The CDC reported in 2015, that there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites in the United States annually with 1 out of 5 bites resulting in an infection, (cdc.gov). It is not surprising to learn that half of all dog bites occur with children and familiar dogs although they do occur under other circumstances. Dog bites can result in minor injuries to major physical setbacks. Knowing when a dog bite is worthy of legal action is important.
When is a dog bit worthy of legal action?
A dog bite is worthy of legal action if the bite has inflicted pain or injury and occurred without provocation. A basic overview of Kansas and Missouri’s dog bite law are as follows:
- Kansas is currently a “one bite state,” meaning that the dog’s owner is not liable for some bites IF it is a dog’s first offense. However, the owner is held strictly liable for more serious injuries, second offenses, or if the dog is known to be dangerous. The Kansas dog bite law does make it more difficult for a victim to obtain compensation because it is based on an old rule mixed with more modern laws.
- Missouri is a “statutory strict liability state,” meaning that the dog’s owner is strictly liable for all dog bites, regardless of the dog’s history. If a negligence claim can be proved i.e. off leash or running loose, the victim will be able to recover a larger monetary compensation. The exceptions to this liability include Trespassing or Provocation of a dog bite.
If you or a loved one ever experiences an injury secondary to a dog bite, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Notify the owner and animal control as soon as possible and file a police report if necessary. Seek medical treatment at your doctor’s office or in the emergency room if needed. Likewise, photograph the injury as well as obtain medical documentation pertinent to the short and long term care related to the injury to use if a legal case is necessary.
Missouri and Kansas accept different dog bite laws and may contrast further between each county and city. Regardless of the severity of an injury, failure to file a legal claim outside of each state’s statute of limitation will result in a loss of compensation with few exceptions.
If you are uncertain if your dog bite injury is worthy of legal action, contact Reginald Keith Davis, Attorney at Law for a free consultation.