The term “man’s best friend” does not apply to all dogs. Many dogs can pose serious danger to anyone they consider strangers. Dog attacks are known to be incredibly gruesome and to result in extensive trauma to the victim. Indeed, all dogs, whether trained or not, have large canine teeth and claws. Dog attacks are also very traumatic. Even after the physical injuries may have healed, the emotional scars usually linger. It is common for victims of dog bites to suffer future anxiety in the presence of dogs long after the attack they suffered.
Dogs are naturally predatory animals. Some breeds of dogs are inherently more aggressive than others, but even the most well behaved dogs can attack without warning. In some cases, the dogs belong to a neighbor or friend. In those situations, some people are hesitate to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the medical expenses. The neighbor or friend usually won’t have to come out of pocket.
Dog Bites Cause Serious Injuries
Dog bites usually result in extensive injuries. Many animals attack the face instinctively. So, the majority of dog bite injuries occur to the face or head. Unfortunately, many victims are left with scars that require significant treatment. If the scarring or disfigurement are severe enough, it may require years of plastic or reconstructive surgery. The medical expenses from such injuries can very easily leave victims and their families financially strapped. While receiving the necessary medical treatment, it is also imperative that you preserve any evidence of the attack.
Liability for Dog Bite Injuries
In Arkansas, unlike in some states, there is no specific law pertaining to liability for dog bites. However, Arkansas has common law liability that can be enforced. If an individual in Arkansas is injured by a dog attack, he or she can recover money damages from the owner if negligence is proven.
In Missouri, there is a dog bite statute, passed in 2009, which imposes strict liability on dog owners for dog bites, regardless of whether the dog bit anyone in the past. Missouri law also allows dog bite victims to recover in cases of negligence and negligence per se.
What You Should Do?
A dog bite incident can be very serious and should not be taken lightly. Once the shock and fear have passed, there are steps you should take if you, or someone you known, suffers a dog attack. First, obtain the name and contact information of the dog owner and any witnesses. If you can, take pictures of the dog and the location where the attack occurred. Seek medical attention immediately and document your injuries with pictures before they heal. Also, save the clothing you were wearing at the time of the attack if it was damaged. Notify the police and obtain a copy of the police report. All of these steps will help to preserve any claim you may have for your injuries.
Talk to a Joplin Missouri Dog Bites Attorney
Do not accept a settlement or sign anything, or admit any type of fault to anyone. Speak to an attorney first. Contact our Joplin Missouri dog bites attorney today if you or a family member have been the victim of a dog bite injury in Joplin and throughout Missouri.