The Missouri dog bite statute of limitations is generally five years. A statute of limitations is a time limit set by law that dictates the maximum period for legal action to be brought after an event. This means that from the date of the dog bite incident, you have five years to initiate a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. After this timeframe expires, you may lose your right to pursue legal action against the responsible party. Missouri Dog Bite Statute of Limitations | Kansas City Dog Bite Lawyer

An experienced Kansas City dog bite attorney explains more about how partnering with knowledgeable legal counsel ensures you meet this deadline to recover the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Missouri’s Dog Bite Statute of Limitations

Understanding the statute of limitations stipulations regarding dog bite incidents is important for numerous reasons including, but not limited to: 

Ensures a timely resolution

A set statute prevents disputes from lingering indefinitely, ensuring that parties seek legal remedies in a timely manner.

Preserve evidence and witness testimony

As time passes, evidence may deteriorate or become unavailable, and witnesses often forget important details. A statute of limitations encourages parties to gather evidence and testimony quickly while still available.

Provide fairness to defendants

A statute of limitations protects potential defendants from facing lawsuits for incidents that happened long ago, allowing them to move forward with their lives without the constant threat of litigation.

Although Missourians have five years from the date of a dog bite accident to file a claim against the negligent owner, there are certain exceptions to this rule. For example:

  • If the dog bite victim is a minor at the time of the incident, the statute of limitations may be extended until they turn 18. This means the minor has five years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
  • If a dog bite victim is mentally incapacitated when the accident occurs, they have the full five-year period to initiate a personal injury lawsuit once they’re declared competent.
  • If the dog bite injury isn’t immediately apparent and couldn’t reasonably have been discovered right away, the statute of limitations may be extended. The clock might start running from when the injury was discovered or should have been discovered.

How a Lawyer Can Help With Your Dog Bite Case

After seeking medical attention for your injury, it’s crucial to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after a dog bite incident, even if you’re unsure about pursuing legal action. If you miss the statute of limitations deadline in a Missouri dog bite accident case, you’ll likely lose the right to bring a lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries. A lawyer not only ensures you meet the statute of limitations deadline, but also does the following to help with your dog bite case.

Explains your legal rights

A dog bite lawyer details your legal rights and options, helping you determine if you have a valid case and if it’s worth pursuing.

Gathers valuable evidence

To build a strong case, evidence needs to be collected promptly. A lawyer helps gather and preserve essential evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and photos of the injuries.

Determines a value for your claim

Your dog bite attorney determines what your claim is worth based on economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost income, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and permanent disfigurement.

Negotiates with insurers

An insurance company will likely get involved if the dog owner has liability insurance. Insurers may pressure you to settle your claim for the lowest amount possible, but your legal team negotiates on your behalf to seek fair compensation for your injuries.

Provides court representation

If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, your dog bite lawyer can present your case before a judge or jury.

Ryan Fowler
Helping Kansas City area medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and personal injury clients.