Dog Bite Lawyers in Winfield, MO
Winfield, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Evaluation | Winfield, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
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 crucial to find qualified legal service as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Winfield, MO and on both sides of the river fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Winfield, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites every year nationwide. These injuries can carry expensive medical costs, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Each day, nearly 1,000 people go to an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, nationwide 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 Winfield, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial loss. You can typically receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional injuries like PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- 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. But, 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 locate the policy that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, dictated by local and state law. Generally, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by another person's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you should speak to a qualified Winfield, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Should I Do if I'm Bitten by a Dog 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:
- Obtain 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 contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, you need to get your injuries seen by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to receive compensation.
- Report the incident — 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 incident to show the insurance company.
- Don't believe 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.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. 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 provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- 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 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 Winfield, 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 Winfield, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone 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 talk to the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold people 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 has 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 – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing 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 dog bite claims must be filed within 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 attack lawyers in Winfield, MO, understand how victims can be affected. For example, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Emotional Trauma
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is able to bite a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds 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 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 special and general 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's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 traumatic. 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 — 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 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:
- 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
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Winfield, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Winfield, 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 Winfield, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. 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.
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.