Has a dog attacked you in Liberty, Missouri? Dog bites can inflict serious injuries, and you need to see a doctor right away. You may even require vaccination for rabies, and possibly surgery and rehabilitation, depending on the severity of your injuries.
Another important aspect of your recovery is speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible. And not just any lawyer, but one who has worked extensively with dog bite victims. At Foster Wallace, LLC, we have helped many people who have been injured by dog bites. We know how important it is to gather any supportive evidence right away and how to present it in court.
Dog Bite Laws in Missouri
Now let's take a look at the Liberty, MO, dog bite laws. They start with Article I, Section 4-14 of the Liberty municipal code that clearly states, in slightly edited form:
No person shall allow an animal to bite a human being or another animal, or fail to prevent such animal from biting a human being or another animal.
Article II is all about dogs (and cats). After some regulations about licensing, it gets to section 4-21, which deals with proper enclosures to confine a dog, along with tethering and restraints.
As section 4-23 states, "When not confined to residential property, the owner or keeper of a dog shall keep his dog under restraint at all times, on a leash no longer than six (6) feet in length. It shall be unlawful (...) to permit such dog to run at large."
The Law on Dangerous Dogs in Liberty, Missouri
Note that the section above deals with any dog. Section 4-30 of the code deals with dangerous dogs, where there are additional requirements and restrictions. It starts with definitions and lists the types of behavior that make a dog dangerous.
Next, there are extensive rules about proper registration and keeping of such dogs, focusing on secure confinement, and strict regulations on how to handle such dogs when they are out of their normal confinement. They must be muzzled and kept on a leash that is firmly controlled by someone strong enough to do so.
The owner of the dog is also required to have liability insurance of at least $300,000 to cover injuries inflicted by their dog.
Understanding the Dunbar Scale for Dog Bite Injuries
A unique element of the Liberty, MO, code is the Dunbar scale, listed as section 4-31. It classifies the injuries inflicted by the dog bite into six levels, where level 1 indicates aggressive behavior but no skin-contact with the dog's teeth, and level 6 indicates the death of the victim.
This scale is used when declaring a dog as dangerous. For the most part, level 4 is used as the cut-off point for that purpose, which includes one to four punctures from a single bite.
In cases where the dog has a pattern of vicious behavior, such as snapping, charging, or otherwise manifesting a disposition to bite, attack, or injure a person or a domestic animal, a lower level is also considered sufficient for classifying a dog as dangerous.
Contact Experienced Missouri Dog Bite Attorneys Today
Clearly, Liberty, MO, has many provisions that require an owner of a dog to maintain control and prevent the animal from attacking or biting anyone. If an attack happens anyway, the owner is guilty of violating these rules. In that case, an experienced attorney can help the victim recover damages, especially since the owners of dangerous animals are required to carry insurance.
At Foster Wallace, LLC, we have the experience to successfully take the case to court. So if you have any questions about your own dog bite case, contact our experienced attorneys today. We'll be happy to sit down with you and look at your situation and help you get the compensation you deserve.