Dog Bite Lawyers in Creve Coeur, MO
Creve Coeur, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
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Dog Bite Lawyers in Creve Coeur, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Creve Coeur, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is essential to find experienced legal counsel ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Creve Coeur, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you were bitten by a dog, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Creve Coeur, 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 research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites every year across the country. These injuries are associated with expensive medical expenses, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account surgery, medication and other factors. Each day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious 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 $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Creve Coeur, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. 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 generally receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional injuries such as anxiety. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the attack — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, you likely don't have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll likely 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 find the policy you need.
- 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 someone else's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- 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 Creve Coeur, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Should I Do if I'm Bitten by a Dog in Creve Coeur, 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 — While you're still at the scene, 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, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, you need to get evaluated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites frequently lead to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the bite — Depending on where the attack occurred, 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 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 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 with experience 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 the true value of your dog bite injury in Creve Coeur, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Creve Coeur, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Creve Coeur, 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 advise 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 Creve Coeur, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout your case, your Creve Coeur, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that backs up 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 to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your case goes to court, a dog bite lawyer can represent you and advocate for your rights.
Understanding Dog Bite Laws
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep the public safe and to hold negligent actors responsible for the damages they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone before or if the home owner did anything 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 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 attorneys in Creve Coeur, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too 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 often associated with danger 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 strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Creve Coeur, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Creve Coeur, MO, will look into a number of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You may 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 compensation.
- Lost Time at Work — If you or a family member have been injured 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 traumatic. 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 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 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 Creve Coeur, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Creve Coeur, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Creve Coeur, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Creve Coeur, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.