Dog Bites

St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers

If a Pet Attacked You or Your Child, We Can Help

Most dogs aren’t dangerous, but it’s still their owners’ responsibility to keep them under control at all times. A bite or other type of attack may cause serious injury and lasting trauma. You should not have to handle the financial fallout of this on your own.

Our St. Louis firm can help you fight for compensation if you’ve been injured. With the recent change to our state code as it concerns animal attacks, it is now easier for victims to file and prevail in a legal claim. Our attorneys have represented thousands of victims across Missouri, and in your time of need, we are here for you as well.

Learn how to start your dog bite claim by calling our St. Louis firm at (314) 701-7722. Our lawyers are happy to explain your legal options.

Liability in Missouri Dog Bite Claims

If you are bit by a dog in Missouri, the good news is, you do not have to do any work to prove the owner was to blame for the incident. According to state law, a dog owner is responsible for their pet’s behavior; regardless of whether it has attacked anyone in the past, they must keep the dog under control so it cannot hurt anyone.

The dog bite statutes apply both to victims who are on public property or legally on private property, meaning you likely have protection in any location you choose to visit. Additionally, you may be able to argue the dog owner was negligent if you can prove some other form of negligence. Our attorneys can help you determine the specifics of your claim after hearing your story.

How Do Dog Owners Defend Against Dog Bite Claims?

Though the law favors the right of dog bite victims to recover compensation, you can expect the owner of the dog that bit you to try to defend against your claim. There are a few approaches they can take under current law to decrease their liability.

The first defense a dog owner might try is arguing comparative negligence. For example, perhaps you did not heed a “beware of dog” sign on the owner’s private property before opening the gate to their yard, or perhaps you did not heed warning signs that the dog was getting agitated.

If you did anything to provoke the dog, this can also be used to push back against your claim. Provocation could include taunting, teasing, or threatening the animal or physically encroaching on its space. To succeed with this defense, the dog owner must be able to prove your behavior was more likely than not a factor in the dog’s choice to attack you.

Damages You Can Recover in a Dog Bite Claim

As with any other personal injury suit, you are eligible to recover compensation for all losses, tangible and not, linked with your injury. Some dog bites are not very serious and necessitate nothing more than a trip to Urgent Care. In this case, filing a lawsuit may be more trouble than it is worth. However, especially when the attacking dog is large or goes after a child, the outcome can greatly disrupt a victim’s life.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Costs for reconstruction surgery and rehabilitation
  • Disfigurement
  • Lost wages
  • Future loss of earnings
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

Dog bites often cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—and especially in such a dog-filled world, living with this disorder can be very difficult. We want to help you recover enough compensation to receive treatment for the physical and emotional harms you have suffered.

Supporting Dog Bite Victims

At The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm, our top priority is always getting clients the help they need. We take the time to get to know each individual we work with. After listening to your story, we will do our best to educate you on what to expect if you make a claim. Our attorneys will make sure you are confident and comfortable in your choices before taking action on your behalf.

Along with receiving top-tier customer service, our clients benefit from our firm’s experience: We have been serving local communities since 1996. After helping multiple clients who suffered dog bites, we know how to create strategies for these claims. Whether you are ready to start a case or simply want to know your options, we invite you to speak with one of our attorneys today. For your convenience, we offer weekend and after-hours appointments.

Start your dog bite claim by calling The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm at (314) 701-7722. We are here to help victims in our St. Louis community.


  • Unwavering Dedication

    We will fight for a just outcome on your behalf, and won’t give up in the face of difficult or unexpected challenges.

  • A Record of Proven Results

    Over our hundred years of combined legal experience, we have recovered millions of dollars for injured clients.

  • Respected in Our Community

    When attorneys need an attorney, they call us. Over 200 attorneys routinely refer clients to our capable & qualified team.

  • Compassionate Advocacy

    We genuinely care about the outcome of your case & commit to standing by your side every step of the way. 

  • Committed to Our Clients

    We pride ourselves in going the extra mile to make all of our clients feel comfortable, well-informed, and secure.

  • Clear Communication

    Our attorneys are committed to actively listening to our clients and to setting realistic, justifiable expectations.

Get The Help You Need

If you are interested in learning more about our law firm or want to schedule a free case evaluation, we encourage you to get in touch with our team today.


Millions Recovered For Our Clients
  • Car Accident $16,550,000 Settlement

    Settlement for a family of four involved in a single car wreck in a highway construction zone.

  • Wrongful Death $5,900,000 Verdict

    Verdict for the wrongful death of a woman as a result of the negligent failure of a pathologist to diagnose histoplasmosis.

  • Hospital Negligence $5,400,000 Settlement

    Settlement involving the failure of doctors at an east-central Illinois hospital to diagnose and treat a brain abscess.

  • Medical Malpractice $4,000,000 Settlement

    Settlement for a medical malpractice claim in downstate Illinois.

  • Tractor Trailer Injury and Death $2,400,000 Settlement

    Settlement for an Illinois tractor trailer injury resulting in death.

  • Medical Malpractice $2,100,000 Settlement

    Settlement for North Central Illinois medical malpractice case.

  • Truck Accident Resulting in Eye Injuries $2,000,000 Settlement

    Settlement of an accident involving a delivery truck with a pickup truck.

  • Negligent Care $1,750,000 Verdict

    Verdict for a case involving negligent podiatric care provided to the manager of a fast food restaurant.

  • Product Liability $1,750,000 Settlement

    Settlement for a man who lost both legs in a baler that had been improperly modified.

  • Hospital Negligence $1,245,000 Settlement

    Settlement for the failure by emergency room doctors to diagnose occluded carotid arteries and the stroke suffered by the patient as a result.

Hear From Our Clients

The Opinions That Matter Most
  • “I highly recommend Bill Tapella to anyone in need of an honest hardworking attorney that can get the job done and find your closure.”

    - Betty “Jane” B.
  • “When I got hurt, I almost lost everything. Bill Tapella was there for me and helped me put my life together.”

    - Brenda M.
  • “Bill is very hard-working and he has a great team as well. They go above and beyond.”

    - Donna S.


  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.