Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Louis County, MO
St. Louis County, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Evaluation | St. Louis County, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Louis County, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when St. Louis County, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's essential to find qualified legal counsel ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in St. Louis County, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi hold negligent dog owners liable 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 St. Louis County, 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 data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites annually across the country. These injuries can carry expensive medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account tests, medication and other factors. Each day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in St. Louis County, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a viable case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional damages like post-traumatic stress disorder. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the attack — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, 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 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the policy you need.
- 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 can seek compensation for a dog bite any time you were bitten by someone else's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have enough to seek compensation, you need to discuss your case with a qualified St. Louis County, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in St. Louis County, 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:
- Acquire evidence — Before leaving, take photos 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, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get your injuries treated by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites frequently cause infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the incident — Depending on where you were bitten, you may need to report the dog bite to your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is free of disease and infection, and that there is documentation of the attack to back up your story.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases 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 are owed for your dog bite injury in St. Louis County, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Louis County, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in St. Louis County, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a valid claim. They will review the circumstances surrounding the bite, including the severity of your injuries and the relevant state statutes.
- Help you understand your rights — A dog bite lawyer can help you understand your legal options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in St. Louis County, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your St. Louis County, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that backs up your side of the story. 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 for you. Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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 are similar.
Neither state has a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody in an earlier incident for the owner to be liable – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to do something wrong – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states follow "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing 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 only major 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. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack lawyers in St. Louis County, MO, know how victims can be affected. For instance, here are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is able to bite 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 remember is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in St. Louis County, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in St. Louis County, MO, will look at various types of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims 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 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 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 — Although rare, in some circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This could 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 St. Louis County, MO personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Louis County, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in St. Louis County, 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 St. Louis County, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.
Our lawyers would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.