Dog Bite Lawyers in Oakland, MO
Oakland, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Review | Oakland, MO Dog Attack 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 is important to find qualified legal service ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Oakland, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent pet owners liable to get the compensation they deserve. If you were bitten by a dog, don't wait another second 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 Bites: Numbers to Know
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites every year nationwide. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical costs, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in surgery, medication and other factors. 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, nationwide 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 have a valid claim. 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. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible injuries like anxiety. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not be able to make a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the attack — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, you may not have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll probably 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help find the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based on local and state law. 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 don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Oakland, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Should I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog 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:
- Obtain evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, take pictures 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 people who saw what happened, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get checked out by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to 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 file a report with the local animal control agency or police department. This can help to ensure that the dog is free of disease and infection, and that there is an official record of the incident to corroborate your claims.
- Don't believe 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.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer with experience 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 the true value of your dog bite injury in Oakland, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Oakland, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Oakland, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case 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 the duration of your case, your Oakland, 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 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 for you. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit goes to court, a dog bite lawyer can represent you and advocate for your rights.
Understanding Dog Bite Laws
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors responsible for the damages 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 follow "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 dog bite laws in each state can be found in Missouri Revised Statute §273.036 and 510 ILCS 5/1.
The main difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois has to do with the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you generally 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. Our dog attack attorneys in Oakland, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, below are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Mental Anguish
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. 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) 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 keep in mind 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 Oakland, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Oakland, MO, will look at a variety of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You may 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 reimbursement.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Though rare, in certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the 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 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:
- 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
- Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
- Auto Crash Attorney
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Oakland, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Oakland, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Oakland, 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 firm would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.
Attorney at Law
Joel Halvorsen and his partner Greg Klote founded the Halvorsen Klote law firm on the principle that injured people and their families should have access to the same quality legal representation as large insurance companies.
Attorney at Law
Greg Klote is a partner and founder of Halvorsen Klote.
Greg has successfully fought for people who were injured through no fault of their own. He became a lawyer to help make a difference in the lives of those who have been wronged and treated unfairly.