Dog Bite Lawyers in Elsberry, MO
Elsberry, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | Elsberry, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Elsberry, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Elsberry, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's essential to get experienced legal counsel ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Elsberry, MO and beyond hold negligent dog owners liable to get the compensation they entitled to. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Elsberry, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Figures to Know
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites every year across the country. Dog bites are associated with high medical bills, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in surgery, medication and other factors. Every day, nearly 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, in the U.S. there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Elsberry, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a viable 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 emotional injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of 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 threatened the dog or their owner, you likely don't have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — Most dog bites are covered under a homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance policy. If not, you may need your attorney to do 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 can seek compensation for a dog bite any time you were bitten by another person's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you should discuss your case with a qualified Elsberry, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Do I Do if I'm Bitten by a Dog in Elsberry, 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:
- Acquire 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 people who saw what happened, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often lead to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the bite — Depending on where the attack occurred, you may need to report the dog bite to your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is free of disease and infection, and that there is an official record 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. 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.
- Consult 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 how much compensation you deserve for your dog bite injury in Elsberry, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Elsberry, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Elsberry, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Analyze 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 your legal options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Elsberry, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if necessary. Throughout your case, your Elsberry, 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 that backs up your side of the story. This may include medical records, witness statements and photographs of your injuries.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit goes to court, a dog bite lawyer can present your case to a judge and jury and argue for the compensation you deserve.
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 harm they cause. Each state implements their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
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 – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states follow "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. 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 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 attack attorneys in Elsberry, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, below are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Any dog is able to bite a person. 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 danger 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 a similar tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Elsberry, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Elsberry, MO, will look into a number of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- 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 — Though 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 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 Elsberry, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
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Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Elsberry, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Elsberry, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal representation doesn't cost you anything. At Halvorsen Klote, 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 Elsberry, 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 lawyers would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.