Missouri & Illinois Dog Bite Attorneys
Dogs are our faithful companions and lifelong friends. Unfortunately, sometimes man’s best friend can bite an unsuspecting person causing severe injuries, disfigurement, and permanent scarring. Both Missouri and Illinois have specific laws that may allow for compensation to those who have been seriously injured by a dog.
Missouri Dog Bite Laws
In 2009, the Missouri legislature passed RSMo 273.036 which provided a new avenue of recovery for people injured by dog bites. This law provides that the owner or possessor of any dog that bites, without provocation, and person while that person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, then the owner or possessor of the dog is strictly liable for the damages of the bitten person. In this case, “strictly liable” carries an important meaning under the law. It doesn’t matter what the owner or possessor of the dog “intended” to happen; quite simply, the owner or possessor of the dog is legally responsible, no matter what actions they took, or failed to take, leading up to the injury. “Lawfully on private property” includes being on the property of the owner or possessor of the dog.
There is no hard and fast definition of what constitutes provocation of a dog. In a 1962 case, a Missouri court noted that “sudden pain or fright sometimes causes a dog to snap involuntarily” and that could be considered provocation. Provocation is a fact intensive determination, one often best left to the findings of a jury.
Illinois Dog Bite Laws
Similar to Missouri, Illinois laws impose strict liability on dog owners when their dog bites and injures someone. Illinois law states that if a dog, without provocation, attacks or injures a person who is anywhere they are legally permitted to be, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for the damages caused by the dog bite. Once again, the acts or omissions of the dog owner are irrelevant; if a dog causes an injury, the owner is legally liable. It doesn’t matter if the dog’s owner wasn’t aware the dog had violent tendencies or had never bitten anyone before.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog and injured, contact that the experienced attorneys at Keane Law LLC. We will be happy to discuss your case with you at no charge.
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