Dog Bite Lawyers in Clayton, MO
Clayton, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Evaluation | 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 essential to find experienced legal representation ASAP after an accident. 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 compensation they entitled to. If you were bitten by a dog, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Clayton, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Statistics to Know
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites annually nationwide. These injuries are associated with high medical expenses, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, almost 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, in the United States there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion 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 thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a viable case, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can typically receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional damages like emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had permission to be on, you may have a case. But, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help find the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, 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 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 request a consultation with a qualified Clayton, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
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:
- Acquire evidence — Before leaving, 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 witnesses you can, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites frequently cause infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, you may need to report the dog bite to your local municipality. 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 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. Never agree to a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes 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 are entitled to for 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 handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Analyze 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 the relevant state statutes.
- 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 Clayton, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if necessary. Throughout your case, your Clayton, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain evidence that backs up 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 talk to the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and make sure 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 innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors accountable for the damages they cause. Each state has their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
Neither state has a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody in an earlier incident for the owner to be liable – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to do something wrong – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states adhere to "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable 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 only major difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois is in regards to the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you typically 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. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack attorneys in Clayton, MO, know how victims can be affected. For example, here are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Often, people stereotype certain 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 caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds that are 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 Clayton, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Clayton, MO, will look into various types of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- Lost Wages — 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 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 — Although rare, in certain 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 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 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:
- 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
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Clayton, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Clayton, MO, right away 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 if we don't win your case you don't owe us anything and there aren't any upfront fees. Our Clayton, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our attorneys would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.