Can I Sue if a Stray Dog Bites Me?

stray dog bites - dog bite law firm missouri

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Filing a dog bite lawsuit in Missouri is usually an important process after someone has been bit by a dog. It can help them recover medical or property damages and help hold the owner of the dog that bit them accountable. But what if the dog that bit you had no owner?

Understanding Ownership and Liability

Dogs are considered the personal property of their owners under the law. This is why when you make an insurance claim after being bit by a dog, it is classified under their homeowners' or renters' policy. As such, dog owners are held strictly liable for how their dog behaves as per Missouri Revised Statute 273.036. But with a stray dog, since there is no owner on record, it becomes much harder to prove liability after a dog bite.

Who Is Responsible For Stray Dogs?

Even though they do not have an owner that can easily be held liable, it is still possible to recover damages after being bit by a stray dog. You should investigate the following things if you get bit by a stray dog in Missouri:

  • Was this dog previously reported as dangerous?
  • : Cities are responsible for making sure dangerous animals are not running freely around town. It's possible someone had already reported this animal as being dangerous and the city or county you were in did not take this dog into custody, or you were bitten by a stray dog on public property. It could also be that the dog was previously picked up by animal control but somehow managed to escape back into the wild. Under any of these circumstances, the local area may be liable for your attack and resulting injuries, as they did not maintain a safe premises.
  • Were you on private property?: If a property owner knew that there was a stray dog on their premises and did not at least warn others of potential danger, they can be deemed negligent and thus liable for a lawsuit. Make sure you had the right to be on this property, though: Missouri law deems property or dog owners not liable if someone was bit by a dog while unlawfully trespassing on private property.
  • Could authorities find the dog's owner?: It's entirely possible that during an investigation it is determined that the stray dog that bit you is actually not a stray at all, but rather a dog either willfully abandoned by its owner or allowed to run free. Now not only can we prove liability much easier, but also the dog owner could be subject to additional criminal charges, as animal abandonment is a Class C misdemeanor in Missouri.

Finding A Missouri Dog Bite Injury Attorney Is Important

If you've been bit by a stray dog in Missouri, a dog bite injury lawyer is a crucial assistant as you look for justice in your case. A top St. Louis dog bite attorney can help investigate all the facets of your case, deal with the insurance companies, and ensure you get every penny you are entitled to receive.

The Missouri Injury Law Firm has years of experience dealing with dog bite lawsuits and is ready to fight for you today. Contact them online or give attorney Gene Hou a call at (636) 333-1717 for a free consultation about your dog bite lawsuit.

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1444 Gravois Road,
High Ridge, MO 63049

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