Dog Bite Lawyers in Elsberry, MO
Elsberry, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | 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 is crucial to find experienced legal representation ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Elsberry, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they entitled to. If you were bitten by a dog, don't hesitate 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 Bite Statistics
Based on reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites every year in the U.S. Dog bites can carry high medical costs, as medical treatment 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, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Elsberry, MO
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be wondering whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable case, 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 injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the incident — 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 likely 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 policy that covers your damages.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by local ordinances and state statutes. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you can seek compensation for a dog bite any time you were bitten by someone else's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you need to speak to a qualified Elsberry, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Should I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Elsberry, 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:
- Obtain evidence — Before leaving, take pictures of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Ask for the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, it's important to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, you may need to report the dog bite to the local animal control agency or police department. 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 incident to show the insurance company.
- 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 without consulting with a lawyer, 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 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 Elsberry, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Elsberry, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Elsberry, MO can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- 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 Elsberry, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if you have to. Throughout your case, your Elsberry, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain 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 fight on your behalf and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- 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 liable for the damages they cause. Each state has 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 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 been aggressive 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 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 dog bite claims must be filed within two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog bite attorneys in Elsberry, MO, know 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
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Emotional Trauma
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have a similar tendency to strike 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 at various types of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You might 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 reimbursement.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 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 certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This can include damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone 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 Elsberry, 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 Elsberry, 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
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Elsberry, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Elsberry, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 ready to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials 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.