Dog Bite Lawyers in Holts Summit, MO
Holts Summit, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | Holts Summit, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Holts Summit, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Holts Summit, 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 service as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Holts Summit, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Holts Summit, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients 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 annually nationwide. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical expenses, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant 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 resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Holts Summit, MO
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a valid claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can generally receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not be able to make a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the incident — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, you likely don't 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 coverage you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based on local ordinances and state statutes. 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 did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Holts Summit, 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 Holts Summit, 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 — While you're still at the scene, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get evaluated 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 attack — Depending on where the attack occurred, you may need to file a report with your local municipality. 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 incident to corroborate your story.
- Be cautious with 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 what your claim is worth.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer with experience in dog bite cases 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 Holts Summit, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Holts Summit, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Holts Summit, 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 Holts Summit, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Holts Summit, 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 corroborates 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your case 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are 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 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 actively forgo safety precautions – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states 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. 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 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 you have two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack lawyers in Holts Summit, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For instance, below are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Any 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 that are 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 lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Holts Summit, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Holts Summit, MO, will look into various types of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It is 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 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 — Though rare, in some circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This could 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 Holts Summit, 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 Holts Summit, 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
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Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Holts Summit, 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 crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Holts Summit, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Holts Summit, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.