Dog Bite Lawyers in Wardsville, MO
Wardsville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Evaluation | 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's crucial to find experienced legal service as soon as possible after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Wardsville, MO and beyond hold negligent dog owners responsible to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you have a claim, don't wait another second 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 Bites: Figures to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites every year nationwide. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical expenses, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Each day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Wardsville, MO
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be wondering whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a valid case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial loss. You can generally receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional injuries like PTSD. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not have a claim .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had permission to be on, you may have a case. But, 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 probably 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 locate the policy that covers your injuries.
- 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 another person's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Wardsville, 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 Wardsville, 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:
- Obtain 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 contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get evaluated 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. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 show the insurance company.
- 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.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — An attorney who specializes in dog bite cases can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine how much compensation you are entitled to 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 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 Wardsville, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Wardsville, 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 that backs up 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company for you. 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are 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 have most of the most important aspects in common.
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 actively forgo safety precautions – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has a history of aggression or 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 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 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 attack attorneys in Wardsville, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected. For example, here are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Emotional Trauma
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite a person. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds 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 Wardsville, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Wardsville, MO, will look into a variety of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims 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 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 — Although rare, in some 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 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:
- 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 Wardsville, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Wardsville, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Wardsville, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our lawyers would be 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.