Dog Bite Lawyers in Rolla, MO
Rolla, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Rolla, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Rolla, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Rolla, 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 counsel as soon as possible after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Rolla, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Rolla, 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
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites every year in the U.S. These injuries can carry expensive medical expenses, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in tests, medication and other factors. Every day, nearly 1,000 people go to an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, nationwide 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 Rolla, MO
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a valid case, 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 less tangible injuries like PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were there illegally 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 find the policy 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 another person's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Rolla, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Rolla, 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 witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, you need to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were bitten, you may need to file a report with 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 incident to corroborate your story.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Never agree to a settlement before you speak to an attorney, 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 look into the details of your case and help you to determine how much compensation you deserve for your dog bite injury in Rolla, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Rolla, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Rolla, 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 evaluate your case 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 your legal options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Rolla, 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 the duration of your case, your Rolla, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire evidence that backs up your side of the story. 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 to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit goes to court, a dog bite lawyer can present your case to a judge and jury and argue for the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Dog Bite Laws
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold people 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 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 do something wrong – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois operate under the doctrine of "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 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 dog bite claims must be filed within two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Our dog bite lawyers in Rolla, MO, know how victims can be affected. For instance, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
Often, people stereotype certain dog 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 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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Rolla, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Rolla, MO, will look at a number of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You 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 compensation.
- 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 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 — Though 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 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 Rolla, 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 Rolla, 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Rolla, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Rolla, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal representation doesn't cost you anything. At Halvorsen Klote, 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 Rolla, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.