Being bitten by a dog is always a traumatic experience, and if you are severely injured, a dog bite can have long-ranging repercussions. It may be a long and painful process to recover, may include scars and other deformities caused by the bite, and you may also miss work as a result, forcing you to deal with financial hardship. Such an experience can also cause serious emotional trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
After getting your immediate medical issues taken care of, it is important to talk to an attorney as quickly as possible after a Blue Springs, Missouri dog bite. Your attorney will want to gather evidence to effectively help your case, and evidence can easily disappear or weaken as time passes.
Missouri's Strict Liability Law on Dog Bites
Missouri is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that the owner of the dog is liable for any injuries inflicted by the dog, whether or not he knew about the dog’s likelihood to bite. This is different from the one-bite rule in neighboring Kansas, and will make it much easier to prove your case in court and recover damages.
Blue Springs, Missouri Law Regarding Restraining Dogs and Other Animals
Section 215.040 of the Blue Springs, MO municipal code explicitly requires that the owner, or whoever is in charge of a dog, “shall keep their dog, cat, or other animal under restraint at all times.” The word “restraint” is defined as follows: “A dog, cat, or animal is under restraint if it is within a fully enclosed or fenced area or under the handheld leash of owner or agent of the owner, or on a leash confining such dog, cat, or animal to the yard of its owner.”
This rule, however, does not apply to Service Dogs while they are actually assisting a handicapped person. It also does not apply to police dogs while they are being used for law enforcement purposes.
Section 215.080 of the Blue Springs Municipal Code also specifies that if a dog has bitten anyone, it must be surrendered into quarantine if a police officer or Animal Control officer demands it. The dog's owner must pay the cost of boarding and all vaccinations.
Law Regarding Dangerous Dogs in Blue Springs, Missouri
In addition, the keeping of dogs that have proven to be dangerous is prohibited in Blue Springs. According to Section 215.160 of the Blue Springs Code, “It is illegal to harbor or keep within the City of Blue Springs an animal that is a ‘dangerous animal’ or to own such an animal and allow it to be kept or harbored within the City of Blue Springs.” If it is found that “dangerous animal” is living in Blue Springs, its owners may receive a summons and are required to “safely remove said animal from the city within three (3) days of the date of said notice.”
The phrase “dangerous animal” includes the following in its definition: “[a]ny animal having evidenced a disposition, propensity or tendency to attack or bite any person or other animal without provocation, or any animal which, without provocation, in a vicious or terrorizing manner, approaches any person in apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds or places... .” It also includes any animal that “has bitten any person or other animal on one (1) or more separate occasions without provocation.”
What happens after a dog bite in Blue Springs, MO?
In Blue Springs, Missouri, the dog’s owner is responsible for his or her dog’s behavior. He or she must keep the animal restrained so it cannot run lose and bite anyone. If the dog is known to be dangerous, the dog should have been removed already.
If you have been bitten, the owner may be strictly liable for your injuries in Missouri. In order for you to be compensated for your injuries, you should talk to a lawyer who has extensive experience with dog bites and related injuries caused by a dog attack to ensure your rights are properly represented and you receive the monetary damages you are owed.