Is a Landlord Liable for a Dog Bite in Missouri?

By Chris Dixon


There are several people that can be liable in a dog bite accident, including a dog’s owner, and in some situations, the landlord of a property. If you or someone you know has been injured in a dog bite accident that was caused by another tenant’s dog, proving that the landlord of the property is liable for your injuries can be nearly impossible without adequate legal knowledge. However, with substantial evidence of your injuries, and proof that the property owner or manager knew the dog was dangerous, a landlord could be held liable for a dog bite in Missouri depending on the circumstances of the accident.

Landlord Responsibility for Dog Bites in Missouri

Most of the time, if a dog injures someone without being provoked, on public property, the dog’s owner is solely liable for the dog’s actions, but what happens if a dog bites someone in an apartment complex? Under Missouri law, a landlord can be liable for a dog bite in Missouri if the following can be proved:

  • The landlord knew that the dog had a propensity to be dangerous
  • If the landlord of the building cared for the dog, whether it’s a tenant’s dog or not
  • While a landlord might not be liable if a dog looks or sounds threatening, if a dog is threatening and has harmed someone in the past, and the landlord didn’t remove the animal, they could be liable for the dog bite accident

Missouri landlords are required to provide a safe environment for tenants, and if there is a risk of harm, it must immediately be addressed. For example, if a landlord knew that a dog was dangerous or should have reasonably known that a dog is dangerous, and someone is bit on their property, the landlord can be included in the victim’s injury claim and be held liable for damages alongside the dog’s owner with proof of their negligence.

Proving That a Landlord is Liable in a Dog Bite Accident in Missouri

If you believe that a landlord is responsible for your dog bite injuries, it’s essential to keep in mind that landlords aren’t always liable for damages caused on their property. For example, if a landlord didn’t know that an otherwise friendly dog could be dangerous, and the dog harms someone on their property, the landlord likely isn’t liable for the victim’s damages. However, if a landlord is aware of a dog’s dangerous tendencies, and it bites someone while on their property, the landlord could be liable for the victim’s dog bite injuries if the following types of evidence are provided:

  • Photos, video, and a medical report documenting the victim’s injuries
  • Proof that the dog has injured someone on the property, or has posed a threat to other tenants of the property in the past
  • Witness reports from other tenants that saw the accident happen, or who can confirm that the dog has injured other tenants in the past
  • A police report from the accident that preserves details from the accident, such as when, where, and why the accident was caused

Talk to a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer Today

If a landlord is found liable for a dog bite in Missouri, the victim could be eligible to recover compensation through the landlord’s property insurance. Some insurance policies include coverage for tenant injuries and can even cover dog bite injuries in certain situations. If you are unsure how to proceed with your case against a landlord after a dog bite accident in Missouri, or don’t know if their insurance includes coverage for dog bite injuries, you need an experienced St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer to defend your case. A lawyer can determine if you are eligible to pursue a claim against the landlord, if other parties can be sued for damages, and what grounds you can file an injury claim on after being involved in a dog bite accident.

Christopher Dixon and the St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm are well-versed in Missouri’s landlord-tenant and personal injury laws and are ready to defend your case against the negligent landlord involved in your dog bite case. Chris Dixon has earned the status of “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers Association and has protected the rights of countless personal injury victims in Missouri. To date, the Dixon Injury Firm’s drive and dedication to helping injury victims and their family members has recovered more than $35,000,000 in settlements and recoveries.

If you are ready to see how our St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers can help with your case, call (314) 409-7060, 855-40-CRASH (toll-free), or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation with our St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers and explore the options available to your dog bite case against a landlord in Missouri.

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