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Everything You Need to Know About Missouri’s Dog Bite Laws

July 3, 2024 | Dog Bite Laws

The man is trying to stay stable despite of the dog's biting.In Missouri, like in many states, the laws surrounding dog bites are designed to protect victims while holding dog owners accountable for negligence. If you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog, the lawyers of Goza & Honnold help you seek justice and compensation for your injuries. 

If a dog bites someone while they are on public property or lawfully on the dog owner’s property, the dog owner may be responsible for any injuries or damage inflicted by their pet. This means that if a dog bites a person, the owner might have to cover any related expenses, including medical bills that arise due to injuries. Generally, victims have up to five years to pursue a legal claim. The lawyers of Goza & Honnold will build a strong case on your behalf to increase your chances of a favorable resolution. 

Overview of Missouri’s Dog Bite Laws 

In Missouri, if you’ve been bitten by a dog, you have up to five years from the day you got injured – or from when you first realized you were injured – to take legal action. If you miss the deadline to file a dog bite claim, you may lose your chance to seek justice and compensation for injuries.

Missouri has strict laws pertaining to dog attacks. Dog owners are automatically responsible for any harm their dog causes, no matter the dog’s past behavior or whether the owner knew about any aggressive tendencies. This is different from states with a “one-bite rule,” where owners might not be liable the first time their dog bites someone.

When determining fault in a dog bite case, Missouri abides by a comparative negligence rule, which means both the dog’s owner and the person bitten can share the blame. For instance, if the person bitten had any role in provoking the dog or ignored signs that the dog was dangerous, he or she may be awarded less compensation, as determined by the degree of shared liability. A dog that’s shown aggression before and bites someone a subsequent time can lead to serious legal consequences for the owner, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on how severe the injury is.

In many cases, homeowner’s insurance can play a significant role in dog bite claims, covering damages caused by dog bites. However, dealing with insurance adjusters can be tricky, as they may attempt to pay out as little as possible. Working with the experienced dog bite lawyers of Goza & Honnold is essential to navigating negotiations with adjusters to obtain the full extent of compensation for losses. 

Recoverable Compensation in a Successful Dog Bite Claim 

In a successful dog bite claim, the compensation you may recover is designed to cover various losses and damages incurred due to the incident, including the following: 

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation covers hospital visits, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and any long-term care needed. It includes both expenses you’ve already paid and estimated losses for future medical care related to your injuries.
  • Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity: If your injuries force you to miss work, you can be compensated for lost wages. If the dog bite results in disabilities that affect your ability to earn a living in the future, you may also receive compensation for lost earning capacity.
  • Pain and Suffering: Beyond the physical pain, dog bites cause emotional distress and trauma. Losses for pain and suffering account for the physical pain and mental anguish you’ve experienced.
  • Property Damage: If the incident resulted in damaged personal property (like torn clothing or a broken phone), you can be compensated for these losses as well.
  • Loss of Quality of Life: If injuries prevent you from enjoying hobbies, activities, or daily routines you once did, you may receive compensation for this diminished quality of life.
  • Emotional Distress: Separate from pain and suffering, you can be compensated for psychological impacts such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD that result from the incident.

Successfully claiming these damages often requires obtaining comprehensive documentation and evidence, from medical records and wage statements to personal testimony about the impact on your life. Working with the lawyers of Goza & Honnold significantly improves your ability to accurately assess and fight for compensation following a dog bite in Missouri.

Speak With the Dog Bite Lawyers of Goza & Honnold Today 

If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer of Goza & Honnold can make all the difference in your case. We will guide you through every step, from gathering evidence and documenting your injuries to negotiating with insurance adjusters and taking your case to court, if necessary. You can focus on your recovery while we pursue compensation for medical bills, lost income, emotional distress, and more.  

Call our dog bite injury lawyer today at (913) 451-3433 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.