Dog Bite Lawyers in Ellisville, MO
Ellisville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Evaluation | Ellisville, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
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 get experienced legal service as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Ellisville, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent pet owners liable to get the compensation they deserve. If you were bitten by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Ellisville, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients 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 more than 4.5 million serious dog bites every year nationwide. Dog bites can carry high medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account surgery, medication and other factors. Every 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, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Ellisville, 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 the circumstances surrounding the attack:
- Seriousness of your injuries — If you want to have a viable claim, 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 damages like anxiety. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a small cut, you may not have a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the incident — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, you may have a case. However, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, 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 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. Generally, 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 threaten the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Ellisville, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate 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 Ellisville, 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 pictures 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 people who saw what happened, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get checked out 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 receive a financial recovery.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, 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 free of disease and infection, 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. Be wary of accepting a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as the first offer is likely to be less than the true value of your claim.
- Schedule a consultation with 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 how much compensation you are owed 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 handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and offer insight into your chances of success. 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 Ellisville, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Ellisville, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather 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 for you. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure 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 innocent people from harm 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 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 do something wrong – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois follow "strict liability", in which 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 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 is in regards to the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you generally have five years to file a dog bite claim, while in Illinois you have two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack lawyers in Ellisville, 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
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Mental Anguish
Too 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 human. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are often associated with bites 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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to attack 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 number of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- 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 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 can 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 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:
- 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
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ellisville, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Ellisville, 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 Ellisville, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our lawyers would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results 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.