Dog Bites and Missouri Law
Criminal charges and civil suits may face the owners of dogs that bite
According to the American Humane Association, someone in the United States is bitten by a dog every 40 seconds. Even a dog that looks friendly is capable of biting if it feels threatened.
Bite location varies depending on whether the victim is an adult or a child. When adults are attacked, 71 percent suffer bites to their extremities. Among children, bites to the head or neck are most common. And those bites are dangerous not only because of the puncture wounds but also because of the risk of infection present due to the bacteria in the dog’s mouth.
If you or someone you love has suffered a dog bite, contact the Missouri dog bite lawyers at The S.E. Farris Law Firm. Call 314-A-LAWYER (314-252-9937) today for a free consultation.
Dog Bite Liability
The owner of a dog that bites may be subject to both criminal charges and civil lawsuits.
Under Missouri criminal law, if a dog has previously bitten someone then bites again, the owner can be charged with anything from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the severity of the previous attack and the whether the current bite results in an injury, serious injury or death. (Section 578.024 RSMo)
While Missouri criminal law applies the one-bite rule before charges may be pursued, civil law does not impose the same condition. According to Section 273.036.1, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for the damages suffered as a result of a dog bite regardless of the dog’s breed.
Dog Bite Prevention
To avoid becoming a dog bite victim, experts recommend avoiding dogs that you are not familiar with no matter how friendly they make seem. In addition, keep your distance from stray dogs. When petting a dog avoid trying the head or back side. Instead, try to approach the dog from the side. Finally, don’t try to pet a dog that is eating, sleeping or guarding a toy.
Contact a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog, contact an experience Dog Bite Lawyer. The time to pursue a claim is limited. Call 314-A-LAWYER (314-252-9937) today for a free consultation.
At The S.E. Farris Law Firm, our practice is focused on the needs of injury victims. We guarantee our clients that our dedication is more than just a motto. At the end of your case we measure our success not by the amount of money we have recovered for you but by whether you would give our name to others as good lawyers to have on their side.