Dog Bite Lawyers in Chesterfield, MO
Chesterfield, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Chesterfield, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Chesterfield, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Chesterfield, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is important to get experienced legal service as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Chesterfield, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they entitled to. If you were attacked by a dog, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Chesterfield, 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 over 4.5 million serious dog bites each year nationwide. Dog bites can carry expensive medical bills, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, in the U.S. 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 Case in Chesterfield, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a valid case, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can generally receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional damages like anxiety. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, you likely don't 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 find the policy 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 can seek compensation for a dog bite 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 seek compensation, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Chesterfield, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Chesterfield, 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 pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Additionally, you'll need proof that you were injured 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 free of disease and infection, and that there is documentation of the attack to back up your story.
- 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 without consulting with a lawyer, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer with experience 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 Chesterfield, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Chesterfield, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Chesterfield, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and offer insight into your chances of success. 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 Chesterfield, 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 the duration of your case, your Chesterfield, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements and photographs of your injuries.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and make sure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your claim 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 implements their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", in which a dog owner can be sued for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing 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 only major 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
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack lawyers in Chesterfield, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For instance, below are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. 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) 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 a similar tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Chesterfield, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Chesterfield, MO, will look at various types of damages. 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 have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Although rare, in some 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 Chesterfield, 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 Chesterfield, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
- Auto Accident Attorney
- 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Chesterfield, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Chesterfield, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal assistance doesn't cost you anything. At Halvorsen Klote, 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 Chesterfield, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our lawyers would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.