Dog Bite Lawyers in Sappington, MO
Sappington, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | Sappington, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Sappington, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Sappington, 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 experienced legal service as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Sappington, MO and on both sides of the river fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Sappington, 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 reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites annually in the U.S. These injuries can carry expensive medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account surgery, prescriptions and other factors. Each day, almost 1,000 people visit an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Sappington, MO
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be wondering if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- Severity of your injuries — In order to have a viable claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional injuries such as PTSD. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not have a claim .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were bitten 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 there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, 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 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 some "creative lawyering" to help find the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by local and state law. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you can seek compensation for a dog bite any time you were bitten by someone else's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you need to speak to a qualified Sappington, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Should I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Sappington, 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 — Before leaving, take pictures 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, it's important to get your injuries seen by a healthcare professional. Dog bites often cause 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 incident transpired, 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 an official record of the attack to show the insurance company.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as the first offer is likely to be less than the true value of your claim.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer with experience 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 how much compensation you are entitled to for your dog bite injury in Sappington, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Sappington, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Sappington, 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:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details 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 Sappington, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Sappington, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather 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 negotiate with 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 you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your claim 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 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 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 – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states adhere to "strict liability", in which a dog owner can be sued for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has been aggressive before 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 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 is in regards to the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you typically 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 attack lawyers in Sappington, MO, know how victims can be affected. For example, below are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. 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) 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 the same tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Sappington, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Sappington, MO, will look into a variety of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You might 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 a family member have been injured 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 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 owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This may 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 Sappington, 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 Sappington, 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Sappington, MO Today
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 Sappington, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal assistance doesn't cost you anything. At Halvorsen Klote, 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 Sappington, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our attorneys would be 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.