While most dogs are friendly and lovable companions, a lack of proper training and discipline can lead to dangerous and aggressive behavior around other people and animals. State law protects the rights of dog attack victims to seek compensation through the court system. However, the ins and outs of these cases can be difficult to manage effectively without professional legal guidance.

That’s why we are here.

Working with a Webster Groves dog bite lawyer at OnderLaw can improve your chances of receiving compensation. We take the stress out of the process for you and your loved ones so that you can focus on moving forward. Insurance companies know that most people are unaware of all of the current and future damages they can be compensated for in animal bite cases. We analyze all the aspects of your case to ensure you receive everything you are entitled to receive.

What if I’m Not the Type to Take Someone to Court?

No one wants to sue another person, especially if they are a friend or neighbor, but dog attack cases are tricky. Filing a lawsuit may be the only way you can receive adequate compensation.

Animal bites are notoriously harmful. They can be severe, and they often take significant time to heal. You may also need multiple surgeries or long-term treatment. These and other expenses, like treatment of psychological trauma, time off of work, and other damages can be costly for you, not to mention the value of the pain and suffering you have likely endured.

When you file a dog bite lawsuit, the majority of the time it will be the homeowner’s insurance company that will be liable for your expenses. Without filing a dog bite claim in civil court, insurance companies and other responsible parties rarely step up to cover all of the necessary costs. Even when a pet owner wants to take care of a claim, their insurance company can stand in the way of a fair settlement.

Time and again, we’ve seen insurance companies offer as little compensation as is possible knowing that most people don’t know their rights. That’s why it’s important that you never agree to a payout without first talking about your situation with an attorney who can help you protect your rights. That’s also why it’s critical that you consult with a dog attack lawyer with experience.

OnderLaw’s dog bite personal injury team has been standing with victims like you for more than two decades. We know our city and state courts well, and we know what they expect in order to prove your case. We’ll make sure you get all you are entitled to receive.

After all, you are our neighbor, and we care about you and our community. Let us help you to recover—physically and financially.

Strict Liability for Dog Bites in Webster Groves

Most of the time, filing a personal injury claim against someone else requires proving that the other person (the defendant) was negligent in some way. This means they directly caused an otherwise preventable accident through a specific reckless or careless act.

However, civil claims based on dog bite injuries are generally built around strict liability theory rather than negligence, making things much easier for victims. Under Missouri Revised Statutes § 273.036, a dog owner is automatically liable for all damages sustained by a person their dog bites and injuries and must pay a $1,000 fine.

Dogs Classified as Dangerous

Additionally, owners who knowingly keep a dog identified as “dangerous” may face criminal charges that could become felony offenses if an attack causes severe or fatal injuries. “Dangerous” generally refers to a dog that has bitten someone without provocation more than once in the past.

As a knowledgeable dog bite attorney at our firm can further explain, strict liability applies regardless of whether the owner knew their dog had aggressive tendencies. This is different from the “one-bite” rules followed by many other states that cut owners some slack if their dogs have never attacked anyone else before.

Exceptions to Dog Owner Liability for Attacks

There are two exceptions to strict liability for dog bite injuries that you should be aware of before pursuing a lawsuit. First, a dog owner is not automatically liable for injuries their pet causes if you were trespassing on their property or provoking or harassing the animal.

Second, a court could rule that you contributed to causing or worsening your injuries through your own negligence. In this case, the court may proportionately reduce the total compensation you can recover through a successful civil verdict. Our dog bite lawyers in Webster Groves work to protect your right to compensation and argue against allegations that you were at fault.

Let a Webster Groves Dog Bite Attorney Support You

Being bitten or attacked by a dog can be physically and emotionally traumatizing. Support from a Webster Groves dog bite lawyer at OnderLaw can make a huge difference in your ability to pursue the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

At our firm, we take on causes, not just cases. Our attorneys take a client-centered approach to getting you the restitution you deserve and supporting you throughout your recovery. Contact us today to get started.