Dog Bite Laws In Missouri
In Missouri, dog owners are held “strictly liable” when their dog bites and injures a person. Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 273.036 states that a dog owner is liable if:
● The dog attacked without provocation by the victim;
● The victim was lawfully on the property and
● The injury claimed was caused by the dog bite.
Some states require showing that the owner was negligent in the handling of the dog or that they knew the dog had “vicious propensities.” Missouri’s “strict liability” statute makes it easier for victims to collect compensation by eliminating these burdens. In order to defeat a claim a dog owner usually needs to prove that the victim was not legally on the property or that they provoked the dog.
How Our Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help You
If you’ve been seriously injured by a dog bite, a Missouri dog bite attorney can help you collect the information and evidence you will need to obtain compensation for your damages. It starts with a thorough investigation including:
● Obtaining the police and animal control report;
● Obtaining statements from the dog owner and witnesses;
● Obtaining videos taken by surveillance cameras or bystanders;
● Interviewing people in the community that might be able to identify witnesses and
● Investigating applicable insurance policies to cover the loss.
"Propensity" in Dog Bite Cases
Often one of the key forms of evidence in a dog bite case will include an inquiry and investigation into the owner's history with the dog. There must be a through investigation to determine whether or not there have been other instances involving an injury with the dog.
The reason why this is important is that it can often provide insight into whether or not the dog owner will be considered to have knowledge of the dog's propensity to bite. This is understandably a crucial component of a case, as knowledge of the dog's propensity to bite could tend to show that the dog owner should have taken measures to prevent further dog bite incidents.
These measures could be wide ranging. There are many resources available to dog owners to seek training for the dog, and there is a great deal of literature written and available dor dog owners in regard to proper handling of a dog to ensure safety when around other people than the owner.
If a dog has shown a propensity to bite other people, it may be reasonable to expect that the dog owner be more intentional in planning how to have that dog interact with people in the future to ensure safety. This is especially true for contexts involving young children. There are many dog bite injuries arising from a young child that is interacting with a dog. This interaction can often cause an increased risk considering that children often lack the ability to acknowledge the risks of interacting with a dog.
Dog bite injuries occur in very unexpected moments and contexts. Ordinarily our interactions with dogs are loving and pleasant. When you or someone you know has been injured in a dob bite incident, it is crucial that you be proactive in seeking to hire an attorney to protect your rights and interests.
In many instances the dog owner will be covered through an insurance policy that will be able to provide compensation for medical bills and other damages. A claim through the insurance carrier will provide an opportunity to be compensated without pursuing litigation against the dog owner, but rather settling your claim through the insurance claim process.
Contact our Dog Bite Attorneys today
An experienced Missouri dog bite attorney will have the requisite skills and knowledge to know how to move your case towards a just resolution. Contact the dog bite attorneys at Fletcher Law Office for a free consultation of your dog bite case. Our legal team is ready to learn more about your case and discuss the steps that may be needed to move your case forward in the right direction.