Dog Bite Lawyers in Crestwood, MO
Crestwood, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | 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 find experienced legal service 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 river hold negligent pet owners liable 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 Crestwood, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites each year across the country. Dog bites can carry high medical bills, as medical treatment 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 dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $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 can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the attack:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a viable claim, 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 damages such as PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding 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 there illegally 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 locate the coverage you need.
- 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 another person's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you should request a consultation with a qualified Crestwood, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Crestwood, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, it's important to get your injuries seen by a healthcare professional. Dog bites often lead 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 the incident transpired, 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 documentation 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 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 how much compensation you are owed for your dog bite injury in Crestwood, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Crestwood, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Crestwood, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a valid claim. 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 Crestwood, 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 your case, your Crestwood, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire 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 talk to the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you 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 people 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 implements a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody at an earlier date 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 states follow "strict liability", meaning that 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 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 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog bite attorneys in Crestwood, MO, understand how victims can be affected after an incident. For example, here are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Emotional Trauma
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 a person. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds often associated with danger 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 attack 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 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 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 have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Though rare, in certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This may 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 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:
- 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
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Crestwood, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Crestwood, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal representation 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 Crestwood, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials 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.