Dog Bite Lawyers in Wardsville, MO
Wardsville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Review | Wardsville, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Wardsville, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Wardsville, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to find qualified legal counsel ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Wardsville, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they are owed. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Wardsville, 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 nationwide. Dog bites can carry high medical costs, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account tests, medication and other factors. Each day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Wardsville, 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 a few key factors:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary damages. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible damages like emotional distress. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not be able to make a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the incident — If you were attacked 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 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 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 and state law. 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 did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to make a claim, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Wardsville, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Wardsville, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take pictures 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 a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get your injuries seen 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 a financial recovery.
- Report the incident — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, 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 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 — 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.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney 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 are owed for your dog bite injury in Wardsville, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Wardsville, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Wardsville, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and advise whether you have a valid claim. 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 options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Wardsville, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if you have to. Throughout your case, your Wardsville, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements and any surveillance footage or other evidence.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can talk to the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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 negligent actors responsible 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. Unlike other forms of liability, such as negligence, strict liability does not require you 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. Our dog bite lawyers in Wardsville, MO, understand how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, below are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Any 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 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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have a similar tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Wardsville, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Wardsville, MO, will look at a variety 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 or a family member have been injured 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 — Though 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 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 Wardsville, 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 Wardsville, 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 Wardsville, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Wardsville, 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 if we don't win your case you don't owe us anything and there aren't any upfront fees. Our Wardsville, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary case review.
Our lawyers would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.