Dog Bite Lawyers in Kirkwood, MO
Kirkwood, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Evaluation | Kirkwood, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Kirkwood, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Kirkwood, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is important to find qualified legal service as soon as possible after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Kirkwood, MO and beyond hold negligent dog owners responsible to get the compensation 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 Kirkwood, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites each year across the country. These injuries can carry high medical costs, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account tests, medication and other factors. Every day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant 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 resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Kirkwood, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- 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 such as PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the bite — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, 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 — 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 some "creative lawyering" to help locate 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 ordinances and state statutes. 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 did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Kirkwood, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Kirkwood, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the contact info of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get evaluated 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. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the incident — Depending on where the attack occurred, 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 show the insurance company.
- Be cautious with 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.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer 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 deserve for your dog bite injury in Kirkwood, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Kirkwood, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Kirkwood, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and advise 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 Kirkwood, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Kirkwood, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Acquire 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 talk to the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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 people liable 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 in an earlier incident 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 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 a history of aggression or or if the home owner did anything 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 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 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 lawyers in Kirkwood, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, here are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Emotional Trauma
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Every dog is able to bite a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are 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 a similar tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Kirkwood, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Kirkwood, MO, will look into various types of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You may be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Wages — If you or your child have been injured because of 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 can have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Although rare, in certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the 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 Kirkwood, 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 Kirkwood, 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 Kirkwood, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Kirkwood, 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 if we don't win your case you don't owe us anything and there aren't any upfront fees. Our Kirkwood, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation consultation.
Our lawyers would be more than happy to discuss your case. 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.