Dog Bite Lawyers in Kirkwood, MO
Kirkwood, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | 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's important to get experienced legal counsel ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Kirkwood, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent pet owners liable to get the financial recovery they entitled to. If you were attacked 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 represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Statistics to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites annually in the U.S. These injuries can carry high medical expenses, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. 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, in the United States there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Kirkwood, 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:
- Severity of your injuries — If you want to have a valid case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial loss. You can generally receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not be able to make a claim .
- 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. However, if you were there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, 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 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 find the coverage you need.
- 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. Typically, 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 did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to make a claim, you should discuss your case with a qualified Kirkwood, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Kirkwood, 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 — While you're still at the scene, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, 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 you were bitten, you may need to report the dog bite to your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is free of disease and infection, and that there is an official record of the incident to show the insurance company.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Never agree to a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- 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 evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine how much compensation you are entitled to 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 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 offer insight into your chances of success. 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 your legal rights. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Kirkwood, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if you have to. Throughout your case, your Kirkwood, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire evidence to support your claim. 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 often try to pay out as little as possible, 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 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 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 do something wrong – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner can be sued 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 bit you is enough to establish liability.
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 dog bite claims must be filed within two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog bite attorneys in Kirkwood, MO, understand how victims can be affected. For example, here 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 they're not always applicable. Any dog is capable of biting a person. 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 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 Kirkwood, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Kirkwood, MO, will look into 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's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 — 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 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 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:
- 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
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Kirkwood, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Kirkwood, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal representation 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 Kirkwood, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary case review.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.