Dog Bite Lawyers in Sedalia, MO
Sedalia, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Review | Sedalia, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Sedalia, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Sedalia, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to get experienced legal service ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Sedalia, MO and on both sides of the river fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Sedalia, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
Based on reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites every year across the country. These injuries are associated with high medical expenses, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Sedalia, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary damages. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible damages like anxiety. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not be able to make a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the incident — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally or if you provoked the dog, 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 that covers your damages.
- 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 at the location legally
- 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 speak to a qualified Sedalia, 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 Sedalia, 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 — Before leaving, take photos of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, you need to get evaluated by a healthcare 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 receive a financial recovery.
- Report the bite — 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 free of disease and infection, and that there is documentation of the incident to back up your claims.
- 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 what your claim is worth.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer 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 Sedalia, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Sedalia, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Sedalia, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. 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 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 Sedalia, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Sedalia, 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 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 negotiate 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 stand up for you and make sure 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep the public safe and to hold people responsible for the harm they cause. Each state has their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state implements a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody at an earlier date 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 states adhere to "strict liability", in which a dog owner can be sued for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing 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 main 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 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 attack lawyers in Sedalia, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For example, below are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Every dog is able to bite 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) 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 the same tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Sedalia, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Sedalia, MO, will look at a variety of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You may 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 reimbursement.
- Lost Time at Work — If you or your child have been injured because of 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 certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog 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 Sedalia, 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 Sedalia, 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
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Sedalia, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Sedalia, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Sedalia, 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 discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.