Beware of Dog Bites - Joplin, MO

What to Do if You’ve Been Attacked or Bitten by a Dog?

The two most important things you can do after a dog attack is call the police and seek medical treatment right away. The police and animal control should respond to your location to capture the dog and prevent it from biting anybody else. An immediate police response will also help identify the dog and its owner, which is extremely important for holding the owner legally responsible and preventing future attacks. Animal control will also attempt to confirm whether the dog has an up-to-date rabies vaccination. If the dog’s vaccination status cannot be confirmed, standard operating procedure is to quarantine the dog and observe for signs and symptoms of rabies.

Seek immediate medical treatment for large or deep bites or any bites to the face, head, or neck. Large dogs usually cause deep puncture wounds in the area of the bite. Bacteria from the dog’s mouth is usually implanted deep in the wounds and carries a very serious risk of infection. Your emergency room doctor will usually prescribe a course of antibiotics and inspect the wound for any damage to muscle, tendons, or bones. Be sure to follow-up with your regular doctor in the following days so he can monitor the bite sight for infection as it heals. Never ignore signs of an infection. These signs include a fever, nausea, and redness, swelling, or pain at the sight of the bite.

Very serious dog bites may require immediate surgery to reconstruct the tissue at the sight of the bite. Surgery is commonplace for bites to the face, head, and neck, or when there is extensive damage to the skin, muscles, or tendons of the victim. Often these very serious bites require multiple surgeries to repair the damaged tissue and minimize scarring.

Even if the dog bite does not appear to be serious, you should still get checked out the next day by your regular doctor. Of course, immediately wash the wound with soap and water to help minimize the chance of infection.

In the days following your dog bite or attack, you should call and speak to an attorney knowledgeable about handling dog bite cases. The owner of the dog is probably insured and his insurance company is responsible for paying your medical bills and lost wages, as well as a fair amount or any scarring, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. It is very important to contact an attorney early on so he or she can identify the dog, its owner, and any witnesses, and confirm the dog’s rabies vaccination status.

Please see our Practice Areas page for additional information regarding dog bites, or call us today for a free consultation at (417) 385-1338.

Insurance Coverage for Dog Attacks

Missouri Dog Bite Law

Missouri has one of the best laws in the nation for protecting victims of dog bites. In Missouri, the owner of a dog that bites is automatically responsible to the victim of the dog bite so long as the victim was not trespassing and did not provoke the dog. R.S.Mo. 273.036.1. Contrast this to the law in Kansas which requires the victim to prove that the owner of the dog knew the dog was dangerous. Lawyers call the Missouri law “strict liability,” while the Kansas law is referred to as the “one free bite rule” since dog owners usually escape responsibility unless the victim can prove the dog previously bit somebody else.

While lawyers frequently debate which law is the most fair, more and more states nationwide are abandoning the “one free bite rule” in favor of strict liability for dog bites. Certainly Missouri’s law and others like it provide the most protection for dog bite victims by shifting the financial responsibility for dog bites away from innocent victims and onto the owner of the dog that attacked the victim. This shift of financial responsibility makes even more sense when one considers that most dog owners are insured for dog bites through their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.

Please see our Practice Areas page for additional information regarding dog bites, or call us today for a free consultation at (417) 385-1338.

Should You Hire an Attorney After an Injury?

There is a misconception that people who hire an attorney after an injury are motivated by money. Most times money is far down on the list. Instead, what people want most is answers. They want to make sense of what happened to them. They also want those responsible for causing their injury to be held accountable. People want to effect change and make sure whatever happened to them does not happen to somebody else.

A good personal injury attorney conducts an investigation to discover exactly what led to your injury and takes steps to prevent those responsible from hurting others. Many personal injury settlements include an agreement whereby the at-fault company must change its policies and procedures to correct the danger that caused the injury.

When money is at issue, it is not that someone is trying to get rich. Seriously injured people have thousands of dollars in medical bills, they have missed time from work, and many need to pay for future medical treatment. Insurance companies usually do not offer unrepresented folks a fair settlement. They know that person can’t successfully try their own case in court and therefore will not pay them a fair amount for their injuries.

Insurance industry statistics demonstrate that hiring any attorney is often necessary to receive fair compensation after an injury. According to an article published by the Insurance Research Council, injured victims who hire an attorney after a car wreck on average receive settlements that are 3.5 times greater than unrepresented victims. Auto Injuries: Claim Behaving and its Impact on Insurance Cost.

People also hire an attorney for peace of mind. They want to make sure that their claim is handled by a professional. They also want to be able to focus on getting better while letting the attorney deal with the insurance company and the court system.

Historic Gryphon Building Turns 100

By 1913, the Inter-State Grocer Company had outgrown its complex on South Virginia Street and began plans for the construction of a much larger, more efficient edifice. The company officers chose a site just across the railroad tracks to the south where the former S.C. Henderson Wholesale Grocer Company had occupied a late nineteenth century building on South Main Street since circa 1902. Just two years later, in 1915, the result was the beautiful building we now call the Gryphon building.

Austin Bradley Law Firm moved into the historic Gryphon building at 10th and Main in 2015 just when it celebrated its 100th birthday. Not only is this building of historical significance but it is now in its fully glory with plush office suites and amazing downtown Joplin views.

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