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 Bite 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 important to get experienced legal service as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Rock Hill, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent pet owners liable to get the compensation they entitled to. If you were bitten by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Rock Hill, 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 each year nationwide. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical bills, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious 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 resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Rock Hill, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- Severity of your injuries — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial loss. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional damages like post-traumatic stress disorder. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, you likely don't 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 coverage that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, dictated by local ordinances and state statutes. 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 don't know if you have enough to seek compensation, you should request a consultation with a qualified Rock Hill, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on what the best path forward is.
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:
- Gather evidence — Before leaving, 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 an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get evaluated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites often lead to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, 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 documentation of the attack to show the insurance company.
- 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.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — An attorney who specializes in dog bite cases can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine how much compensation you are owed 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 things they can do for you:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and advise whether you have a valid claim. They will review the circumstances surrounding the bite, including the severity of your injuries and the relevant state statutes.
- 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 injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if you have to. Throughout your case, your Rock Hill, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that corroborates 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 to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, 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 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 the public safe and to hold people liable 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 has a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody before 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 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 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog attack attorneys in Rock Hill, MO, understand how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain dog 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 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 the same tendency to lash out 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 at a variety of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might 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'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 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 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:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
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- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
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Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Rock Hill, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Rock Hill, 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 Rock Hill, MO, dog bite lawyers are here 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.