Although some dog attacks occur because the dog was “provoked”, most attacks take place without warning and without justification. Because most people’s experience with dogs is positive, people tend to believe that all dogs are gentle and kind. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. Dog attacks are actually quite common, despite regulations to deter such attacks. Some cities and towns have enacted ordinances requiring that dogs be restrained within a fence or at least on a strong leash. Other ordinances require muzzles for dogs over a certain size while others ban certain breeds altogether.
If you notice that a dog in your neighborhood is particularly aggressive, be sure to keep your family at a distance. It is also a good idea to talk to the owners about restraint – specifically, tell them that you have seen the violent behavior and are requesting that the dog be restrained at all times. If you ever see a violent dog unrestrained, report it to the authorities immediately.
In both Missouri and Illinois, there are different legal theories that can be used to bring a dog bite claim. First, if the dog’s prior behavior indicates violent tendencies, especially previous attacks, the owner is clearly liable for future attacks. Second, premises liability theories may be used. These theories are discussed in depth on our dangerous property page. Essentially, if the owner knew or should have known that the dog created a dangerous condition, the owner should be held liable. Third, if a local dog rule or ordinance was violated, that violation is strong evidence in the dog bite case.
Dog bites can be vicious, especially when a child is attacked. Dogs do not know to be patient with children so what might be normal behavior for a child (chasing the dog), may be threatening to a dog. Some dogs are actually trained to be violent. Either way, the owner is responsible for the actions of his dog. Dog bites can cause severe personal injury included permanent scarring and nerve damage. The attack may also cause long-lasting emotional scarring.
I handle Missouri and Illinois dog bite cases. I will evaluate your case for free and never take a fee unless and until I obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Contact St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney Lindsay Rakers or call at (800) 517-0602.