Dog Bite Lawyers in Rock Hill, MO
Rock Hill, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Review | Rock Hill, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Rock Hill, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Rock Hill, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's crucial to get qualified legal representation ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Rock Hill, MO and beyond hold negligent pet owners responsible to get the financial recovery they entitled to. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Rock Hill, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites annually across the country. Dog bites can carry expensive medical bills, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment 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.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Rock Hill, MO
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. You can typically receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional damages such as emotional distress. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not have a claim .
- The specifics of the bite — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, 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 — 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 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 did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Rock Hill, 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 Rock Hill, 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:
- Acquire evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, take pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get your injuries seen by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites frequently lead to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the incident — 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is an official record of the attack to corroborate 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. 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 — An attorney who specializes in dog bite cases can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine how much compensation you deserve for your dog bite injury in Rock Hill, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Rock Hill, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Rock Hill, 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 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 Rock Hill, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Rock Hill, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain 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 negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors liable 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 the dog had to have bitten somebody in an earlier incident 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 operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has been aggressive before or if the home owner did anything 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 bit you is enough to establish liability.
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 typically have five years to file a dog bite claim, while in Illinois you have 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 bite lawyers in Rock Hill, MO, understand 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
- Broken Bones
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is capable of biting someone. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds often associated with bites 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 remember is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have a similar tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Rock Hill, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Rock Hill, MO, will look into various types of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- 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 traumatic. 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 some 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 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 Rock Hill, 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 Rock Hill, 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Rock Hill, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Rock Hill, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Rock Hill, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary case review.
Our lawyers would be more than happy to speak with you. 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.