Dog Bite Lawyers in Sappington, MO
Sappington, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Evaluation | Sappington, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
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 get experienced legal service as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Sappington, MO and beyond hold negligent pet owners responsible to get the compensation 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 Sappington, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites annually in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with high medical costs, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, across the country 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 Sappington, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary damages. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional injuries such as emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the incident — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, you may have a case. But, if you were there illegally or if you provoked the dog, you may not 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 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 ordinances and state statutes. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by another person's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to make a claim, you should request a consultation with a qualified Sappington, 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 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 photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, it's important to get evaluated by a doctor or other medical 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 file a report with 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 show the insurance company.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Be wary of accepting a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, 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 the true value of your dog bite injury in Sappington, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Sappington, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Sappington, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. 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 offer insight into your chances of success. 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 Sappington, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if you have to. Throughout 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 that corroborates 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 for you. Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims, 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 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 people responsible for the harm 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 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 Missouri and Illinois 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 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 lawyers in Sappington, MO, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For example, here are a few 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. Any dog is able to bite a human. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
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 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 at various types of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You 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 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 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:
- 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
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Sappington, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's important 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 standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our firm would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.