Dog Bite Lawyers in Lake St. Louis, MO
Lake St. Louis, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
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Dog Bite Lawyers in Lake St. Louis, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Lake St. Louis, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's essential to find experienced legal service as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Lake St. Louis, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you were bitten by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Lake St. Louis, 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: Statistics to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites every year across the country. These injuries can carry expensive medical expenses, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, in the U.S. there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Lake St. Louis, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. You can typically receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible injuries like emotional distress. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not be able to make a claim .
- 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 there illegally or if you provoked the dog, 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 coverage you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based 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 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 need to discuss your case with a qualified Lake St. Louis, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Lake St. Louis, 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:
- Acquire evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos 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 an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get checked out by a healthcare professional. Dog bites frequently lead to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, you may need to file a report with 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 corroborate your claims.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Never agree to a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — An attorney who specializes in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Lake St. Louis, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Lake St. Louis, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Lake St. Louis, 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 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 Lake St. Louis, 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 the duration of your case, your Lake St. Louis, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather 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 to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- 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 the public safe and to hold negligent actors liable for the damages 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 do something wrong – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states follow "strict liability", meaning that 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 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 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog bite lawyers in Lake St. Louis, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite a human. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
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 strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Lake St. Louis, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Lake St. Louis, MO, will look into a variety of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims may be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's 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 — Though rare, in some 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 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 Lake St. Louis, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Lake St. Louis, 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's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Lake St. Louis, MO, right away 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 Lake St. Louis, 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 consultation.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.