Dog Bite Lawyers in Fenton, MO
Fenton, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Fenton, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
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 find experienced legal representation ASAP after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Fenton, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they entitled to. If you were bitten by a dog, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Fenton, 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 over four and a half million dog bites every year in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical bills, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Fenton, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering 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 valid case, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can generally receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible damages such as emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had permission to be on, you may have a case. But, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, you may not have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll probably 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the coverage you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, 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 were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you should speak to a qualified Fenton, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Fenton, 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:
- Gather evidence — Before leaving, take pictures 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 witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, it's important to get evaluated by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites frequently lead 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 compensation.
- Report the attack — Depending on where the attack occurred, you may need to file a report with your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is free of disease and infection, and that there is documentation of the attack to back up your claims.
- 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 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 are owed for 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 benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and determine 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 Fenton, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Fenton, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain 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 negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you and make sure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit goes to court, a dog bite lawyer can represent you and advocate for your rights.
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 people responsible 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 implements a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody before for the owner to be liable – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to actively forgo safety precautions – 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 the victim 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 is in regards to 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack attorneys in Fenton, MO, know how victims can be affected. For example, below are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Any dog is able to bite a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
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 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 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 dog bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- Lost Wages — 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 a traumatic experience. 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 could include damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone 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:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
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- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
- Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
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Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Fenton, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, don't hesitate to reach out to 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 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 Fenton, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our lawyers would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.