Dog Bite Lawyers in Lake St. Louis, MO
Lake St. Louis, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | Lake St. Louis, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
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 crucial to find experienced legal counsel ASAP after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Lake St. Louis, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi hold negligent dog owners responsible to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you were attacked by a dog, don't wait another second 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 Bite Statistics
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites every year nationwide. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical bills, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each 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, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $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 have a valid claim. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- Severity of your injuries — In order to have a viable case, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional damages like PTSD. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not have a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding 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 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 find the coverage that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by 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 were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you need to speak to a qualified Lake St. Louis, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Lake St. Louis, 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 pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get evaluated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the bite — 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 incident to show the insurance company.
- Be cautious with 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 — An attorney with experience in injury claims can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Lake St. Louis, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Lake St. Louis, MO Can Help
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 benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a valid claim. 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 Lake St. Louis, 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 Lake St. Louis, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that corroborates 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. 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 case 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 people responsible for the harm they cause. Each state has their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state implements a "one bite rule" – where you can't hold the owner liable if it's the dog's first aggressive incident – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to do something wrong – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states 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 dog bite laws in each state can be found in Missouri Revised Statute §273.036 and 510 ILCS 5/1.
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. Our dog bite lawyers in Lake St. Louis, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For example, below are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Mental Anguish
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is capable of biting someone. 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 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 Lake St. Louis, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Lake St. Louis, MO, will look at a number of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You 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 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 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 may 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.
Other cases we take on and win in Lake St. Louis, 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
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Lake St. Louis, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Lake St. Louis, 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 Lake St. Louis, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our lawyers would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials 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.