Dog Bite Lawyers in Bourbon, MO
Bourbon, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Evaluation | Bourbon, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Bourbon, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Bourbon, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's crucial to get qualified legal service ASAP after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Bourbon, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Bourbon, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Figures to Know
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites each year nationwide. These injuries can carry expensive medical bills, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, in the U.S. there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Bourbon, 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 — In order to have a valid claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible damages such as PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, you likely don't have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll probably 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the policy that covers your damages.
- 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. Generally, in Missouri and Illinois, you can seek compensation for a dog bite any time you were bitten by another person'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 seek compensation, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Bourbon, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Do I Do if I'm Bitten by a Dog in Bourbon, 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 — While you're still at the scene, 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 people who saw what happened, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get your injuries seen by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites frequently cause infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the attack — Depending on where the attack transpired, 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is documentation of the incident to show the insurance company.
- Don't believe insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Be wary of accepting a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in dog bite cases can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Bourbon, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Bourbon, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Bourbon, MO can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and tell you whether you have a valid claim. 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 your legal options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Bourbon, 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 the duration of your case, your Bourbon, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements and photographs of your injuries.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can talk to the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your case 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 people liable for the harm they cause. Each state has their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state has 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 states follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone before 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 main 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
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack attorneys in Bourbon, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, below are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Every 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 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 remember is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Bourbon, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Bourbon, MO, will look at a number of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You may be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 — 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 a broken phone, if you crashed a bike, if a dog tore up your siding 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 Bourbon, 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 Bourbon, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
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- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
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Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Bourbon, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Bourbon, MO, right away 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 Bourbon, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our firm would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.