Dog Bite Lawyers in Oakland, MO
Oakland, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Oakland, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Oakland, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Oakland, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's crucial to find qualified legal representation ASAP after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Oakland, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois 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 Oakland, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites every year across the country. Dog bites are associated with high medical expenses, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account surgery, medication and other factors. Each day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, in the United States there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Oakland, 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:
- Severity of your injuries — 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 like emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the bite — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, you may have a case. But, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, 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 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 locate the coverage you need.
- Dog bite laws — Whether or not you're able to make a valid claim for a dog bite also depends on local and state law. Typically, 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 at the location legally
- 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 Oakland, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Oakland, 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 — While you're still at the scene, take pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for 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 treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get your injuries treated by a healthcare 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 proof that you were injured 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is documentation 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 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 with experience in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine how much compensation you are owed for your dog bite injury in Oakland, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Oakland, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Oakland, MO can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. 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 offer insight into your chances of success. They will review all of the evidence and how it fits with law and case precedent.
- 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 Oakland, 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 Oakland, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that corroborates your side of the story. 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 for you. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and make sure 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 innocent people from harm and to hold people accountable for the damages they cause. Each state implements their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
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 Missouri and Illinois follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner can be sued for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has been aggressive 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 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
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack lawyers in Oakland, MO, know how victims can be affected. For example, here are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite someone. 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 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 Oakland, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Oakland, MO, will look into various types of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You 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 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 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 may 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 Oakland, 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 Oakland, 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
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Oakland, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Oakland, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal representation 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 Oakland, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our attorneys would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.