Dog Bite Lawyers in Oakville, MO
Oakville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Oakville, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Oakville, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Oakville, 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 as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Oakville, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois fight insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Oakville, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Based on reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites each year across the country. These injuries are associated with high medical expenses, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, almost 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, across the country 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 Oakville, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- Severity of your injuries — If you want to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial damages. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible injuries like emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — 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. But, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, you may not 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 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 have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by someone else's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you need to speak to a qualified Oakville, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Oakville, 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 — 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 contact info of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, it's important 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. Additionally, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the incident — 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 documentation of the attack to corroborate your story.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. 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.
- Schedule a consultation with 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 the true value of your dog bite injury in Oakville, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Oakville, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Oakville, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- 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 Oakville, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if you have to. Throughout your case, your Oakville, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire evidence that backs up your side of the story. This may include medical records, witness statements and any surveillance footage or other evidence.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can talk to 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 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 innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors responsible for the harm they cause. Each state implements 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 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 Missouri and Illinois 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 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 you have 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 Oakville, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. 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) 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 lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Oakville, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Oakville, MO, will look at a variety of special and general damages. Some of 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 Wages — If you or a family member have been injured 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 — Though rare, in certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the 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 may have 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 Oakville, 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 Oakville, 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 Oakville, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Oakville, 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 Oakville, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary case review.
Our lawyers would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.