Dog Bite Lawyers in Winfield, MO
Winfield, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | Winfield, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Winfield, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Winfield, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is essential to find experienced legal service ASAP after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Winfield, MO and beyond 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 Winfield, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients 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 every year in the U.S. Dog bites can carry expensive medical costs, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every 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, nationwide 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 Winfield, 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:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial loss. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, 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. But, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the coverage you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by local and state law. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by another person'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 a viable case for legal action, you need to speak to a qualified Winfield, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Winfield, 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:
- Acquire evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, it's important to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often lead to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where the incident transpired, 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.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Never agree to a settlement before you speak to an attorney, 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 with experience 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 deserve for your dog bite injury in Winfield, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Winfield, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Winfield, MO can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and advise whether you have a valid claim. They will review all of the evidence and how it fits with law and case precedent.
- 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 Winfield, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if you have to. Throughout your case, your Winfield, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain 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 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 ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- 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 liable for the harm they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
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 actively forgo safety precautions – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner is liable for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing 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 has to do with the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you typically 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog attack lawyers in Winfield, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, below are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is able to bite someone. 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 remember 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 Winfield, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Winfield, MO, will look at a variety of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You 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 or your child have been injured because of 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 can 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 Winfield, 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 Winfield, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
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- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
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Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Winfield, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Winfield, MO, right away 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 Winfield, 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 attorneys would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.