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Dog Bite Lawyers

Dogs are animals with instincts, and sometimes they bite. Dog bite cases are tricky because so many of us love these typically gentle companions, so when a dog bites and injures you, you need a law firm that knows how to navigate these cases and get you the compensation you deserve. Burger Law's dog bite lawyers do the work required to succeed in your case.

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Dog Bite Lawyers St. Louis and Missouri

Dog Bite Lawyers St. Louis and Missouri. Burger Law’s dog bite lawyers help you recover after you have been bitten by a dog. Dogs are quite often excellent pets and companions, yet every year in the US millions of dog bites occur. Even seemingly minor bites leave a lasting impact and affect you in ways beyond your physical visible injuries. Because of the risk of infection, psychological trauma and other serious damages it is important that you hire a qualified dog bite lawyer right away. You can speak to a dog bite injury lawyer from St. Louis about your case now by calling Burger Law at (314) 500-HURT or reaching us online.

If you have been bitten by a dog and think you may have a dog bite injury case, do not go it alone. Missouri has strict liability laws that allow victims of vicious dog bites to seek compensation, and many municipalities in St. Louis and surrounding areas have additional local mandates, such as leash laws and ordinances regarding specific dog breeds. To get the most out of your recovery and to make sense of the complex issues of negligence, damages and local dog laws in your case, contact a firm like ours right away. Burger Law is a leading St. Louis personal injury law firm with specialized skills and expertise in dog bite injury claims. Our skilled dog bite attorneys have helped hundreds of Missouri injury victims collect more than $170 million in damages. When you hire us for your dog bite claim, we fight to get you maximum compensation.

The damage a dog bite leaves behind is often much more than physical. In addition to lacerations, broken bones and bruises, vicious dog attacks can cause permanent damage and leave physical and mental scars that never heal. The result of these attacks are even more devastating when they happen to young children. When you or a loved one suffers the physical and emotional trauma of a dog bite, you need a skilled and dedicated dog bite attorney who will not simply accept a meager settlement offer but will work hard to demand and obtain the highest possible compensation for your lasting damages.

From demonstrating the lasting impact of permanent visible scars to canvassing to investigate the dog’s prior history, the Burger Law dog bite injury lawyers in St. Louis will not rest until we recover the maximum amount of compensation available to you. With decades of experience, millions of dollars won for our clients and the highest number of five-star reviews among law firms in the St. Louis area, you can rest assured that your dog bite case is in the right hands when you hire a Burger Law dog bite lawyer. Speak to one of our dog bite lawyers for free at (314) 500-HURT or send us a message now.

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“Gary and his team provided us with effective, efficient and highly professional service. Gary provides sound advice and is a trustworthy and ethical attorney. I highly recommend the team!”

David and Fran Schneider

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Dog Bite Victim Rights

When a dog bites, they are most likely feeling threatened, have a history of trauma or have not been fixed. Whatever the case, it is the dog owner’s responsibility to prevent a dog bite injury from occurring. If you have been bit by a dog, you should first seek immediate medical attention and then find a skilled dog bite lawyer who can help you secure the recovery you need. Your Burger Law dog bite lawyer in St. Louis will promptly step in to identify the attacking dog, mandate rabies testing, investigate the dog’s prior biting history, file claims and, if it comes to it, represent your case in court against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance and any other available insurance coverage. With extensive trial experience and hundreds of cases won for our deserving clients, we are the injury firm you want on your side.

Count on the skilled dog bite lawyers of Burger Law to serve you in your Missouri dog bite suit. We know what it takes to win your case and get you the compensation you need. We will help you manage the day-to-day of your claim process, handle all communications and paperwork, make sense of your legal options, negotiate a great settlement and even take your fight to trial if necessary. Allow our meticulous and tenacious approach to legal representation to put your mind at ease as we take on your dog bite injury claim from beginning to end.

Options For Dog Bite Claims

Here are Missouri and Illinois laws detailing dog bites and dog bite lawsuits.

For Missouri, Statute 273.036 details liability in Dog Bite Lawsuits. The dog owner will be liable for the damages caused, minus the percentage that the person bit was liable for the attack. This means that if someone provoked the animal and caused the dog to bite them, then they will be liable for a portion of their damages. If the dog bit someone and was not provoked, as in the case of a dog escaping the yard or a leash, the dog owner will be fully liable for the damages caused by the dog. This type of law is known as Comparative Negligence, which means that a person will be liable for the portion of the damages they either caused or were harmed by because of their failure to act in a reasonable way.

When you are injured by a dog that was in someone else's care other than the owner, you may have a case of negligent enstrustment. This is a law of negligence that says that an owner can still be seen as negligent for allowing someone unqualified or incapable to operate or manage that property. In this case, the property is the dog.

For Illinois, Statute 510 ILCS 5/16 details liability in Dog Bite Lawsuits. Illinois law is quite similar to Missouri's. If the person had a legal right to be in the area they were in when they were bit, and they did not provoke the dog, the pet owner will be held fully liable. If the dog was provoked, and the person was in an area they weren't legally entitled to be in, the person bitten will be liable for a portion of the damages.

So what should you take from these dog bite laws? If you were somewhere you have legal right to be and you were attacked by a dog and the dog owner acted negligently in securing their animal, you may not be liable for any of the damages at all. If you were taunting the dog and it attacked you, or if you were in an area you didn't have the legal right to be in, you will be held liable as well. Never provoke a dog, it's just not a smart nor safe thing to do.

Dog attacks are especially tragic when children become injured as a result of negligent dog owners. Vicious dog attacks can leave physical and mental scarring that victims may never be able to overcome. Gary Burger and his associates have had years of experience as St. Louis dog bite attorneys and we can assist you in getting full compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one have been involved in a K-9 attack, it's important to immediately identify the attacking dog, mandate rabies testing and work with a state or county health official to ensure the dog is quarantined. In most K-9 attack cases, a dog bite lawsuit is required.

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The dog bite experts

Common Dog Bite Injuries

When a dog bites someone it is either because they feel threatened or because they are a poorly trained animal, and these bites often leave serious injuries. A dog bite should immediately be seen by a medical professional to ensure that you aren't at risk of infection or disease. Here are several types of injuries that can arise from a dog bite:

  • Puncture Wounds - Dogs, by nature, have sharp canines designed for puncturing skin. When a dog bites, they use these teeth to cause wounds that can cause serious bleeding if not seen to immediately.
  • Broken Bones - Larger breeds of dogs have extremely strong jaws, and when they bite, they can do a tremendous amount of damage. Larger breeds are also known to have the ability to break bones when they bite.
  • Infections - Dogs will eat just about anything, and that includes trash, food found on the floor or outside and food that could be several days old. Their mouths are full of bacteria that can cause infections when the dog bites someone.
  • Diseases - In rare cases, a dog can transmit rabies and other diseases to a human when they bite. This is why it's always critically important to see a doctor after any dog bite.

If you've been bitten by a dog in St. Louis or Missouri, it is important to your health and your welfare that you immediately speak with a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Louis. We can help you get the care you need and deserve for your injuries.

Missouri Dog Bite Laws

You may be entitled to compensation under the Missouri dog bite statute, R.S.Mo. § 273.036, if you suffered injury due to a dog bite.

R.S.Mo. § 273.036 provides that 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.”

To prove that a dog owner is liable under the statute, an injured person must show:

  • A dog bite and resulting injury
  • The injured person did not provoke the dog
  • The injured person had a lawful right to be in the place where the dog bite occurred

This is a strict liability statute, meaning the dog owner is liable regardless of whether he or she took reasonable care to prevent the dog bite, such as restraining the dog.

The statute also prescribes a $1,000.00 fine to a dog owner held liable for a dog bite, in addition to any other damages the injured person can prove.

A person injured from a dog bite is entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income (if they are unable to work), pain and suffering, and property damage.

Common legal defenses to liability under the Missouri dog bite statute include provocation and trespassing. If the dog owner can prove the injured person provoked the dog, such as by petting or startling the dog, then the injured person may not be able to recover. Similarly, the injured person may not recover under the statute if the dog owner can prove the injured person was trespassing on private property at the time of the bite.

Notice that the Missouri dog bite statute only covers dog “bites.” So, what happens if you are injured when a dog jumps on you and knocks you down, or otherwise attacks you but does not bite you? The Missouri Supreme Court has held that a claim in ordinary negligence may be asserted to recover for harm caused by domestic animals that are not abnormally dangerous. Duren v. Kunkel, 814 S.W.2d 935 (Mo. banc 1991). So, to recover damages for a non-bite injury caused by a dog, you may bring a negligence claim based on premises liability.

In dog attack cases based on premises liability, the elements of proof are dictated by the entrant’s classification as either a trespasser, licensee or invitee. Carter v. Kinney, 896 S.W.2d 926, 928 (Mo. banc 1995). An entrant is deemed a trespasser unless the possessor of the land has given the entrant permission to enter. Id. One who enters the premises of another with permission is a licensee, unless the possessor has a sufficient interest in the visit that it is reasonable to assume that the possessor has made the premises safe for the visit, in which case the visitor is deemed an invitee. Id.

Generally, the possessor owes a trespasser no duty of care; a licensee the duty to make safe dangers known to the possessor; and an invitee the duty to exercise reasonable care to protect him or her against both known dangers and those that would be revealed by inspection. Id.

Thus, in a dog attack case pled on a premises liability theory, the dog owner is subject to liability for harm to licensees if the dog presents a foreseeable danger to a licensee of which the dog owner is aware; and a dog owner is subject to liability for harm to an invitee if the dog presents a foreseeable danger to the invitee of which the dog owner knows or should have known. Wilson ex rel. Wilson v. Simmons, 103. S.W.3d 211, 219 (Mo. App. 2003).

In a dog attack claim based on premises liability, the dog owner will often raise the defense of comparative negligence. Under Missouri law, the injured person’s damages are reduced if he or she was partly responsible for their injuries. Furthermore, if a jury determines the injured person was more than 50 percent responsible for the incident, he or she will not be allowed to recover any damages.

In Missouri, under the statute of limitations an injured person has five years from the date of the dog bite to file a lawsuit.

Missouri dog bite claim example


Illinois Dog Bite Laws

Illinois dog bite laws provide a legal remedy for those injured by dog bites and attacks.

Illinois statute 510 ILCS 5/16 states, “If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.”

To prove that a dog owner is legally liable under this statute, an injured person must show:

  • A dog attacked or injured the person
  • The person had a lawful right to be in the place where they were attacked
  • The person did not provoke the dog
  • The person was acting peaceably

Illinois is a strict liability statute, meaning the dog owner is legally responsible for a dog attack regardless of whether the dog acted viciously in the past or previously attacked someone. Note that the statute covers all injuries caused by a dog, not just bites. So, for example, if a dog jumps on you and knocks you down, the dog owner is still liable for your injuries under the statute.

A person injured by a dog attack is entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income if unable to work, pain and suffering damages, and loss of personal enjoyment damages.

Common legal defenses to liability under the Illinois dog bite law are provocation and trespassing. If the dog owner can prove the injured person provoked the dog, such as by petting or startling the dog, then the injured person may not be able to recover. Similarly, the injured person may not recover under the statute if the dog owner can prove the injured person was trespassing on private property at the time of the bite.

In Illinois, under the statute of limitations a person injured from a dog bite or attack must file their personal injury lawsuit within two years from the date of the bite or other injury.

Illinois dog bite claim example

Protectors of the Injured

Top Dog Bite Lawyers

When you hire Burger Law's dog bite lawyers to handle your case, you have a dedicated team who will go the extra mile to prove your case and secure complete compensation. We will quickly investigate to determine whether or not the dog has a history of biting, make claims, file lawsuits and try cases against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance and/or other insurance.

Burger Law works with dog bite injury victims to establish the damages, including living life with scarring or having to plan future plastic surgery to ameliorate the scarring. Our dog bite lawyers hire surgeons to testify about damages cause in dog attack cases, including the cost of repairing the scarring that is a result of the attack. Gary Burger and his associates will even canvass neighborhoods where the dog attack occurred to prove prior attacks. The dog bite lawyers of Burger Law are seasoned in K-9 attacks and have taught other lawyers how to handle different types of dog bite cases. To get started on your free case evaluation, contact the dog bite attorneys of Burger Law by calling 314-542-2222 or completing our online contact form.

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Real Client Testimonials!

We are the law firm you can trust with the experience and success you can count on. Dogs often make excellent pets, but being injured by a dog is traumatic and can lead to serious injuries. When you are bitten by a dog, you need a dog bite lawyer who knows how to win. Here are a few of our clients sharing their stories of success.

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Chris and Sheronica Smith Testimonial

Chris and Sheronica Smith Testimonial

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Christine Major

Christine Major

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DeAndre Redmond

DeAndre Redmond

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George Robinson Testimonial

George Robinson Testimonial

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Chris Eschbacher Testimonial

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Walter Ray

Walter Ray

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