Dog Bite Lawyers in Fenton, MO
Fenton, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Fenton, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Fenton, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Fenton, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is essential to get experienced legal service ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Fenton, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Fenton, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites each year in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with high medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Each day, almost 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, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Fenton, 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 your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can typically receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible injuries like emotional distress. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a small cut, you may not be able to make a claim .
- The specifics of the bite — 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 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the policy that covers your damages.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, based on local and state law. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by another person's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- 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 need to speak to a qualified Fenton, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Fenton, 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 — Before leaving, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get evaluated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive compensation.
- Report the incident — Depending on where you were bitten, you may need to report the dog bite to your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is observed to see if they're a danger to others, and that there is documentation of the attack to back up your story.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Never agree to a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than the true value of your claim.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — An attorney 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 Fenton, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Fenton, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Fenton, 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 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 Fenton, 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 Fenton, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain 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 want to avoid paying claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights 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 negligent actors accountable 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 you can't hold the owner liable if it's the dog's first aggressive incident – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to actively forgo safety precautions – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable 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 dog bite laws in each state can be found in Missouri Revised Statute §273.036 and 510 ILCS 5/1.
The main 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 you have 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 Fenton, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Mental Anguish
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Every 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 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 remember 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 Fenton, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Fenton, MO, will look at various types of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might 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 Wages — 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 some circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the 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 Fenton, 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 Fenton, 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Fenton, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Fenton, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Fenton, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by 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 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.