Dog Bite Lawyers in Owensville, MO
Owensville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Review | Owensville, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Owensville, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Owensville, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to find experienced legal service as soon as possible after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Owensville, MO and beyond hold negligent pet owners responsible to get the compensation they entitled to. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Owensville, 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 every year across the country. Dog bites can carry high medical bills, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account tests, prescriptions and other factors. Every day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Owensville, MO
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a viable claim, 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 injuries such as emotional distress. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a small cut, you may not have a claim .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, 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 find the policy that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, 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 excite the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you need to speak to a qualified Owensville, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Should I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog in Owensville, 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 — While you're still at the scene, take photos 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 people who saw what happened, 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 can be prone to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the incident — Depending on where the incident occurred, you may need to report the dog bite to 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 incident to back up your claims.
- 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.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer 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 Owensville, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Owensville, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Owensville, MO can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. 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 Owensville, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout your case, your Owensville, MO dog bite lawyer will be there 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure 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 negligent actors accountable 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 actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone 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 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 Owensville, MO, know how victims and their families 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. Any dog is capable of biting someone. 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) bulldogs, pit bulls, shepherds, terriers, pekingese, 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 the same tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Owensville, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Owensville, MO, will look into a variety of special and general damages. 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 reimbursement.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 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 owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This could 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 Owensville, 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 Owensville, 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
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Owensville, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Owensville, 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 Owensville, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our firm would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.