Dog Bite Lawyers in Eureka, MO
Eureka, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Eureka, MO Dog Bite 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 counsel as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Eureka, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent pet owners accountable to get the compensation they deserve. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate 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.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites annually nationwide. Dog bites can carry expensive medical costs, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Every day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Eureka, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary damages. You can generally receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible injuries such as PTSD. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not be able to make a claim .
- 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 if you provoked the dog, you may not 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, to some extent, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim 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 are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you should discuss your case with a qualified Eureka, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Do I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog 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:
- Gather 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 witnesses you can, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem significant, you need to get evaluated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites often cause 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 you were when you were attacked, 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 documentation 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 without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than the true value of your claim.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in injury claims 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 Eureka, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Eureka, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Eureka, MO can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Evaluate 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 any relevant laws.
- 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 injury claims process from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Eureka, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire 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 talk to the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- 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 people accountable for the harm 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 the dog had to have bitten somebody in an earlier incident for the owner to be liable – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing 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 main 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 dog bite claims must be filed within 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 Eureka, MO, understand 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 capable of biting a human. 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) bulldogs, pit bulls, shepherds, terriers, pekingese, 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 attack 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. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a dog 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 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 dog 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.
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Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Eureka, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Eureka, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Eureka, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by 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 more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.