Dog Bite Lawyers in Union, MO
Union, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | Union, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Union, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Union, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is important to get experienced legal representation ASAP after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Union, MO and beyond hold negligent pet owners accountable to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Union, 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
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites every year across the country. These injuries are associated with high medical bills, 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, in the U.S. 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 Union, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a viable claim, 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 emotional damages like PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had permission to be on, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally or if you provoked the dog, you may not 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 locate the coverage that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, 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 seek compensation, you should speak to a qualified Union, 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 Union, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, 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, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often cause infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the incident — Depending on where the incident occurred, 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 an official record of the attack to back up your story.
- Don't believe insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Be wary of accepting 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 — A lawyer 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 are owed for your dog bite injury in Union, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Union, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Union, 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 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 the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Union, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if necessary. Throughout your case, your Union, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire 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 talk to 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 make sure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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 people 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 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 operate under the doctrine of "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. 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 has to do with 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog attack lawyers in Union, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For example, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Every dog is capable of biting a human. 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 a similar tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Union, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Union, MO, will look at a variety of 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 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 a traumatic experience. 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 could include a broken phone, if you crashed a bike, if a dog tore up your siding 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 Union, 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 Union, 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Union, 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 Union, MO, right away 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 Union, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials 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.