What Can I Do After a Dog Bite Attack in Kansas City?

Dogs are the most popular pets in the United States and have a history as man’s best friend stretching back thousands of years. Unfortunately, some dogs do attack people without provocation or seemingly randomly. Even dogs with no history of unprovoked violence could suddenly attack for unknown reasons, and anyone who suffers a dog bite injury in the Kansas City, MO region should know what to do following such an attack.

Kansas City Dog Bite Laws

Missouri state law places liability for a dog bite on the dog’s owner under certain conditions. The attack in question must have occurred in a public place or a private place where the victim had permission to enter. The victim must not have provoked the dog to attack. Additionally, Missouri distinguishes between bite and non-bite dog injuries, and non-bite related injuries from incidents like dogs jumping on people would refer to the state’s negligence statutes; the dog’s owner would likely face liability for any resulting damages under these laws.

Missouri law also upholds a statute requiring the owner of a dog who bites another person unprovoked to pay a $1,000 fine in addition to the other damages in the lawsuit. Missouri handles dog bite incidents on a strict liability basis. This means a dog’s owner is strictly liable for any and all injuries his or her dog causes to others, regardless of whether the dog’s owner took reasonable precautions to prevent injuries and/or restrain the dog in an attempt to prevent the bite.

Determining Your Legal Options After a Dog Bite Attack in Kansas City

If another person’s dog bit you while you were legally present at the location of the attack, the dog’s owner is strictly liable for all resulting damages and associated legal penalties. After such an incident, record as much information as possible and then seek prompt medical treatment. A doctor can provide a full report of your injuries and prognosis. For example, a dog bite to the hand could sever a tendon, potentially resulting in limited use of the hand or other medical complications.

If another person’s dog caused a non-bite injury from jumping on you or scratching you with its claws, you would file a personal injury claim under the concept of negligence; the plaintiff must prove the defendant was negligent in his or her handling or restraining of the dog in question. For example, if a dog owner took a dog for a walk without a leash and the dog jumps up and knocks another person to the ground, the dog’s owner would be liable for the victim’s resulting damages.

Any dog-related injury, bite or otherwise, would fall under the purview of personal injury law. However, determining liability is easier in dog bite cases as a dog’s owner is always strictly liable for biting injuries in Missouri. In a non-bite related case, the plaintiff would need to prove he or she did not provoke the dog or that the owner was negligent in his or her handling of the dog.

Potential Recovery From a Dog Bite Lawsuit

Dog bite injuries are very painful with a moderate to high chance of causing permanent damage depending on the size and breed of the dog and nature of the attack. A dog who simply nips another person may cause a mild puncture wound whereas a large dog who bites and refuses to let go of the victim could destroy muscles, tendons, or ligaments, and cause severe bleeding. Such an attack could easily lead to a permanent loss of range of motion or bodily function. A plaintiff in a dog bite injury lawsuit could potentially recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering.