Dog Bite Lawyers in New Florence, MO
New Florence, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | New Florence, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in New Florence, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when New Florence, 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 qualified legal representation ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in New Florence, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our New Florence, 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 four and a half million dog bites each year in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in surgery, prescriptions and other factors. Every day, nearly 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant 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 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in New Florence, 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 a few key factors:
- 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 less tangible injuries such as PTSD. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a small cut, you may not have a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the attack — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had permission to be on, you may have a case. However, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, 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, dictated by 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 lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to make a claim, you need to request a consultation with a qualified New Florence, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in New Florence, 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:
- Obtain evidence — Before leaving, take photos of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Get 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 you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often cause infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 an official record of the attack to corroborate 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. Be wary of accepting a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine how much compensation you are entitled to for your dog bite injury in New Florence, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in New Florence, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in New Florence, 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 offer insight into your chances of success. 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 New Florence, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if necessary. Throughout your case, your New Florence, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Acquire 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, 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 claim goes to court, a dog bite lawyer can represent you and advocate for your rights.
Understanding Dog Bite Laws
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are designed to keep the public safe and to hold people responsible 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 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 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 only major 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. Our dog bite lawyers in New Florence, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, below are some 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 someone. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
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 remember is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in New Florence, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in New Florence, MO, will look into a number of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It is 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 — 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 can include damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone 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 New Florence, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in New Florence, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in New Florence, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal representation doesn't cost you anything. Here, 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 New Florence, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our lawyers would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.