Dog Bite Lawyers in Ballwin, MO
Ballwin, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Ballwin, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Ballwin, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Ballwin, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to get qualified legal service as soon as possible after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Ballwin, MO and on both sides of the river hold negligent pet owners accountable to get the compensation they deserve. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Ballwin, 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 reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites each year in the U.S. Dog bites can carry expensive medical costs, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people visit an emergency room 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.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Ballwin, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- Severity of your injuries — In order to have a valid claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can typically receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. 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 lawfully on public or private property, 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 — Most dog bites are covered under a homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance policy. If not, you may need 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 and state law. 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 were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you should speak to a qualified Ballwin, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Do I Do if I'm Bitten by a Dog in Ballwin, 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 — Before leaving, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, you need to get evaluated 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 proof that you were injured in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the incident — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, you may need to file a report with your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is free of disease and infection, and that there is an official record of the attack to corroborate your claims.
- Be cautious with 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.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer 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 the true value of your dog bite injury in Ballwin, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ballwin, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Ballwin, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. 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 tell you 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 Ballwin, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if you have to. Throughout your case, your Ballwin, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire 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 handle your claim 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 fight on your behalf and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep the public safe 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 implements 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 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. 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 dog bite laws in each state can be found in Missouri Revised Statute §273.036 and 510 ILCS 5/1.
The main 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 bite attorneys in Ballwin, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Mental Anguish
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is capable of biting someone. 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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Ballwin, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Ballwin, MO, will look at various types of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims may 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'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 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 may 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 Ballwin, 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 Ballwin, 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
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ballwin, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Ballwin, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal representation doesn't cost you anything. Here, 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 Ballwin, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our lawyers would be 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.