Dog Bite Lawyers in Clayton, MO
Clayton, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | Clayton, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Clayton, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Clayton, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's important to get experienced legal service as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Clayton, MO and on both sides of the river fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Clayton, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured 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 four and a half million dog bites annually nationwide. Dog bites are associated with high medical costs, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, nationwide 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 Clayton, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. You can typically receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, 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 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 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 at the location legally
- You did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you should request a consultation with a qualified Clayton, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Clayton, 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:
- Gather evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, 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 the attack, but do not start an argument 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 seen by a doctor or other medical 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 make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 free of disease and infection, and that there is an official record of the attack to show the insurance company.
- 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 without consulting with a lawyer, 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 evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Clayton, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Clayton, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Clayton, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and advise 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 options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Clayton, 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 your case, your Clayton, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain 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 talk to the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure 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 innocent people from harm and to hold people responsible 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 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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois follow "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner is liable 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 bit you 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 is in regards to the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you generally have five years to file a dog bite claim, while in Illinois you have two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog attack attorneys in Clayton, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Every dog is capable of biting someone. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are often associated with bites 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 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 Clayton, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Clayton, MO, will look at a variety of special and general 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 Wages — 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 a traumatic experience. 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 — Though rare, in some circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This could include a broken phone, if you crashed a bike, if a dog tore up your siding 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 Clayton, 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 Clayton, 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 Clayton, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Clayton, 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 Clayton, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results 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.