Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Peters, MO
St. Peters, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Review | St. Peters, MO Dog Attack Law Firm
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 is 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. Peters, MO and on both sides of the river fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they are owed. 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 represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites annually across the country. These injuries can carry expensive medical expenses, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room 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 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 wondering whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — 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 small cut, you may not have a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, you may have a case. But, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, you likely don't 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 locate the policy 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 threaten the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you should discuss your case with a qualified St. Peters, 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. 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:
- Gather evidence — While you're still at the scene, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if the bite doesn't seem significant, it's important to get evaluated by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Furthermore, 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 file a report with 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 show the insurance company.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. 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.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in dog bite cases 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.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Peters, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in St. Peters, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. 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 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. Peters, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if you have to. Throughout your case, your St. Peters, MO dog bite lawyer will be available 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 to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, 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 negligent actors accountable for the harm they cause. Each state has 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 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 – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner is liable 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 dog bite laws in each state can be found in Missouri Revised Statute §273.036 and 510 ILCS 5/1.
The main difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois has to do with the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you typically 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, know how victims can be affected. For instance, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Emotional Trauma
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is able to bite a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have a similar tendency to attack 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 a number of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims may be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- 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 — Though rare, in some circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This can 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. 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:
- 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
- Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
- Auto Crash Attorney
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Peters, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, 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. Peters, MO, right away 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 win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our lawyers would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.
Attorney at Law
Joel Halvorsen and his partner Greg Klote founded the Halvorsen Klote law firm on the principle that injured people and their families should have access to the same quality legal representation as large insurance companies.
Attorney at Law
Greg Klote is a partner and founder of Halvorsen Klote.
Greg has successfully fought for people who were injured through no fault of their own. He became a lawyer to help make a difference in the lives of those who have been wronged and treated unfairly.