Dog Bite Lawyers in Eureka, MO
Eureka, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Review | Eureka, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Eureka, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Eureka, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to get qualified legal representation ASAP after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Eureka, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Eureka, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Numbers to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites each year nationwide. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical expenses, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people visit an emergency room for significant 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 resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Eureka, 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 a few key factors:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can typically receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible injuries like emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, 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 — 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 coverage that covers your damages.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, dictated by local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, 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 at the location legally
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you should request a consultation with a qualified Eureka, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Eureka, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, you need to get your injuries treated by a doctor or other medical 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 bite — Depending on where the incident occurred, 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is documentation of the incident 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 without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than the true value of your claim.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney who specializes in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine how much compensation you deserve for your dog bite injury in Eureka, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Eureka, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Eureka, 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 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 Eureka, 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 your case, your Eureka, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that corroborates your side of the story. 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 for you. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your case 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are 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 are similar.
Neither state implements 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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable 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 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 main difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois is in regards to 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. Our dog attack lawyers in Eureka, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For example, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Every 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 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 Eureka, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Eureka, MO, will look into various types of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It is 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 a traumatic experience. 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 can 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 Eureka, 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 Eureka, 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Eureka, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Eureka, 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 Eureka, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our firm 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.