The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) cites data showing that more than 800,000 people seek professional medical care for dog bite injuries in the U.S. each year. A dog owner—or another negligent party—may be legally liable for dog bite injuries. These cases are controlled by state law. Here, our Kansas City dog bite lawyer provides an in-depth guide to dog bite laws and dog bite liability in Missouri.
All Dog Bites Require Immediate Medical Attention
Dog bites can result in severe injuries, even death. It is crucial that victims seek immediate medical attention for a dog bite incident, regardless of the perceived severity. A prompt evaluation and appropriate treatment will minimize the risk of complications, such as rabies, tetanus, or bacterial infections. Beyond that, obtaining a medical report that documents the nature and extent of the injuries will provide crucial evidence if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
Missouri is a Strict Liability State for Dog Bite Injuries
Under Missouri law (RSMo § 273.036), dog bite claims are governed by strict liability. In other words, the victim does not need to prove that a dog owner was negligent—failed to take due care—to bring a claim. State law presumes that dogs are inherently dangerous and that dog owners should take proactive safety precautions. To hold a dog owner liable, a victim must prove the following:
- They were bitten by the animal;
- The were in a public place, or they were lawfully in a private place; and
- They were not provoking the dog at the time of the attack.
A Negligent Third Party May Also Bear Legal Responsibility for Dog Bites
In some cases, a negligent third party may share or bear full responsibility for a dog bite. For instance, if a property owner or a landlord knew about a tenant’s aggressive dog and failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from causing harm, they could be held liable for the resulting injuries. Similarly, dog sitters, walkers, or trainers may also be held accountable if their negligence contributed to the dog bite incident. To be clear, a claim against a party other than the dog owner is based on negligence and not strict liability.
Dog Bite Victims in Missouri Deserve Full and Fair Financial Compensation
Missouri law entitles dog bite victims to full and fair financial compensation for their injuries and damages. Compensation may cover various expenses and losses, including medical bills, future medical treatment, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any permanent scarring or disfigurement. Our Kansas City, MO, dog bite lawyer is standing by, ready to help you fight for the full and just compensation that you deserve.
Contact Our Kansas City Dog Bite Attorney for a Free Case Review
At House Law LLC, our Kansas City premises liability lawyer has extensive experience handling dog bite injury claims. If you have any questions regarding dog bite laws, we are more than ready to help. Call us now or connect with us online to set up your free, no-obligation case review. From our Kansas City office, we handle dog bite liability cases in Missouri and Kansas.
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