In the state of Missouri, there are certain laws that protect victims when a dog bite occurs. Because these laws can be complex and unfamiliar, there are many questions that will arise when you or a loved one is bitten or attacked by another person’s dog. Furthermore, it is important to understand what your rights are when a dog bite takes place so you can protect yourself, as well as your family.
Statue of Limitation
In Missouri, if you are bitten by a dog, you have a five year time limit to file a claim for compensation. Additionally, the statute of limitations date typically begins the date of your injury, or when you were first bitten by the dog. If you wait to file past the five-year statute of limitation in regards to your dog bite injury, you will likely not have a personal injury case. Therefore, it is highly important to understand when the deadline expires in your dog bite case so it can be heard in the court of law.
There are specific laws in Missouri that cover dog bite victims. If you or a loved one is bitten by a dog that you do not own, the owner may be liable in such instances:
- The injury was sustained by a dog bite.
- The individual who was bitten was either on public property or was lawfully on someone else’s private property.
- The injured individual did not provoke the dog in any way.
The term, “strict liability” refers to the fact that the dog’s owner is liable if the dog bites another individual even if the animal has never been aggressive. An owner will still be liable when they did not know the dog could be or was aggressive. It is important to understand that in Missouri the strict liability rule only is used for injuries sustained by dog bites and not from other forms of behavior such as jumping or scratching.
Owner Defenses against Dog Bite Accidents
Although Missouri does carry a strict liability rule for dog bites, there are commonly applied defenses the dog’s owner can apply toward such claims such as:
- Provocation - the owner is not liable if the injured party provoked the dog such as by poking it with a stick or the like.
- Trespassing - the owner is not liable if the injured party was unlawfully on the property where the dog bite accident occurred.
- Comparative Negligence - the owner is not liable if the injured party is partly or completely responsible for the dog to attack.
Ithelps to have a trusted Kansas City personal injury attorney on your sideif any of the above mentioned defenses are argued in court for a dog bite case, it can either reduce or eliminate the compensation you can recover.
Klenofsky Law Firm has handled numerous personal injury cases and can help you after a dog bite or animal attack. We will fight on your behalf and make sure you receive the fair financial compensation you deserve. Please contact us today for a free consultation.