked the dog, or were illegally on private property.

It is common in most cases that victims can recover money for all of their medical bills, lost wages, damages and for the past, current and future pain and suffering, they have or will experience. In recent history, the AW Smith Law Firm represented a client that was attacked by several pit bulls. Her injuries required a couple of surgeries. Our firm recovered $300,000 in that dog bite case, which had much statewide press coverage.

Many times we hear the question, what happens to the dog after he bites someone? According to Missouri law, if the dog bite causes a serious injury, or if this is not the first time the dog has bitten someone, the dog "shall be seized immediately" by Animal Control or by the county sheriff and impounded.

Missouri law also states, thereafter, 10 days after the dog owner is given written notification, the dog will be destroyed. The dog owner does have the opportunity, within those 10 days, to file a written appeal to the circuit court, to contest the impoundment and destruction of the dog. The court will then set a hearing within 30 days so the court can make a ruling.

Dog bite lawsuits may seem simple and clear cut, however, many times these cases have multiple, mitigating circumstances. For example, in the past, a client who was bitten by a dog, was severely bitten while working. In this case, the client had multiple claims. A claim filed through workers’ compensation and a personal injury claim filed against the dog owner.

When a dog bites a person in Missouri, the victim can usually recover full compensation from the dog owner's homeowner’s insurance policy or renter’s insurance policy. You can also recover full compensation from the dog owner, if he has no insurance.

The AW Smith Law Firm is a serious injury and wrongful death law firm. The sole focus of our practice, is getting our clients the settlements they deserve, after they have suffered an injury or loss. Our past results, speak volumes about our talent and our passion, in helping each of our clients. We have been recognized nationally, for the success we have had on behalf of our clients. Serious accidents can happen to good people. When they do, be sure to call The AW Smith Law Firm at 573-777-3333 or contact us through our website at www.AWSmithLaw.com.

Missouri Injury Attorneys Blog - Dog Bites
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