Dog Bite Lawyers in Centralia, MO
Centralia, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | Centralia, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Centralia, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Centralia, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is important to find qualified legal representation as soon as possible after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Centralia, MO and on both sides of the river fight insurance companies to get the compensation they are owed. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Centralia, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Statistics to Know
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites annually in the U.S. Dog bites can carry high medical expenses, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, in the United States there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Centralia, MO?
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the attack:
- Severity of your injuries — If you want to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. You can typically receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible damages such as anxiety. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a small cut, you may not have a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the attack — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, 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 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 your attorney to do 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 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 should discuss your case with a qualified Centralia, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Do I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Centralia, 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 — Before leaving, take pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get checked out by a healthcare professional. Dog bites frequently lead to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to receive compensation.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 documentation of the attack to back up 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 before you speak to an attorney, as the first offer is likely to be less than the true value of your claim.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer with experience in dog bite cases can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Centralia, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Centralia, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Centralia, 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:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and determine 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 Centralia, 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 Centralia, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies want to devalue 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 innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors responsible for the damages 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 do something wrong – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing wrong. Unlike other forms of liability, such as negligence, strict liability does not require you to prove that the dog owner did anything wrong. Instead, the mere fact that the dog bit you is enough to establish liability.
The dog bite laws in each state can be found in Missouri Revised Statute §273.036 and 510 ILCS 5/1.
The only major difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois has to do with the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you generally 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. Halvorsen Klote's dog bite attorneys in Centralia, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For instance, below are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Any dog is capable of biting a person. 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 lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Centralia, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Centralia, MO, will look into a number of damages. Some of 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 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 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 owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This may 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 Centralia, 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 Centralia, MO include:
- 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
- Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
- Auto Crash Attorney
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Centralia, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Centralia, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal representation 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 Centralia, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our attorneys would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.
Attorney at Law
Joel Halvorsen and his partner Greg Klote founded the Halvorsen Klote law firm on the principle that injured people and their families should have access to the same quality legal representation as large insurance companies.
Attorney at Law
Greg Klote is a partner and founder of Halvorsen Klote.
Greg has successfully fought for people who were injured through no fault of their own. He became a lawyer to help make a difference in the lives of those who have been wronged and treated unfairly.