Have you been bitten by a dog and need assistance? You may be able to recover damages against the dog’s owner. In fact, sometimes one who keeps or harbors dogs, although not the owner, may be liable for your injuries as well. 

Dog Bite Liability Under Missouri Law

In Missouri, the three causes of action you may be entitled to file against the owner or dog harborer could potentially be:

  • Negligence. One who possesses a dog that he or she does not know to be abnormally dangerous, is subject to liability for the harm done by the dog if: (a) he intentionally caused the dog to harm someone, or (b) he was negligent in failing to prevent the harm. To show negligence, you will have to prove you were owed a duty, the dog owner breached that duty to you, and you were damaged because of that breach.
  • Premises Liability. This cause of action may be available only in rare cases.
  • Strict Liability. In an action against a dog owner, the plaintiff must establish that the animal had vicious propensity; and the defendant’s owner had knowledge of the animal’s vicious propensity. You cannot prevail, however, on a strict liability theory if you are a trespasser.

Punitive damages are available to people who have been injured by dogs or other animals in cases where the defendant’s conduct was outrageous. The statute of limitations for an injury following a dog (or any animal for that matter) is five years in Missouri. R.S.Mo. 516.120.

Kansas Dog Bite Laws

Kansas has no dog bite statute. Instead, it uses the common law one-bite rule. Under this rule, the owner of a dog is not held liable for personal injuries caused by a bite unless the owner either knew or should have known that the dog was predisposed to bite people. A Kansas dog owner might also argue that an injured person was trespassing and that therefore, the owner should not be liable for damages. Homeowner liability for trespasser injuries is limited in many contexts, including dog bite law. In Kansas, you have two years to file an action based on a dog bite.

Speak to an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyers

Since the laws surrounding these injuries are complex, it is always best to speak to an experienced injury attorney after a dog attack. Foster Wallace, LLC assists dog bite victims across the Kansas City metropolitan area on a contingency fee basis, so we do not collect any fees or payments until after your case is won. Call our office today or fill out our online contact form to set up your free initial consultation.

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