Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | St. Louis, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Louis, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when St. Louis, 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 counsel as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in St. Louis, MO and on both sides of the river fight insurance companies to get the compensation they are owed. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our St. Louis, 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: Figures to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites annually across the country. These injuries are associated with high medical expenses, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each 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, in the U.S. there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in St. Louis, 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 the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. You can typically receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional injuries like emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had permission to be on, you may have a case. However, 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 some "creative lawyering" to help locate the policy that covers your damages.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, based on local and state law. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by someone else's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to make a claim, you need to speak to a qualified St. Louis, 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, 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 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 attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, you need to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to receive a financial recovery.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is an official record of the attack to back up your claims.
- Don't believe insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Never agree to 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 who specializes in injury claims can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in St. Louis, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Louis, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in St. Louis, 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 go over the details and tell you whether you have a valid claim. 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 St. Louis, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if necessary. Throughout your case, your St. Louis, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold people accountable for the damages they cause. Each state implements their own laws regarding dog bites, 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 actively forgo safety precautions – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone 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 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. Halvorsen Klote's dog bite attorneys in St. Louis, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, 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) 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 a similar tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in St. Louis, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in St. Louis, MO, will look at various types of damages. Some of 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 compensation.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Although rare, in certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the 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 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 St. Louis, 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. Louis, 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
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Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Louis, 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 St. Louis, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.