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Missouri Dog Law

Liability Statute

The owner or possessor of any dog that bites, without provocation, any person while he or she is on public property or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner or possessor of the dog, is strictly liable for damages suffered by persons bitten -- regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of viciousness. The owner is subject to a fine of up to $1,000 as well. The comparative fault of the damaged party may reduce his or her award.

The owner of a dog that has previously bitten a person or domestic animal is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if the dog bites again. The owner is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if the dog bites again and the bite results in serious injury to any person. The owner is guilty of a class D felony if both the initial and subsequent attack resulted in serious injury to any person. The owner is guilty of a class C felony if the subsequent bite results in the death of any person.

These punishments are not applicable where the injured person is engaged in the commission of a crime.

Common Law Liability

In Missouri, a person can recover damages for personal injuries against a dog owner if the plaintiff can prove that the owner knew, or should have know, of the dog’s vicious propensities, and that the owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the harm, so long as the attack occurred while the victim was on public property or lawfully on private property.

Dangerous Dog Statute

Missouri does not have a Dangerous Dog Statute.

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Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.