Dog Bite Lawyers in Boonville, MO
Boonville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | Boonville, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Boonville, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Boonville, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to get experienced legal representation as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Boonville, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent pet owners responsible to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you were bitten by a dog, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Boonville, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients 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 four and a half million dog bites annually nationwide. Dog bites are associated with high medical expenses, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people visit an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Boonville, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. You can generally receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional injuries like emotional distress. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not have a claim .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had permission to be on, you may have a case. But, if you were there illegally or if you provoked the dog, you may not have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll likely need to find an insurance policy that covers the injuries a specific 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 locate the coverage 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 another person's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you should discuss your case with a qualified Boonville, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Boonville, MO?
If you've been bitten 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:
- Acquire evidence — While you're still at the scene, take pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek 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 frequently cause infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, you may need to file a report with the local animal control agency or police department. This can help to ensure that the dog is free of disease and infection, and that there is documentation of the attack to corroborate your story.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — An attorney who specializes 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 owed for your dog bite injury in Boonville, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Boonville, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Boonville, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and offer insight into your chances of success. They will review all of the evidence and how it fits with law and case precedent.
- Help you understand your rights — A dog bite lawyer can help you understand the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Boonville, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Boonville, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements and any surveillance footage or other evidence.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can talk to the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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 innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors accountable for the damages they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
Neither state implements a "one bite rule" – where you can't hold the owner liable if it's the dog's first aggressive incident – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner can be sued for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has a history of aggression or or if the home owner did anything wrong. Unlike other forms of liability, such as negligence, strict liability does not require the victim to prove that the dog owner did anything wrong. Instead, the mere fact that the dog bit you is enough to establish liability.
The only major difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois is in regards to 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
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog bite lawyers in Boonville, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, below are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is able to bite someone. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds that are often associated with bites include (in no particular order) bulldogs, pit bulls, shepherds, terriers, pekingese, and even chihuahuas. The size and age of the dog rarely matters; the important thing to remember is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Boonville, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Boonville, MO, will look at a number of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You may be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Wages — If you or a family member have been injured by 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 can have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Though rare, in some circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This could include a broken phone, if you crashed a bike, if a dog tore up your siding and other things that might've 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 Boonville, 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 Boonville, 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
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Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Boonville, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Boonville, 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Boonville, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our firm would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.