Dog Bite Lawyers in Affton, MO
Affton, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | Affton, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Affton, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Affton, 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 attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Affton, MO and on both sides of the river hold negligent dog owners accountable to get the compensation they are owed. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Affton, 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: Numbers to Know
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites annually nationwide. These injuries can carry high medical bills, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in tests, medication and other factors. Each day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment 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 $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Affton, MO
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial damages. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible damages such as PTSD. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a small cut, you may not be able to make a claim .
- 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. But, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the coverage 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 did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you need to request a consultation with a qualified Affton, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Do I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Affton, 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:
- Acquire evidence — While you're still at the scene, take photos of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, it's important to get checked out by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to receive compensation.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, 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 back up your story.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in dog bite cases can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine how much compensation you are entitled to for your dog bite injury in Affton, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Affton, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Affton, 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 go over the details and determine 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 Affton, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Affton, 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 to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements and any surveillance footage or other evidence.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your case 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 innocent people from harm and to hold people liable 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 the dog had to have bitten somebody in an earlier incident 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 Missouri and Illinois operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", in which a dog owner can be sued 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 the victim 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 is in regards to 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 Affton, MO, understand how victims can be affected after an incident. For example, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite a human. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are often associated with danger 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 Affton, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Affton, MO, will look into various types of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims 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 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 can have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Although rare, in certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This can include damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone and other things that may have 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 Affton, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Affton, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Affton, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Affton, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our attorneys would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.