Dog Bite Lawyers in Affton, MO
Affton, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Evaluation | Affton, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
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 experienced legal service ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Affton, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi hold negligent dog owners liable 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 Affton, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites annually nationwide. Dog bites are associated with high medical bills, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in tests, medication and other factors. Each day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Affton, MO
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the attack:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary damages. You can generally receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional damages such as emotional distress. 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 trespassing or if you provoked the dog, 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 any damages the 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 policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by local and state law. Generally, 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 threaten the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you should discuss your case with a qualified Affton, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Should 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:
- Obtain evidence — While you're still at the scene, take pictures 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 the attack, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get your injuries seen by a healthcare professional. Dog bites often cause 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 bite — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is an official record 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 without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in injury claims can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine how much compensation you deserve 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 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:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and offer insight into your chances of success. 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 the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Affton, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout 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 that corroborates your side of the story. This may include medical records, witness statements and any surveillance footage or other evidence.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can negotiate with 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 stand up for you 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
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 makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
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 actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has been aggressive before or if the home owner did anything 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 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog attack lawyers in Affton, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected. For example, below are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Mental Anguish
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is able to bite a human. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
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 Affton, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Affton, MO, will look at a number 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 bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Wages — If you or a family member have been injured 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 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 may 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.
Other cases we take on and win in Affton, 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
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Affton, MO Today
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 is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Affton, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Affton, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our lawyers would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials 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.