Have you or a family member suffered from a dog bite and been seriously injured? If so, you need to speak with an experienced Missouri dog bite lawyer from our firm to learn about your legal rights to financial compensation.
Missouri Dog Bite Laws
Missouri law provides several different causes of action available to the victim of a dog bite which may differ depending on where the injury occurs, whether on the premises of the owner of the dog, off the premises of the owner or within a city or town which may have a leash law.
Your right to recover may also depend on whether or not the dog has a history or propensity to bite or attack. There are at least three different ways for a victim of a dog bite to recover damages in Missouri including the following:
Vicious or Dangerous Propensities
If the injured victim of a dog bite or attack can show that the dog had vicious or dangerous propensities such as biting or threatening to bite in the past, and that the owner of the dog had knowledge of those propensities, the owner’s exercise of reasonable care in restraining the dog is not a defense. In other words, strict liability applies because of the dog’s dangerous propensities and the owner’s knowledge of the propensities.
Dangerous Condition of Property
Another theory of recovery in a dog bite case in Missouri is based on a premises liability theory of a dangerous condition of property. If a dog bite or attack takes place on the Defendant’s premises, dangerous or vicious propensities or proof of same is not required.
Violation of a Leash Law
Many cities and towns in Missouri have a leash law which in essence requires the owner to maintain possession and control of a dog on their own premises. Many of these laws, referred to as municipal ordinances, make the owner liable for an injury which occurs if the dog has not been contained on the owner’s premises.
In Missouri, when a leash law is in effect and a dog leaves the property of the owner, attacking and biting another person, the owner may be held strictly liable which means absolute liability without any proof of negligence being required.
Statue Of Limitations
The statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Missouri, which would include a dog bite, is 5 years for an adult. If the victim of a dog bite is a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the age of 21 and runs to age 26.
Choosing a Missouri Dog Bite Lawyer
Depending on the severity of the bite, you could require hospitalization and complications can occur if the bite becomes infected. You may require extensive wound care, plastic surgery and scar revision. Our experienced West Plains dog bite lawyers can fight for you to recover the damages you need to cover your past and future medical expenses, as well as scarring, disfigurement and lost pay from work.
Our firm works on a contingency fee bases, meaning you pay nothing unless we win and you will not have to pay us until we recover the compensation you deserve.
With 80+ years of experience, our dedicated legal team has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.