Dog Bite Lawyers in Washington, MO
Washington, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | Washington, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Washington, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Washington, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's important to get experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Washington, MO and on both sides of the river fight insurance companies 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 Washington, 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 over four and a half million dog bites each year in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical bills, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people visit an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
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 Washington, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering 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 valid claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible damages like PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, you may not 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 — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, based 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 did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you should request a consultation with a qualified Washington, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Do I Do if I'm Bitten by a Dog in Washington, 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 name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get checked out by a healthcare professional. Dog bites frequently lead to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were bitten, you may need to report the dog bite to your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is documentation 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. Be wary of accepting 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 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 the true value of your dog bite injury in Washington, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Washington, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Washington, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- 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 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 Washington, 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 Washington, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire 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 negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your claim 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are designed to keep the public safe and to hold people accountable for the harm they cause. Each state has their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state implements a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody before 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 follow "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner is liable 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 only major difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois is in regards to the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you typically 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. Halvorsen Klote's dog bite lawyers in Washington, MO, understand how victims can be affected. For example, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
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 caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
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 remember 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 Washington, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Washington, MO, will look into a variety of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 — 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 may 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 Washington, 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 Washington, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
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- Bike Wreck Lawyer
- What to Do After a Car Accident
- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
- Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
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Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Washington, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Washington, 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Washington, 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 lawyers would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.