Dog Bite Lawyers in Farmington, MO
Farmington, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Farmington, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Farmington, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Farmington, 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 qualified legal service ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Farmington, 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 Farmington, 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
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites each year across the country. Dog bites can carry expensive medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in tests, prescriptions and other factors. Each day, almost 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 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Farmington, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary damages. You can generally receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional injuries like emotional distress. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not be able to make a claim .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, 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 — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll probably need to find an insurance policy that covers the injuries a specific 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 injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, 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 need to speak to a qualified Farmington, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Farmington, 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:
- Obtain evidence — While you're still at the scene, take pictures 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, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, you need to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites can be prone 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 make a claim.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 an official record of the attack to corroborate your story.
- Don't believe 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.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience 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 Farmington, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Farmington, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Farmington, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and tell you 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 the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Farmington, 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 Farmington, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather 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 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 stand up for you and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- 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 accountable for the damages they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
Neither state has a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody at an earlier date for the owner to be liable – 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 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 only major 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 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 lawyers in Farmington, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For example, below are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite a human. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds 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 remember 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 Farmington, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Farmington, MO, will look at a variety of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims may be able to recover all expenses 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'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 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 may include a broken phone, if you crashed a bike, if a dog tore up your siding 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 Farmington, 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 Farmington, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
- Auto Accident Attorney
- 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
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Farmington, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Farmington, 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 Farmington, 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 attorneys would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.