Dog Bite Lawyers in Bowling Green, MO
Bowling Green, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Bowling Green, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Bowling Green, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Bowling Green, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is important to get experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Bowling Green, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi hold negligent dog owners responsible to get the financial recovery they entitled to. If you were attacked by a dog, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Bowling Green, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites annually in the U.S. These injuries can carry high medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider surgery, medication and other factors. Every day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant 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.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Bowling Green, MO
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a viable case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial damages. You can generally receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional damages such as post-traumatic stress disorder. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not have a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally or if you provoked the dog, 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 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 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 and state law. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by someone else'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 speak to a qualified Bowling Green, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Bowling Green, 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:
- Gather evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, take pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get evaluated by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often cause infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Additionally, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the incident — Depending on where the incident transpired, you may need to report the dog bite to 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 an official record of the incident to corroborate your claims.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Never agree to a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes 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 how much compensation you are owed for your dog bite injury in Bowling Green, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Bowling Green, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Bowling Green, 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 offer insight into your chances of success. 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 the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Bowling Green, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Bowling Green, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain 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 handle your claim with 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 advocate for your rights and make sure 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are designed to keep the public safe and to hold people accountable 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 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 adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued 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 caused harm is enough to establish liability.
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 you have two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Our dog bite lawyers in Bowling Green, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For instance, here 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 they're not always applicable. Every dog is capable of biting a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds often associated with danger 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 a similar tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Bowling Green, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Bowling Green, MO, will look at a variety of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Wages — If you've been bitten 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 a traumatic experience. 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 certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This may 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 Bowling Green, 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 Bowling Green, 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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Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Bowling Green, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Bowling Green, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Bowling Green, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our lawyers would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.