Though dogs are often referred to as "man's best friend," dogs frequently bite and serious attack innocent victims. Dogs that are not properly controlled or supervised by their owner bite over 4.7 million people annually. Over 133,000 of those who suffer dog bites each year are injured seriously enough that they need medical attention with 1,008 people per day requiring emergency room treatment. Children are particularly vulnerable to dog bites, which constitute the fifth leading cause of emergency room visits involving activities that are common amongst children. A dog bite incident can range from a minor bite that does not bring blood to a major mauling, which results in catastrophic injuries including disfigurement, internal organ damage and even death. Some estimates indicate that the number of fatal dog attacks has more than doubled during the last fifteen years. At the Law Office of Michael J. Joshi, we have over 20 years of experience handling injury cases throughout Kansas including those injured in dog bite or dog mauling incidents.
If you are a victim of a dog bite, you may have the right to compensation for your injuries from the dog's owner or other parties that contributed to the incident including a property owner/landlord. Kansas and Missouri dog bite laws follow the traditional common law "one bite rule." This does not literally mean that the dog must have bitten someone in the past, but a dog owner must have known or had reason to know that a dog had a propensity toward viciousness or have been negligent in keeping the dog on a leash or secured on one's premises.
Basically, a dog owner may be liable for dog bite injuries in Missouri and Kansas in one of two situations: (1) the owner knows or should know of the dog's violent tendencies or (2) The dog is not properly fenced or kept on a leash as required by a local ordinance. An owner may be liable if the owner has reason to know of the dog's violent propensities but not if a dog with no vicious tendencies and unexpectedly injures someone. This means that a careful investigation is necessary into issues such as the following:
- Prior biting incidents
- Dog acting as though it is prepared to bite or attack on prior occasions
- The breed and reputation of the dog
- Past displays of aggressive behavior by the dog
Most Missouri and Kansas communities have ordinances, such as, leash laws that require a dog to be on a leash or fenced on the owner's property. A dog owner who fails to comply with these laws may be liable if their dog bites or mauls someone. Many communities in Kansas and Missouri also have specific ordinances with regulations aimed at ownership of dangerous dogs. Violation of such ordinances can also be the basis for imposing liability on a dog owner or property owner/landlord who has knowledge that the animal is not properly confined.
A dog does not have to bite a person for a dog owner to be liable for the resulting injuries. The owner of a dog that charges at a passing pedestrian or bicyclist causing a fall leading to injuries may also be liable. If the dog owner or property owner has knowledge that the dog has exhibited a pattern of charging those who pass the property and the dog is not properly confined, the dog or property owner/landlord may be liable for the injuries to the pedestrian or bicyclist.
If you or someone you love suffers a dog bite, mauling or other injuries caused by a dog, the Law Office of Michael J. Joshi can help. We are aware that dog attacks can be very serious and lead to permanent disfigurement and other very serious injuries. Our Kansas and Missouri dog bite lawyers will carefully investigate the circumstances of your dog attack incident so that we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. The Law Office of Michael J. Joshi is available to represent those throughout Kansas including Johnson County, Douglas County, Leavenworth County, Jefferson County and Wyandotte County. We also represent clients in all cities within these counties as well as elsewhere in the state including, but not limited to the following: Olathe, Overland Park, Shawnee, Lenexa, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Kansas City and all other smaller cities and unincorporated areas throughout Northeast Kansas. In Missouri we cover Kansas City, Lees Summit, Harrisonville, Platte City, Butler, Liberty, Eldorado Springs, Nevada, Jackson County, Platte County, Cass County, Bates County and Vernon County