Dog Bite Lawyers in Arnold, MO
Arnold, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Arnold, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Arnold, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Arnold, 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 ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Arnold, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Arnold, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites annually nationwide. These injuries are associated with high medical costs, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, in the United States there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Arnold, MO?
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be thinking about 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 valid claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible damages such as post-traumatic stress disorder. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not be able to make a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the attack — If you were attacked 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 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 find the coverage that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by someone else's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Arnold, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Arnold, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, you need to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone 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 you were bitten, you may need to file a report with your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is observed to see if they're a danger to others, and that there is documentation of the attack to back up your claims.
- Don't believe insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. 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 — A lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Arnold, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Arnold, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Arnold, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. 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 tell you whether you have a valid claim. They will review the circumstances surrounding the bite, including the severity of your injuries and any relevant laws.
- 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 Arnold, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Arnold, MO dog bite lawyer will be available 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 want to avoid paying claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and make sure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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 accountable for the damages they cause. Each state has their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state has a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody before for the owner to be liable – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to actively forgo safety precautions – 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. Strict liability recognizes that dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their dog, while allowing dog bite victims who did nothing wrong to get full compensation without having to prove wrongdoing on the part of the dog owner.
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 Arnold, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Any dog is capable of biting a person. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds often associated with danger 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 a similar tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Arnold, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Arnold, MO, will look into a variety of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You might 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've been bitten 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 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 certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This could include damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone 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 Arnold, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Arnold, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Arnold, 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 Arnold, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our attorneys would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.