Dog Bites

If a dog has injured you can and should be compensated for injuries you sustained from the dog bite. Dog bit cases are more common than many people think. The Kansas City dog bit lawyers at the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm know how tragic a dog bite case can be, especially if it involves children.

In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study that examines the frequency of dog bite-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments.

  • In 2001, an estimated 368,245 persons were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for nonfatal dog bite-related injuries.
  • 42% of dog bites in 2001 occurred among children aged 14 years and younger; injury rates were highest among children aged 5-9 years and were significantly higher for boys than for girls.

What must I prove in a dog bite case?

Missouri has a law that specifically covers dog bites. Section 273.036 of the Missouri Revised Statutes allows a person who has been injured by a dog to hold an owner liable if:

  • The injury was caused by the dog
  • The person that was bitten was either on public property or lawfully on private property
  • The person that was bitten by the dog did not provoke the dog.

Kansas has a different law. In Kansas anyone injured by a dog must prove one of two things:

  • Either that the dog’s owner knew the dog would bite or;
  • That the owner failed to use reasonable care to prevent the injuries.

It can be difficult to determine if the owner knew or should have known the dog would bite. Enough evidence will need to be submitted that proves the dog owner should have taken more precautions so their dog would not bite someone. Things that will influence whether the dog was dangerous will be: dog breed, if the dog provides service like a guard dog, the dogs training, experience with other neighbors, posted or verbal warnings from the owner, and restraint system for the dog.

The biggest difference between the two laws is that Missouri does not care if your dog was naturally aggressive or not. Missouri uses a strict tort liability standard, which means that the owner is liable regardless of whether or not the dog was aggressive.

What are the types of injuries that can occur from a dog bite?

  • Infections: cellulitis, rabies
  • Fractures, sprains, and strains
  • Scars, abrasions and lacerations
  • Puncture Wounds and crush injuries
  • Tissue loss
  • Avulsions
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

What to do if a dog bites you

  • Seek medical attention as fast as you can
  • Gather as much information as you can if you are able to. You will need to know who the dog belongs to or who is responsible for the dog. Get the phone number of the dog owner and their address if you are able to.
  • Check to see if there are any witnesses that saw the incident.
  • Make sure that if you are injured in any way you seek medical attention. Even dogs that appear healthy may not be vaccinated and can carry infections. The smallest scrape can grow into an infection if not properly treated.
  • Make a report with the local police department and the animal control department in your county. If the dog is not properly vaccinated it may be quarantined so that it does not hurt anyone else and so that it can be checked to see if it is rabid.

In a dog bite injury claim you need a lawyer that can navigate through insurance companies, medical reports, and other aspects of the case. We will go to the scene of the accident and work closely with you to help determine the cause, what problems exist, and how we can help you. We work on contingency; if we can’t win your case you won’t pay us anything. If a dog has injured you or someone you know, we can help. Call the Kansas City dog bite lawyers of the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm for a free case evaluation.