Dog Bite Lawyers in Ellisville, MO
Ellisville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | Ellisville, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Ellisville, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Ellisville, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to find experienced legal representation as soon as possible after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Ellisville, MO and beyond hold negligent pet owners liable to get the financial recovery they entitled to. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Ellisville, 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 over 4.5 million serious dog bites every year in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with high medical expenses, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Ellisville, MO?
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- Seriousness of your injuries — 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 like anxiety. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were there illegally or if you provoked the dog, 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 the injuries a specific 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 injuries.
- 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 someone else'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 make a claim, you should speak to a qualified Ellisville, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Should I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Ellisville, 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:
- Acquire evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Get the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if the bite doesn't seem significant, 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. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the incident — Depending on where the attack occurred, 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 observed to see if they're a danger to others, 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 before you speak to an attorney, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine how much compensation you deserve for your dog bite injury in Ellisville, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ellisville, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Ellisville, 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 go over the details 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 your legal rights. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Ellisville, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if you have to. Throughout your case, your Ellisville, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain evidence that corroborates your side of the story. 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 devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold people liable for the damages they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state implements 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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states adhere to "strict liability", in which 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. 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 caused harm 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. Our dog bite attorneys in Ellisville, MO, understand how victims can be affected. For instance, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Any dog is able to bite someone. 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 the same tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Ellisville, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Ellisville, MO, will look at a variety of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You may be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 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 Ellisville, 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 Ellisville, 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
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ellisville, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Ellisville, 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Ellisville, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our attorneys would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.