Did you suffer injuries from a dog bite? Did you require emergency medical attention or ongoing treatment to recover? Do you want to hold the dog’s owner responsible for the attack? If so, contact the Jefferson City personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC to learn about your legal options.
You might be entitled to compensation for your hospital bills, medical treatment, and other expenses you incurred due to the dog bite injury. You should not be forced to pay these costs yourself when you didn’t cause the attack. The owner should be held liable for failing to prevent their dog from causing you physical harm.
At OnderLaw, LLC, our Jefferson City dog bite lawyers have been advocating for our clients’ rights since 2002. We’ve been able to secure over $3.5 billion in compensation for victims of someone else’s wrongdoings. You can depend on our legal team to fight for the justice you deserve. You will not be alone during this legal battle.
Call us at (314) 963-9000 if you’re interested in learning more about how we can help. We’ll be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to review your case.
Steps You Should Take After Suffering a Dog Bite Injury
You need to take specific actions immediately after a dog bite, whether the dog has an owner or is a stray. By completing certain steps, you can protect your rights and obtain the evidence necessary to prove what happened and that the dog’s owner should be held liable.
If the injury is severe or debilitating, you should call for an ambulance to transport you to the hospital. An emergency room physician can evaluate your physical condition and determine the right course of treatment for you. You might need shots to protect against rabies or tetanus. If you develop an infection, you’ll need to take antibiotics to prevent it from spreading and causing additional damage.
Even if you only suffer a minor injury, it’s still a good idea to seek immediate treatment. It’s also critical that you follow up with all recommended medical providers and attend regularly scheduled appointments. If you skip any appointments or allow too much time to pass in between doctor visits, it could negatively impact the outcome of your case.
Insurance companies could use gaps in treatment as evidence that your injury isn’t serious or doesn’t exist. They could decide to deny your claim or provide a lowball offer. Insurance companies often look for any valid reason to prevent having to pay the claimant a settlement. They want to save money, and finding a gap in treatment is an excellent way to do just that.
You should also hire a Jefferson City dog bite lawyer after a dog attack. Seeking legal representation could improve your chance of securing a higher insurance settlement or favorable jury verdict. If you attempt to handle your case alone, you might encounter obstacles that you don’t know how to overcome or get taken advantage of by the insurance company or defense attorneys. OnderLaw, LLC is familiar with dog bite cases and how to maximize their value, so our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
During the accident investigation and other steps of the claims process, it’s crucial that you refrain from speaking about the incident with others. Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys will comb through the victim’s social media accounts and talk to witnesses. If you post incriminating evidence online that your injury isn’t as severe as you claimed or told a family member that you’re pretending to be hurt, so you receive a higher settlement, that could cause you to lose your case.
Let OnderLaw, LLC Take Over the Investigation
Following a dog attack, you likely feel disoriented, confused, and overwhelmed, particularly if the dog that bit you belongs to a friend or acquaintance. When you’re at a friend’s home, and their dog bites you, the best thing you can do is to hire OnderLaw, LLC.
When you hire a lawyer, you take the relationship you have with your friend out of the equation. We will be seeking to obtain your compensation from your friend’s homeowner’s insurance company, not from your friend directly. And we can handle all communication with the insurance company so that you don’t have to do anything but heal.
Our Jefferson City dog bite lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC have extensive experience investigating dog bite cases and gathering the necessary evidence to build a strong claim.
Instead of focusing on building a claim in the immediate aftermath of a dog bite injury, you should focus on your recovery. We can take on the responsibility of gathering evidence and digging into the circumstances of your injury so you don’t feel the burden of taking on a comprehensive investigation.
Some of the evidence we might need to collect to prove you deserve compensation includes:
- Security video footage of the incident
- Reports from the police and animal control
- Copies of your medical records and medical bills
- Pictures from the scene of the attack
- The estimated value of your personal property that was damaged in the incident
- Eyewitness statements
- Records of previous attacks by the same dog
We know how to prove someone sustained injuries from a dog bite. Once we have the evidence, the owner should be held liable. You should not be forced to pay any out-of-pocket expenses when you weren’t at fault for the incident.
Common Injuries Associated with Dog Bites
No matter what size a dog is, they have teeth that can cause severe damage. They could bite someone’s fingers or hand, causing the victim to lose that body part. A large and dangerous breed could tear through a person’s skin, damaging the nerves or tissue. In some situations, a deadly infection could develop.
Some of the most common injuries dog bite victims suffer are:
- Nerve damage
- Torn tendons and ligaments
- Muscle damage
- Bacterial sepsis
- Injuries to the face
- Puncture wounds
- Tissue damage
- Psychological trauma
Without immediate and adequate medical care, a dog bite victim could die from their injuries. The damage can be so severe that infections or significant blood loss occur.
Even if your physical scars heal, you could suffer from ongoing emotional or mental problems related to the attack. You might have nightmares, develop a phobia of dogs, or require treatment for anxiety or depression. OnderLaw, LLC understands the devastating impact of a life-threatening injury and the long and painful journey towards recovery.
Possible Compensation You Could Seek in an Insurance Claim
It might make sense to file an insurance claim for a settlement to cover your medical bills and other expenses. Knowing who should be held liable and which insurance company to file your claim with can be confusing. For example, if you were at a friend’s house when the dog attack happened, you could file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance company. If you were in a public place, such as a restaurant, you might be able to file a claim with the business owner or property owner’s liability insurance company.
When you’re seeking compensation from an insurance claim, there are multiple losses you can pursue, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
The maximum insurance settlement you’re entitled to will depend on various contributing factors. Some might include:
- The type of injury and how serious it is
- Any emotional or mental effects of the incident
- Whether the injury resulted in permanent damage
- The amount of time spent away from work
- The duration of the recovery period
- Evidence proving the dog’s owner should be liable
- The total expenses incurred from the attack
- The amount of available insurance coverage
- The estimated cost of medical treatment necessary in the future
The Jefferson City dog bite lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC know how to maximize the value of a case. You can depend on us to tirelessly work to find the relevant evidence to show someone else was at fault for your injury. We have countless resources to obtain the evidence we need to prove your claim and seek the compensation you deserve.
Missouri Laws That Could Affect Your Lawsuit
Missouri follows a strict liability statute when it comes to dog bite injuries. That means the owner becomes liable for the victim’s losses under these circumstances:
- The victim did not provoke the attack;
- The victim was lawfully on someone’s private property or in a public area; and
- Regardless of whether the dog behaved viciously in the past or the owner knew about the viciousness.
You could file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner for compensation for your losses. However, you must follow the five-year statute of limitations. This is a strict timeframe for suing someone in Missouri. If the deadline passes before you have a chance to file suit, you will likely lose your right to hold the owner liable in court.
The pure comparative fault rule could reduce your financial award if a jury finds that your actions contributed to the incident. For example, if the jury assigns you with 20% fault for your dog bite injury and you suffered $20,000 in losses, that means you could only pursue up to $16,000 in compensation.
At OnderLaw, LLC, our Jefferson City dog bite lawyers will remain in your corner until the end of your case. You can depend on us to be your advocate throughout the legal process. You will have a dedicated and compassionate team on your side to help you get through this traumatic ordeal.
If someone’s dog caused your injuries, do not hesitate to contact OnderLaw, LLC. We can meet with you for a free consultation to learn the details of the incident and discuss your legal options. We put our experience and knowledge to work for each client that hires us. You can feel confident knowing you’re in excellent hands while we’re working on your case. Call us now at (314) 963-9000.