Missouri dog bite incidents are on the rise.
Not all dogs bite, and not all dog bites are serious.
But, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, hospitalizations for Missouri dog bites have just about doubled in the last fifteen years. If you have been bitten by a dog, contact an experienced St. Louis dog bite lawyer immediately by calling 314-409-7060.
The Post Dispatch reports that around 4.5 million dog bites and dog attacks take place in America every year. Dog bites cause around 400,00 emergency room visits and 10,000 hospitalizations annually according to the most recent available figures from the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality. Similarly, the costs of treating dog bite injuries in the United States is $54 million each year, or nearly $18,200 per each hospital stay. Unfortunately, dog bites are most common in the Midwest, and local hospital officials have noted that there is an upward trend in dog bite incidents in Missouri.
Serious dog bites are most common in young children and older adults. More than 30 children are admitted to Missouri hospitals and emergency rooms each year for treatment of dog bites, which typically requires surgery. Children are most often targeted at the head or neck, while older adults typically incur bites to the arms and legs. The site of the injury often dictates whether immediate surgery is needed or not.
What to do if you’ve been involved in a Missouri dog bite:
- Identify the dog: One of the most important steps you can take after a dog bite is identifying the dog that attacked you. Find out who owns the dog, or where the animal lives. If the canine is a stray and you cannot identify it, you may have to undergo several rabies shots, which can be expensive and painful. If you are injured too badly to identify the dog, make sure a friend or family member can take this important first step on your behalf.
- Seek medical treatment: Depending on the severity of your injuries, call first responders for immediate attention, or have someone drive you to the emergency room. You should ALWAYS seek meedical care after a dog bite no matter how severe the wound actually is, the risk of infection is too high to ignore.
- File a Missouri dog bite report: After you have had medical treatment, file a dog bite incident report with your local city or county animal control department or Sheriff’s department. This legally records your claim and provides help to the next victim who may be attacked by the same dog. Without a proper paper trail, authorities cannot effectively handle aggressive dogs, and apply applicable laws.
- Gather owner information: To protect your future rights as a victim, make sure that you obtain and record the name and address of the dog’s owner, in addition to the dog license information. Look into the dog’s record. Has this dog attacked another person or animal before? Has the dog been labeled as “dangerous,” “potentially dangerous,” or as “possessing dangerous propensities?”
- Take pictures of your injuries and wounds: Taking photographs of the initial wounds and injuries, as well as healing progress is extremely important. Similarly, photographs of the location and mangled clothing are also helpful for a potential dog bite case.
- Contact an Missouri dog bite attorney: Contact an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible. The issues that surround dog attacks are complex and the laws can be difficult to navigate and accurately apply. Your dog bite injury lawyer is the only person outside of your doctor who will look after your best interest in this matter. For a free, no obligation case evaluation today, call experienced dog bite lawyer Chris Dixon at 314.409.7060 or toll free at 855.40.CRASH.
- Begin journal: Lastly, if you get medical treatment for your injuries, make a journal that records your feelings, your healing progress, and your payments. Dog bite claims can sometimes take a few years to complete, so filling out a journal once a week can be a beneficial tool in remember all of your hardships.
- Legal Help: Dog bite law combines city, county and state law. As far as we can see, there is no single website that combines these resources. The easiest way to apply the applicable laws to your case, is to call a dog bite attorney for a free case evaluation.
What to do if a dog has threatened you:
If you have been threatened, chased, or accosted by a dog, but not bitten, this incident should be reported to animal control as soon as possible. Once a dog has a paper trail of some menacing acts and bad behaviors, animal control will label the dog as “potentially dangerous.” This label will force new restrictions on the dog that might mean stronger containment stipulations or higher fees for the owner.
Research Missouri Animal Laws
In almost all instances of bites or other threatening acts, you will probably want a copy of your local Missouri animal ordinance. These documents can be requested by contacting your city or county clerk. Similarly, animal control departments may also have local animal ordinances. In Missouri, owners of aggressive animals can be held strictly liable for any injuries caused by these known dangerous animals. Ultimately this means an owner does not have to be negligent to be legally responsible for injuries caused by their dog. The simple fact that their dog, or animal caused an injury which is enough to impose strict liability. Similarly, dog owners can be held responsible for injuries or losses when they violate Missouri animal control laws. Most Missouri municipalities have some type of dog leash laws or other types of laws that help protect individuals from dangerous dogs.
St. Louis, Missouri Dog Bite Contacts:
St Louis, MO
Attorney Chris Dixon has successfully recovered thousands of dollars for dog and animal bite victims. He has over 10 years experience handling personal injury and Missouri dog bite claims, and will aggressively fight win you compensation. Chris handles dog bite in cases throughout the entire state of Missouri, including, but not limited to: Kansas City, Missouri; St. Joseph, Missouri; Jefferson City, Missouri; Springfield, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Columbia, Missouri; Independence, Missouri; Fulton, Missouri; Camdenton, Missouri; St. Charles, Missouri, and several other counties. Contact injury attorney Chris Dixon today to speak with an experienced professional about your potential case for free.