Dog Bite Lawyers in Mehlville, MO
Mehlville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | Mehlville, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Mehlville, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Mehlville, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is essential to get qualified legal representation ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Mehlville, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Mehlville, 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
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites each year across the country. These injuries are associated with expensive medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in tests, medication and other factors. Each day, nearly 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 U.S. there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Mehlville, MO
If a dog bit you for no reason, 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 monetary damages. You can generally receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible injuries such as anxiety. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not be able to make a claim .
- The specifics of the incident — 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. But, 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 probably need to find an insurance policy that covers any damages the 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 locate the coverage you need.
- 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 did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have enough to seek compensation, you need to speak to a qualified Mehlville, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Mehlville, 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 — Before leaving, take pictures 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 a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, you need to get your injuries seen by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often lead to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the attack — Depending on where the incident transpired, 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 observed to see if they're a danger to others, and that there is an official record of the incident to back up 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 the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer with experience in dog bite cases 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 Mehlville, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Mehlville, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Mehlville, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a valid claim. 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 the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Mehlville, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Mehlville, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements and any surveillance footage or other evidence.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can talk to the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and make sure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your claim 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 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 have most of the most important aspects in common.
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 Missouri and Illinois adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued 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 you 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. Our dog attack attorneys in Mehlville, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, below are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Every 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 often associated with bites 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 a similar tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Mehlville, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Mehlville, MO, will look at a variety of 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 reimbursement.
- 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 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 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 Mehlville, 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 Mehlville, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
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- What to Do After a Car Accident
- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
- Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
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Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Mehlville, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Mehlville, 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 Mehlville, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.