Dog Bite Lawyers in Jefferson City, MO
Jefferson City, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Evaluation | Jefferson City, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Jefferson City, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Jefferson City, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is essential to find experienced legal counsel ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Jefferson City, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they entitled to. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Jefferson City, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Figures to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites each year nationwide. Dog bites can carry expensive medical costs, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Every day, almost 1,000 people visit an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, nationwide 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 Case in Jefferson City, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- Severity of your injuries — If you want to have a valid case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible damages like PTSD. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a small cut, you may not be able to make a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — 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 may not have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll likely need to find an insurance policy that covers the injuries a specific dog causes. Most times, this will be 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 policy that covers your injuries.
- 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. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by someone else'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 a viable case for legal action, you need to request a consultation with a qualified Jefferson City, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Should I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog in Jefferson City, 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:
- Gather evidence — Before leaving, take pictures 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.
- Get medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem significant, it's important to get your injuries seen 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 incident — Depending on where the incident transpired, 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 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. Be wary of accepting a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- 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 look into the details of your case and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Jefferson City, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Jefferson City, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Jefferson City, 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 evaluate your case and offer insight into your chances of success. 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 Jefferson City, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout your case, your Jefferson City, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain 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 to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, 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 liable for the harm they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, 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 actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states follow "strict liability", meaning that 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 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 lawyers in Jefferson City, MO, know how victims can be affected. For instance, below are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Any dog is capable of biting a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds often associated with danger include (in no particular order) bull terriers, cocker spaniels, jack russells, German shepherds, pit bulls, bulldogs, 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 Jefferson City, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Jefferson City, MO, will look at a variety of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might be able to recover all expenses 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'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 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 — Although rare, in certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This may 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 Jefferson City, 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 Jefferson City, 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 Jefferson City, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Jefferson City, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal representation doesn't cost you anything. Here, 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 Jefferson City, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our firm would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.