Dog Bite Lawyers in Festus, MO
Festus, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Review | Festus, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Festus, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Festus, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is important to get experienced legal representation as soon as possible after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Festus, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you were bitten by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Festus, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites each year nationwide. These injuries can carry expensive medical bills, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Festus, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial loss. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were trespassing 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 some "creative lawyering" to help locate the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by 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 did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Festus, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Festus, 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:
- Acquire evidence — While you're still at the scene, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if the bite doesn't seem 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. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive compensation.
- 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 observed to see if they're a danger to others, and that there is documentation of the attack to show the insurance company.
- Don't believe 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 without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer 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 are entitled to for your dog bite injury in Festus, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Festus, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Festus, 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 evaluate your case 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 Festus, 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 Festus, 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 to support your claim. 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 for you. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors responsible 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 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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued 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 you 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 only major 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog bite attorneys in Festus, 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:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Any dog is able to bite someone. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Festus, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Festus, MO, will look into a number of special and general 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 compensation.
- Lost Wages — 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 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 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 Festus, 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 Festus, 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 Festus, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Festus, MO, as soon as possible 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Festus, 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 more than happy to discuss your case. 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.