Dog Bite Lawyers in Crestwood, MO
Crestwood, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Evaluation | Crestwood, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Crestwood, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Crestwood, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's essential to get experienced legal representation as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Crestwood, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi hold negligent dog owners liable to get the compensation they are owed. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Crestwood, 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?
Based on reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites each year in the U.S. These injuries are associated with high medical costs, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider tests, prescriptions and other factors. Each day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Crestwood, 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 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. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional injuries such as emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had permission to be on, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally or if you provoked the dog, you may not have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll probably need to find an insurance policy that covers any damages the dog causes. Most times, this will be 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 damages.
- 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. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by another person's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Crestwood, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Should I Do if I'm Bitten by a Dog in Crestwood, 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 surrounding scene and any injuries. 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 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 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 the incident transpired, you may need to report the dog bite to the local animal control agency or police department. 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 attack to back up 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 it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine how much compensation you are owed for your dog bite injury in Crestwood, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Crestwood, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Crestwood, 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 evaluate your case and determine 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 the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Crestwood, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Crestwood, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain evidence to support your claim. 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 want to avoid paying 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 case 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 liable for the damages they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
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 states follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner can be sued 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 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 lawyers in Crestwood, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, below are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
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) 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 strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Crestwood, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Crestwood, MO, will look at various types of damages. 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'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 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 dog owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This can 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 Crestwood, 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 Crestwood, 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
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Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Crestwood, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Crestwood, 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Crestwood, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary case review.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.