Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Peters, MO
St. Peters, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
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Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Peters, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when St. Peters, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's important to get experienced legal representation as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in St. Peters, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our St. Peters, 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?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites every year across the country. Dog bites can carry high medical expenses, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in procedures, medication and other factors. Every day, almost 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 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in St. Peters, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the attack:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial damages. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional injuries such as PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the bite — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, 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 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 and state law. 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 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. Peters, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Do I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog in St. Peters, 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 — While you're still at the scene, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often cause infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to make a claim.
- Report the bite — Depending on where the incident occurred, 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 free of disease and infection, 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. 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.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience 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 are entitled to for your dog bite injury in St. Peters, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Peters, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in St. Peters, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and offer insight into your chances of success. 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 your legal options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in St. Peters, 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. Peters, 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 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies want to devalue 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 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 innocent people from harm and to hold people responsible for the damages they cause. Each state implements their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state has a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody before for the owner to be liable – 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 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 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 attorneys in St. Peters, MO, understand how victims can be affected. For example, below are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
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 human. 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) 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 lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in St. Peters, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in St. Peters, MO, will look at various types of 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 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 — Although rare, in certain 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. Peters, 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. Peters, MO include:
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- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
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Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Peters, MO Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in St. Peters, 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 St. Peters, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our firm would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.