• Kenneth Powell

What Happens if Your Dog Bites Another Dog in Missouri?

Cases of dogs biting humans are some of the most recurrent situations that attorneys and insurance companies have to settle. However, it is just as common for dogs to attack other dogs, and some of those instances result in serious consequences for the injured animal.

What exactly happens if a dog bites another dog in the state of Missouri? From insurance coverage to owner liability, here are all the facts that a dog owner should be aware of.

After the Attack

After the Attack

When a dog-on-dog attack occurs, it is essential to get the injured animal medical attention immediately. Doing so increases the chances of its survival and full recovery. Even if there are no visible injuries, this step is pivotal to make sure the pet is safe.

In addition, getting help from a vet ensures that the injured pet’s owner gets all the necessary proof of the medical expenses that the assault led to. Whether the injuries are superficial bite wounds that only need cleaning or there is significant tearing of the flesh that requires surgery, owners should get it all in writing. If they do, they will have all the crucial evidence to pursue the matter in the future.

Moreover, it is necessary to get the contact information of the attacking dog’s owner and any witnesses. This data will also be important for any future deals.

Does an Owner Have to Have Insurance to Get Compensation?

Every owner can insure the life of their pet, and that includes dogs. Most policies cover the majority of illnesses that occur on their own and all outside attacks. Thus, a dog getting bitten by another dog is included in all policies.

However, not many people actually get pet insurance. A look at statistics reveals that only 3% of dogs in the country are insured, with the percentage for other pets being even lower. Hence, only a small number of dog owners can count on a policy to cover their expenses if an attack occurs.

Fortunately, that does not mean that they have to pay for it out of their own pockets. According to the Missouri Statute 273.036.1, an owner may be liable for any injury or damage that their dog causes. They can be held accountable whether the dog has a history of violent behavior or not.

Moreover, the owner is guilty no matter where the attack occurs (private vs. public property). The only time they cannot be held responsible is if the injured party (the wounded dog, in this case) was on the owner’s private property unlawfully. Finally, the owner is also to blame if their dog causes any damage to material goods aside from hurting the other pet.

Therefore, a person whose dog has been attacked can pursue the case further. If they do, they can get compensation for the expenses the attack caused. That includes coverage for medical bills (medication, surgery, etc.) and for any property damage.

Working With a Dog Injury Lawyer

In cases of dog-on-dog attacks, both parties should contact reputable dog bite lawyers in St Louis as soon as possible. Getting legal help is imperative, especially if the injuries sustained in the assault are severe and require extensive care. It is even more important if the attack results in a dog's death.

Most dog bite situations end with simple settlements. In these deals, the owners of the dog at fault often have to pay for all medical expenses that the other party had to finance. If the injured dog dies, the other owner has to pay for the dog’s original market value.

The negligent party can only avoid paying if the other party somehow provoked the attack. The same applies if the other dog was not on a leash (find out if Missouri has a leash law). Thus, it is essential to have witness testimonies. They can easily make a difference and ensure that both parties get justice.

Once the lawyers and parties agree on a settlement, the case closes. In most instances, the negotiations do not take longer than a few months. Attorneys usually try to avoid trials, as they are overly expensive for these types of situations. If a trial does happen, it can last for a few months or a couple of years.

For other questions related to dog bites, such as if Missouri has a one-bite rule, you may reach out to us.