Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Charles, MO
St. Charles, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | St. Charles, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Charles, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when St. Charles, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's important to find experienced legal service as soon as possible after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in St. Charles, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you were bitten by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our St. Charles, 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
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites every year across the country. Dog bites can carry high medical bills, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, nearly 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, 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 St. Charles, MO
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial damages. You can typically receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional injuries such as PTSD. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not have a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, you may not 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 policy that covers your damages.
- 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 can seek compensation for a dog bite any time you were bitten by another person's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have enough to seek compensation, you need to request a consultation with a qualified St. Charles, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Do I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in St. Charles, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take pictures of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Ask for 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 treatment — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, it's important to get evaluated 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 bite — 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is documentation of the attack to back up your story.
- 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 what your claim is worth.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes 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 how much compensation you deserve for your dog bite injury in St. Charles, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Charles, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in St. Charles, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. 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 St. Charles, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your St. Charles, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that backs up 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 on your behalf. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and make sure 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep the public safe and to hold negligent actors accountable 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 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 Missouri and Illinois operate under the doctrine of "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 only major difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois is in regards to the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you generally 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 St. Charles, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, 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. Any 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 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 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 St. Charles, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in St. Charles, MO, will look into a variety of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- Lost Wages — 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 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 — Though rare, in certain 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 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 St. Charles, 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 St. Charles, 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 St. Charles, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in St. Charles, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal representation doesn't cost you anything. Here, we charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our St. Charles, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our lawyers would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.