Dog Bite Lawyers in Springfield, MO
Springfield, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | Springfield, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Springfield, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Springfield, 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 as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Springfield, 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 Springfield, 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 every year in the U.S. Dog bites can carry high medical costs, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Springfield, 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 your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can typically receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible injuries such as anxiety. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, dictated by local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, 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 a viable case for legal action, you should speak to a qualified Springfield, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Springfield, 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 — 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 name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — 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 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 receive a financial recovery.
- Report the incident — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, you may need to file a report with the local animal control agency or police department. This can help to ensure that the dog is observed to see if they're a danger to others, and that there is documentation of the attack to back up your claims.
- Be cautious with 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 before you speak to an attorney, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Springfield, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Springfield, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Springfield, 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:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details 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 Springfield, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Springfield, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements and photographs of your injuries.
- 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 fight on your behalf and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your case 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 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 do something wrong – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone 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 caused harm is enough to establish liability.
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 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 Springfield, MO, know how victims can be affected. For instance, here are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite someone. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds often associated with danger 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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Springfield, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Springfield, MO, will look into 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 compensation.
- Lost Wages — 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 have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Though 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 damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone 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 Springfield, 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 Springfield, 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 Springfield, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Springfield, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal representation 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 Springfield, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.