What You Should Know About Dog Bite Laws in Missouri

What You Should Know About Dog Bite Laws in Missouri

Dogs are affectionately regarded as “man’s best friend,” but that doesn’t mean they’re incapable of causing severe harm. Dog bites happen more than four million times every year, with 800,000 bites requiring medical attention. This is why Missouri dog bite laws protect victims of dog bites and attacks and hold the owners accountable. Don’t wait until a dog bites you to learn your rights – here’s what you should know about the dog bite laws in Missouri.

Missouri Dog Bite Laws Then and Now

Previously, Missouri law had a “one-bite” rule that provided strong legal protection to dog owners. According to the one-bite rule, a dog’s owner must have known that their dog would bite to be held liable for the incident.

Now, Missouri law uses a “strict liability” rule for dog bites, which holds dog owners liable when their dog bites someone, even if they took reasonable precautions to prevent the incident from occurring.

Understanding Dog Bite Victim and Owner’s Rights in Missouri

According to Section 273.036 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, dog bite victims can hold owners accountable for their injuries if:

  • The injury was a result of a dog bite
  • The victim was on public property or lawfully on private property (i.e., not trespassing)
  • The dog attack was unprovoked

Dog owners have the legal right to claim negligence or provocation to defend themselves in a dog bite case. So, if they can prove that you provoked the dog to attack, like poking them or pulling their tail, they will not be held liable. In addition, if they can show that you were trespassing on their property, causing the dog to attack, they also could avoid liability. 

What is the Deadline For Filing a Dog Bite Injury Claim in Missouri?

After suffering a dog bite injury, the victim has five years under the Missouri statute of limitations to bring their case to court. This window begins on the date of the incident.

Did You Suffer a Dog Bite? The Goss Law Firm is Here For You

Dog bites happen quickly, but the consequences could last much longer. If you were injured due to a dog bite, the owner might not be on your side, but we are. The dog bite attorneys at The Goss Law Firm will protect your rights and ensure that you are appropriately compensated for your experience. 

Contact us today by submitting a contact form below or calling our office toll-free at 816-888-5000 for a free legal consultation.