Dog Bite Lawyers in Cottleville, MO
Cottleville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | Cottleville, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Cottleville, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Cottleville, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is important to find experienced legal counsel ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Cottleville, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi hold negligent pet owners responsible to get the compensation they deserve. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Cottleville, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites each year in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with high medical costs, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Cottleville, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a valid case, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a small cut, you may not be able to make a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the attack — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally 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 locate the coverage you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by another person'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 are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you need to speak to a qualified Cottleville, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Should I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Cottleville, MO?
If you've been attacked 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 — While you're still at the scene, 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 what happened, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important 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. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries 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 show the insurance company.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Never agree to a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, 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 determine the best way to move forward. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Cottleville, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Cottleville, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Cottleville, 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 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 Cottleville, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Cottleville, 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 acquire evidence that corroborates 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 minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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 responsible for the harm they cause. Each state implements 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 actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
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 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
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 Cottleville, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. 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 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 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 Cottleville, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Cottleville, MO, will look into various types of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a dog 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 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 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 Cottleville, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Cottleville, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Cottleville, MO, right away 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Cottleville, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our attorneys would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.