Dog Bite Lawyers in Fayette, MO
Fayette, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Review | Fayette, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
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 important to get experienced legal representation as soon as possible after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Fayette, MO and on both sides of the river hold negligent dog owners responsible to get the compensation they are owed. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Fayette, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
Based on research 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 expenses, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Each 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, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Fayette, MO?
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering 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 your injuries have to have resulted in financial loss. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional damages such as emotional distress. For less significant 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 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 some "creative lawyering" to help find the coverage you need.
- 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 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 don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you should request a consultation with a qualified Fayette, 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 Fayette, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, it's important to get evaluated by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites frequently lead to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to receive compensation.
- Report the incident — 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is documentation of the attack 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. Be wary of accepting a settlement before you speak to an attorney, 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 who specializes in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Fayette, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Fayette, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Fayette, 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:
- Analyze 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 Fayette, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if you have to. Throughout your case, your Fayette, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain evidence that backs up 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 negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, 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 claim 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 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 do something wrong – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois follow "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 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 has to do with 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog attack attorneys in Fayette, MO, understand how victims can be affected. For example, here are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Mental Anguish
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 someone. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds 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 strike 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 into a number of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims may be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- Lost Wages — If you or your child have been injured because of 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 — Though 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 damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone 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:
- 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
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Fayette, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Fayette, MO, as soon as possible 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Fayette, 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 consultation.
Our lawyers would be happy to discuss your case. 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.