How Common Are Dog Bite Injuries?
The St. Louis, Missouri dog bite experts
How Common Are Dog Bite Injuries in St. Louis?
Most dogs are fun, friendly and safe family pets. So just how common are dog bites and what effect do dog bite injuries have on our communities?
- There are more than 55 million dogs in the United States. Put another way, one-third of all American homes have a pet dog.1
- There are 4.5 million dog bites each year.1
- There are 100 dog bites every hour.4
- 800,000 dog bites each year, or one in five, require medical treatment.2
- 334,000 dog bite injuries each year require hospitalization.4
- More than half of all dog bite victims are children.2
- Most dog bite fatalities are children.1
- Dog bite injuries are more common in children than injuries from accidents caused by playgrounds, bikes, skateboards, and mopeds.4
- 77% of all dog bite injuries occur at the home of the victim or at the home of the victim's friend or family.4
- 1 in 5 dog bite injuries become infected.3
- Dog bites cost homeowners insurance carriers $854 million in dog bite injury suits in the year 2020.3
- Dog bite victims suffer more than $1 billion in economic damages every year.3
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog bite attack, contact our St. Louis dog bite injury lawyers immediately.
1. American Academy of Family Physicians Prevention and Treatment of Dog Bites
2. American Veterinary Medical Association Dog bite prevention
3. DogBites.org Dog bite statistics
4. UMPC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Facts and Figures About Dog Attacks
What Are The Most Common Dog Bite Injuries Sustained
The St. Louis, Missouri dog bite experts
What Are The Most Common Dog Bite Injuries Sustained in St. Louis?
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, including capnocytophaga, 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.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Many people underestimate the emotional conditions and reactions often associated with dog bites and attacks, including PTSD.
What Do I Do After a Dog Bite?
What Do I Do After a Dog Bite In St. Louis?
If you have been bitten by a dog in St. Louis or elsewhere in Missouri, it is important that you immediately speak with a dog bite lawyer at Burger Law. Also, taking certain precautions may help secure any financial compensation. The following steps are the best practices for what to do after a dog bite:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Even if an injury seems minor, we highly recommend seeking professional medical assistance.
- Document everything. Take pictures of the injury, note the name of the owner, your location, and save any medical bills.
- Try to find out if the dog is vaccinated or contains rabies. This part of the process may go directly to the owner.
- If a child is bit, make sure to get a full account as soon as possible. Did a child provoke the dog? Was it unprovoked? Was it leashed?
Get as many details about the incident as possible. It is up to our St. Louis-based dog bite injury firm serving all of Missouri to help you recover fair compensation for you or a family member's injuries. If you or your child have been bitten and injured by a dog, contact our experienced St. Louis dog bite attorneys right away. We will fight every step of the way and demand the full recovery your family deserves.
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Dog Bite Frequently Asked Questions
St. Louis Dog Bite Frequently Asked Questions
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Missouri Dog Bite Laws
You may be entitled to compensation under 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 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.
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How Can I Keep My Children Safe From Dog Bites?
How Can I Keep My Children Safe From Dog Bites in St. Louis?
Most children in St. Louis are naturally attracted to animals. Dogs are no exception. It is important to enforce safety measures because you never know when an attack will happen. A child's Labrador may be friendly and never cause harm, but a St. Louis neighbor's Chihuahua could strike if provoked. Our St. Louis dog bite attorneys will protect you and help you recover. Call us at (314) 500-HURT now. There are a few rules-of-thumb to follow in St. Louis to keep your children safe from dog bites:
- Especially with children, it is better not to pet dogs without the owner's permission.
- Running from a dog typically excites it, which can exacerbate the situation.
- Give strange dogs their space. If leash-less or wondering, back up slowly and do not provoke.
- Do not squeeze dogs too hard. This may agitate them and cause aggression or accidental excitement.
- Let a dog come to you. Allow them to sniff your hand, finish their meal, or sleep in peace.
The final point above is very important to teach to St. Louis children. They may be man's best friend, but dogs have teeth and paws that can cause permanent scarring, childhood trauma, and legal repercussions. Burger Law's dog bite lawyers can help if you or a family member have been injured by a dog.
According to Kids Health, nearly 5 million people suffer from dog-related injuries each year. Most victims are children under the age of nine. It is important for St. Louis adults to protect themselves and their kids, and to encourage safety measures to prevent attacks, whether provoked or innocent.
Other Dog Bite Injury Claim Resources
Other St. Louis Dog Bite Injury Claim Resources
Our ferocious, dedicated dog bite lawyers in St. Louis serving all of Missouri fight hard and demand your recovery when you are injured by a dog bite. Call Burger Law's team of reputable St. Louis dog bite lawyers right away at (314) 500-HURT to begin your path to a full recovery. We work hard for you so you can spend your time healing; leave the rest up to us. Hire a Burger Law dog bite lawyer right away. While we work for you, educate yourself on the civil claim process including how to prepare, what you can expect and how to find the right dog bite lawyer for you in Missouri.
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