Dog Bite Lawyers in Ashland, MO
Ashland, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Ashland, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Ashland, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Ashland, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to find qualified legal representation as soon as possible after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Ashland, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Ashland, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites annually in the U.S. These injuries are associated with high medical bills, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account tests, prescriptions and other factors. Every day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Ashland, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. You can typically receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional damages like emotional distress. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not be able to make a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the incident — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, you may not have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll probably need to find an insurance policy that covers any damages the dog causes. Most times, this will be under a homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance policy. If not, you may need some "creative lawyering" to help find the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — Whether or not you're able to make a valid claim for a dog bite also depends on local ordinances and state statutes. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by someone else's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Ashland, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Should I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog in Ashland, MO?
If you've been attacked by a dog, it's important to take certain steps to protect your health and your legal rights. While it can be hard to keep your wits about you, after being bitten by a dog you should:
- Obtain evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were bitten, you may need to file a report with your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is observed to see if they're a danger to others, and that there is documentation of the incident to show the insurance company.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine how much compensation you are entitled to for your dog bite injury in Ashland, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ashland, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Ashland, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and advise whether you have a valid claim. They will review the circumstances surrounding the bite, including the severity of your injuries and the relevant state statutes.
- Help you understand your rights — A dog bite lawyer can help you understand your legal options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Ashland, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if necessary. Throughout your case, your Ashland, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that backs up your side of the story. This may include medical records, witness statements and any surveillance footage or other evidence.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your claim goes to court, a dog bite lawyer can represent you and advocate for your rights.
Understanding Dog Bite Laws
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep the public safe and to hold people liable for the harm they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state has a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody in an earlier incident for the owner to be liable – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to do something wrong – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has been aggressive before or if the home owner did anything wrong. Strict liability recognizes that dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their dog, while allowing dog bite victims who did nothing wrong to get full compensation without having to prove wrongdoing on the part of the dog owner.
The only major difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois has to do with the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you typically have five years to file a dog bite claim, while in Illinois dog bite claims must be filed within two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog bite attorneys in Ashland, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, below are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is able to bite someone. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are often associated with bites include (in no particular order) bull terriers, cocker spaniels, jack russells, German shepherds, pit bulls, bulldogs, and even chihuahuas. The size and age of the dog rarely matters; the important thing to keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have a similar tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Ashland, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Ashland, MO, will look into a variety of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- Lost Wages — If you or your child have been injured because of a dog, you might lose your earning capacity for a certain period of time. The money you lost from not working can be reimbursed to you.
- Pain and Suffering — Being attacked by a dog can be traumatic. Emotional stress, scarring, ongoing fear, and other factors have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Although rare, in some circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This could include damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone and other things that may have been damaged during an attack.
One of the most important aspects of a dog bite lawyer's job is to accurately value how much your personal injury claim is worth. At Halvorsen Klote, our Ashland, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
Other cases we take on and win in Ashland, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
- Auto Accident Attorney
- Bike Wreck Lawyer
- What to Do After a Car Accident
- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
- Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Injury Claim Lawyer
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ashland, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Ashland, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel doesn't cost you anything. Here, we charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we don't win your case you don't owe us anything and there aren't any upfront fees. Our Ashland, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.