Dog Bite Lawyers in Des Peres, MO
Des Peres, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Evaluation | Des Peres, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Des Peres, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Des Peres, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's crucial to find experienced legal counsel ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Des Peres, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois 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 Des Peres, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Numbers to Know
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites annually across the country. Dog bites can carry high medical expenses, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, in the United States there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Des Peres, MO?
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a valid case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial damages. You can typically receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional damages like PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the incident — 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. 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 find the policy that covers your damages.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by someone else's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you should discuss your case with a qualified Des Peres, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Des Peres, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take pictures of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem significant, it's important to get your injuries seen by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where the attack transpired, you may need to file a report with 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 documentation of the attack to corroborate your story.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer with experience in injury claims can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Des Peres, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Des Peres, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Des Peres, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and advise 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 Des Peres, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Des Peres, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements and photographs of your injuries.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can negotiate with 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 advocate for your rights and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep the public safe and to hold negligent actors liable for the harm 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 has 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 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 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 main difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois has to do with the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you typically 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 Des Peres, 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 dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, 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 that are 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 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 Des Peres, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Des Peres, MO, will look into various types of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You may be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- 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 may 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 Des Peres, 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 Des Peres, 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
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Des Peres, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Des Peres, MO, right away 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 Des Peres, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.