Pet ownership in the Kansas City area has grown significantly more diverse in recent times. While dogs and cats remain the most popular animals to own, many residents now have a varying array of different companions living with them. Birds, ferrets, snakes, primates, other reptiles, and even larger domesticated cats are all now popular choices for owners. With this decision to own a pet comes a very large responsibility and even a liability. All too often, family pets lash out and attack neighbors, small children, and passersby. Animal bites and attacks can cause serious physical and emotional trauma, oftentimes leaving victims scarred for life. If you have been injured by an animal, big or small, you may wish to speak with an experienced Kansas City animal bite lawyer to discuss your legal options.
When animals do attack, they can cause a variety of severe injuries to victims. Some injuries include:
- Puncture Wounds
- Tissue and Muscle Damage
- Physical Scarring
- Psychological Turmoil
In almost every case, a victim of an animal attack has a degree of psychological trauma. This trauma can manifest itself as a fear or phobia of the type of animal which attacked them. Tragically, this and physical injuries can last a lifetime and can be radically life changing.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs alone each year. This number, while large in itself, doesn’t include the various other household pets that bite or attack people. Of these 4.5 million Americans, one in five requires medical attention while a shocking 31,000 must undergo reconstructive surgery due to these vicious attacks.
State Law and Negligence
Animal bites and attacks in Overland Park and surrounding areas are subject to the Kansas state “One-Bite Rule” law. This law protects pet owners and at the same time assures the rights of victims. The victim of an animal attack must prove that the owner of the pet was either negligent, the animal has a dangerous propensity, or that the animal had previously attacked someone in the past.
Missouri places strict liability on dog owners, in the case of an attack, under RSMO § 273.036 of Missouri State Law. If the victim of an animal attack had fault in the incident, all damages shall be reduced by the percentage that the damaged parties fault contributed to the incident. Negligence is defined as the conduct of a person which falls short of what a reasonably responsible person would or would not do in a given situation. Examples of negligence in relation to Kansas City animal bites and attacks are:
- Pet owners violating leash and/or muzzle laws
- Failing to secure a dangerous animal
- Letting a dangerous animal wander freely on a property
- Leaving an unsecured animal in a yard with the gate open
- Failing to secure a dangerous animal
- Pet owners violating muzzle laws
Due to each state adopting a different law for animal bites and attacks, knowing which laws protect you is key. Understanding the specific legal guidelines for a given case can be difficult for most. If you or someone close to you has been the victim of an animal attack, contact an experienced Kansas City animal bite lawyer at Dickerson Oxton, LLC today. Our attorneys offer client specific strategies to help make your case a success.
You can reach one of our experienced animal bite and attack attorneys at (913) 428-8220. Alternatively, you can contact us online by filling out our free case evaluation form and we will get back to you promptly.
Being a smaller law firm, we are directly available to our clients and handle all cases with the utmost compassion. Unlike our larger competitors, who route calls through paralegals and assistants, our Kansas City personal injury attorneys are always directly available for questions or concerns. Adopting this client-first mentality allows us to personally connect with each victim and understand how they are suffering in order to assess their case. The animal bite and attack attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC are dedicated to a personal approach to compassionate representation.
At our firm, your initial consultation is always free of charge. When we do accept cases, we operate on a contingent fee basis. We choose to operate this way for the sole benefit of our clients, if we don’t win your case, you won’t pay anything.
Consult a Dog Bite Lawyer in Kansas City, MO
With over 14 years of combined litigation experience, the Kansas City animal bite lawyers at the Dickerson Oxton, LLC have the knowledge needed to help you with your case. We handle dog bite and animal attack cases all over Kansas and Missouri and stand ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.