Dog Bite Lawyers in Shrewsbury, MO
Shrewsbury, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Shrewsbury, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Shrewsbury, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Shrewsbury, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is essential to find qualified legal counsel ASAP after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Shrewsbury, MO and on both sides of the river 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 Shrewsbury, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients 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 four and a half million dog bites each year nationwide. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical costs, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Shrewsbury, 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 your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a valid claim, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible injuries like 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 access to, 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 — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll probably need to find an insurance policy that covers the injuries a specific 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 that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by someone else's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you need to speak to a qualified Shrewsbury, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Shrewsbury, 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:
- Acquire evidence — While you're still at the scene, take pictures of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Ask for the contact info of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, you need to get your injuries treated by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Additionally, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the incident — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 attack to back up your story.
- 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 it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer with experience in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine how much compensation you deserve for your dog bite injury in Shrewsbury, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Shrewsbury, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Shrewsbury, 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 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 the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Shrewsbury, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if necessary. Throughout your case, your Shrewsbury, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather 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 negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors 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 the dog had to have bitten somebody at an earlier date 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 operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone before or if the home owner did anything wrong. Strict liability recognizes that dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their dog, while allowing dog bite victims who did nothing wrong to get full compensation without having to prove wrongdoing on the part of the dog owner.
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 you have 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 Shrewsbury, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For instance, below are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Any dog is able to bite someone. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds that are 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 the same tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Shrewsbury, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Shrewsbury, MO, will look into a number of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims 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 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 can have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Though rare, in certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the 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 Shrewsbury, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Shrewsbury, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Shrewsbury, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Shrewsbury, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our attorneys would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.