Dog Bite Lawyers in Florissant, MO
Florissant, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Evaluation | Florissant, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Florissant, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Florissant, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is important to get qualified legal service as soon as possible after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Florissant, MO and beyond hold negligent pet owners responsible to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you were attacked by a dog, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Florissant, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Numbers to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites annually 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, medication and other factors. Every day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious 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.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Florissant, MO
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. 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. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible injuries like PTSD. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not be able to make a claim .
- The specifics of the bite — 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 there illegally 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the coverage you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you can seek compensation for a dog bite any time you were bitten by another person's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to make a claim, you need to speak to a qualified Florissant, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Do I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Florissant, 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:
- Obtain 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 witnesses you can, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, it's important to get your injuries treated by a doctor or other medical 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 receive a financial recovery.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 incident to show the insurance company.
- Don't believe insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. 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 dog bite cases can help you to understand your legal rights and options. 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 Florissant, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Florissant, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Florissant, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. 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 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 your legal rights. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Florissant, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if you have to. Throughout your case, your Florissant, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain evidence that backs up 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 talk to 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 ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your claim 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 the public safe and to hold negligent actors responsible for the harm they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state has 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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing 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 only major 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. Our dog attack lawyers in Florissant, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, below are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Every dog is capable of biting a human. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds often associated with danger 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 strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Florissant, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Florissant, MO, will look into 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 is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- 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 a traumatic experience. Emotional stress, scarring, ongoing fear, and other factors can 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 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 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 Florissant, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Florissant, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Florissant, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal assistance doesn't cost you anything. Here, 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 Florissant, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation consultation.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.