Dog Bite Lawyers in Imperial, MO
Imperial, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Evaluation | Imperial, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Imperial, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Imperial, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's important to find experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Imperial, MO and on both sides of the river fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Imperial, 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 four and a half million dog bites each year in the U.S. These injuries are associated with expensive medical costs, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment 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 resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Imperial, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a viable 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 PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the incident — 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 there illegally 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the coverage that covers your damages.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, 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 don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you need to speak to a qualified Imperial, 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 Imperial, 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:
- Gather evidence — While you're still at the scene, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, you need to get checked out 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. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, you may need to file a report with the local animal control agency or police department. 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 back up your story.
- 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 it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney who specializes in injury claims can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Imperial, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Imperial, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Imperial, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a valid claim. They will review the circumstances surrounding the bite, including the severity of your injuries and any relevant laws.
- 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 Imperial, 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 Imperial, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements and photographs of your injuries.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can negotiate with 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 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 the public safe and to hold negligent actors responsible for the damages they cause. Each state has their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
Neither state implements a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody at an earlier date for the owner to be liable – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable 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 generally 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 bite lawyers in Imperial, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
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 attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Imperial, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Imperial, MO, will look at a number of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- 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 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 dog 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 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 Imperial, 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 Imperial, 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
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Imperial, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Imperial, 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 Imperial, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to help. 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 discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.