Dog Bite Lawyers in Hazelwood, MO
Hazelwood, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Hazelwood, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Hazelwood, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Hazelwood, 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 qualified legal service ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Hazelwood, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi hold negligent dog owners responsible to get the financial recovery they entitled to. If you were bitten by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Hazelwood, 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 four and a half million dog bites each year in the U.S. These injuries are associated with expensive medical bills, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Each 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 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Hazelwood, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Severity of your injuries — If you want to have a viable case, 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. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the bite — 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. However, if you were there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, you may not 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 find the policy 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 and state law. Generally, 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 request a consultation with a qualified Hazelwood, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Hazelwood, 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 — Before leaving, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the contact info of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites often cause infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were bitten, 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.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than the true value of your claim.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — An attorney who specializes in dog bite cases 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 entitled to for your dog bite injury in Hazelwood, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Hazelwood, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Hazelwood, 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:
- Evaluate 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 any relevant laws.
- 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 Hazelwood, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Hazelwood, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire evidence that corroborates 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies want to avoid paying 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 case goes to court, a dog bite lawyer can represent you and advocate for your rights.
Understanding Dog Bite Laws
Any law regarding personal injury is 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 are similar.
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 adhere to "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has been aggressive 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 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 attorneys in Hazelwood, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For example, here are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Every dog is able to bite a human. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds 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 remember is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have a similar tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Hazelwood, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Hazelwood, MO, will look at a number of damages. Some of 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 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 owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This can include damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone 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 Hazelwood, 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 Hazelwood, 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
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Hazelwood, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Hazelwood, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Hazelwood, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.