Dog Bite Lawyers in Rolla, MO
Rolla, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Review | 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 important to find experienced legal representation as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Rolla, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent pet owners liable to get the compensation they are owed. If you were bitten by a dog, 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: Statistics to Know
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites each year in the U.S. These injuries can carry high medical costs, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider tests, prescriptions and other factors. Each day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, in the United States 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 Case in Rolla, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Severity of your injuries — In order to have a valid case, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can typically receive compensation for 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 you were on public property or on private property you had access to, 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 likely 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 some "creative lawyering" to help find the policy that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — Whether or not you're able to make a valid claim for a dog bite also depends on local ordinances and state statutes. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you can seek compensation for a dog bite any time you were bitten by another person'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 don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you should discuss your case with a qualified Rolla, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Rolla, 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 — Before leaving, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, 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 checked out 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 documentation of your injuries in order to receive compensation.
- Report the bite — 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 incident to back up your story.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Never agree to a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than the true value of your claim.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience 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 the true value of 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 provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details 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 Rolla, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if necessary. Throughout your case, your Rolla, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather 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 handle your claim with 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 advocate for your rights and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your claim 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 the public safe and to hold people liable for the harm they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, 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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states 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 a history of aggression or 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 caused harm 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 only major difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois is in regards to 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog bite lawyers in Rolla, MO, know how victims can be affected. For instance, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Mental Anguish
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Every 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) bulldogs, pit bulls, shepherds, terriers, pekingese, 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 lash out 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 into a variety of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It is 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 can 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 can 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 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:
- 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
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Rolla, MO Now
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 Rolla, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 attorneys would be 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.