Dog Bite Lawyers in Sullivan, MO
Sullivan, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Sullivan, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Sullivan, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Sullivan, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's essential to get qualified legal counsel ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Sullivan, MO and on both sides of the river hold negligent pet owners responsible to get the financial recovery they entitled to. If you were attacked by a dog, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Sullivan, 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 four and a half million dog bites annually nationwide. These injuries can carry expensive medical expenses, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 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 ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Sullivan, 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 your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a viable case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial damages. You can typically receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible damages such as post-traumatic stress disorder. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not have a claim .
- The specifics of the bite — If you were bitten 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 likely need to find an insurance policy that covers the injuries a specific 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 coverage you need.
- 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 someone else's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to make a claim, you need to request a consultation with a qualified Sullivan, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Should I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Sullivan, 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:
- Obtain evidence — Before leaving, 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 people who saw the attack, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get checked out by a doctor or other medical 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 proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where the attack 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 show the insurance company.
- Don't believe 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.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer with experience 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 Sullivan, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Sullivan, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Sullivan, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- 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 the relevant state statutes.
- Help you understand your rights — A dog bite lawyer can help you understand your legal rights. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Sullivan, 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 Sullivan, 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 gather evidence that corroborates 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 talk to the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and make sure 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are designed to keep the public safe and to hold negligent actors accountable for the damages they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois adhere to "strict liability", in which 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. 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 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
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 Sullivan, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. 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 stigma, but it's not always the case. Every dog is capable of biting a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are 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 Sullivan, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Sullivan, MO, will look at various types of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims may be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a dog 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 a traumatic experience. 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 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 Sullivan, 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 Sullivan, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
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- What to Do After a Car Accident
- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
- Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
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- Injury Claim Lawyer
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Sullivan, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Sullivan, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Sullivan, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our lawyers would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.