Dog Bite Lawyers in Harrisburg, MO
Harrisburg, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Review | Harrisburg, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Harrisburg, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Harrisburg, 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 service as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Harrisburg, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve. If you were bitten by a dog, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Harrisburg, 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 reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites annually nationwide. Dog bites can carry high medical bills, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in tests, medication and other factors. Every day, almost 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 Harrisburg, 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 your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a viable case, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible damages such as anxiety. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — 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 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 any damages the dog causes. Most times, this will be under a homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance policy. If not, you may need some "creative lawyering" to help find the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — Whether or not you're able to make a valid claim for a dog bite also depends 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 lawfully allowed to be where you were
- 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 discuss your case with a qualified Harrisburg, 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 Harrisburg, 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 — Before leaving, 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 witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, it's important to get your injuries seen by a healthcare professional. Dog bites frequently cause 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 make a claim.
- Report the attack — 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 free of disease and infection, and that there is documentation of the incident to corroborate your claims.
- 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 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 — 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 are entitled to for your dog bite injury in Harrisburg, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Harrisburg, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Harrisburg, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and advise 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 options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Harrisburg, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Harrisburg, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather 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 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 the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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 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 you can't hold the owner liable if it's the dog's first aggressive incident – 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 is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone before or if the home owner did anything wrong. Strict liability recognizes that dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their dog, while allowing dog bite victims who did nothing wrong to get full compensation without having to prove wrongdoing on the part of the dog owner.
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 is in regards to 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. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack attorneys in Harrisburg, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Mental Anguish
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Every dog is capable of biting a human. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have a similar tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Harrisburg, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Harrisburg, MO, will look into a number of special and general 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's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- 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 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 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 Harrisburg, 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 Harrisburg, 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
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Harrisburg, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Harrisburg, 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Harrisburg, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation consultation.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to speak with you. 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.