Dog Bite Lawyers in Fayette, MO
Fayette, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | Fayette, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Fayette, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Fayette, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's crucial to get experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Fayette, MO and on both sides of the river hold negligent pet owners liable to get the compensation they are owed. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Fayette, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites every year nationwide. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical expenses, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, nationwide 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 Fayette, MO
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering 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 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 damages such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, you may have a case. However, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, 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 — Whether or not you're able to make a valid claim for a dog bite also depends on local and state law. 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 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 speak to a qualified Fayette, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Fayette, 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:
- Acquire evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites often cause infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were bitten, you may need to file a report with your local municipality. 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 before you speak to an attorney, 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 determine the best way to move forward. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Fayette, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Fayette, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Fayette, 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 tell you whether you have a valid claim. 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 your legal rights. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Fayette, 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 your case, your Fayette, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire evidence that corroborates 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your claim 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 liable 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 in an earlier incident 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 states adhere to "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable 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 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. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack attorneys in Fayette, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
Often, people stereotype certain 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 caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds that are often associated with bites 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 Fayette, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Fayette, MO, will look at various types of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It's 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 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 — Although 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 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 Fayette, 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 Fayette, 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Fayette, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Fayette, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Fayette, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation consultation.
Our firm would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.