Dog biting a man's arm

Overland Park Dog Bite Lawyer

Have you been attacked and bitten by a dog in Overland Park, Kansas? Or maybe it was member of your family that suffered a dog bite? You shouldfirst make sure you or your loved one gets the medical attention they need immediately.

If the dog was not your own, whether it was a stranger’s, a neighbor’s, a relative’s, or a friend's dog, you need to talk to an attorney right away. You should act quickly when seeking legal representation after a dog bite so your attorney can collect important evidence that can quickly fade, or assist you in settling your case before you or your loved one even has to file a lawsuit.  

The “One Bite” Rule for Dog Bites Applies in Kansas

Since the attack or bite took place in Kansas, you need to know that Kansas is one of just 16 states where the so-called “one bite” law applies. The “one bite” rule provides that the dog owner must have known that the dog might bite in order to be able to hold the dog’s owner liable for the dog bite.  You can usually prove this by either showing that the dog had bitten someone before, that it had acted aggressively towards someone, or that it had displayed other aggressive behaviors. It might also be the case that it was a breed known for aggression or bred for aggressive behavior.

The problem with the one bite law is that if the dog has not bitten anyone to date, your lawyer would have to prove that it had the propensity to do so, and that the owner should have known that. This is much more difficult to prove than showing that the dog had bitten someone before.

This “one bite” law makes handling your case more challenging and its outcome less predictable. That's why gathering as much evidence as possible is so crucial. It is also essential that your attorney be familiar with Kansas dog bite laws as well as the local ordinances about dog bites in Overland Park, KS. It is very important that you choose your attorney carefully if you want to increase your chances of being fairly compensated for your injuries.

Laws Regarding Proper Control and Confinement of Dogs in Overland Park, Kansas

Overland Park, Kansas, has ordinances with extensive rules and regulations about the obligations of a dog owner to properly control a dog. It also lists what would constitute violations of the code.

Section 6.08.020, Dog and Cat Control, of the Overland Park Municipal Code, includes the following rules about proper control and confinement of dogs: “All dogs must be confined to the residential property of the owner, keeper, or harborer of said dog.” It also specifies that dogs may be taken off the residential property when “on a leash, no longer than 10 feet in length and the leash and the animal are under control of a responsible person.” It further specifies that dogs determined to be vicious “shall be muzzled when off the residential property (...) and shall be under the control of an adult.”

The code also includes a provision that if the dog is in the physical presence of its owner, and on its owner’s property and under “demonstrated direct and immediate voice control of its owner, keeper or harborer, it shall be considered confined to the residential property of the owner.” However, such “voice control” is not sufficient to consider the dog confined when the dog is off the property.

The section continues with many detailed rules about confinement in various ways and situations. For instance, section 6.08.026 specifies that no dog is permitted in the Downtown Business District's Farmers Market, unless it is a service dog while assisting an individual.

Kansas Law Regarding a Dangerous Dogs

The code also includes a section on dangerous dogs, and the definition states that any dog that has previously bitten someone is considered dangerous. Specifically, Section 6.10.010 states that “Any dog or cat having a disposition or propensity to attack or bite any person or animal without provocation is hereby defined as a dangerous animal.” Moreover, where the official records indicate, “a dog or cat has bitten any person or persons, it shall be prima facie evidence that said dog or cat is a dangerous animal.”

Meanwhile, in spite of the “one bite” law, the rules about proper containment of dogs as well as about the obligation to control dogs at all times also apply to dogs that have not shown themselves to be dangerous at this time.

In either event, when the dog owner does not properly control his dog, and the dog injures someone as a result, the owner is in violation of the code.

It is clearly illegal to allow a dog to attack or bite people:

Section 6.08.085 of the Overland Park, Kansas, Municipal Code states: “[i]t shall be unlawful for the owner, keeper, or harborer of any animal to permit such animal to:

A. Cause injury to people.

B. Bite or cause injury to any person or other animal.”

Michael Foster
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Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney