Dog Bite Lawyers in Ste Genevieve, MO
Ste Genevieve, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | Ste Genevieve, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Ste Genevieve, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Ste Genevieve, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to get qualified legal representation as soon as possible after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Ste Genevieve, MO and beyond fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Ste Genevieve, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Statistics to Know
Based on reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites each year in the U.S. Dog bites can carry expensive medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Every day, almost 1,000 people visit 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 ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Ste Genevieve, MO
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a valid case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary damages. You can generally receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional damages like PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help find the coverage 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 and state law. 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 were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Ste Genevieve, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Ste Genevieve, 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. Get the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem significant, you need to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites frequently lead 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 receive a financial recovery.
- Report the incident — 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.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in dog bite cases 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 Ste Genevieve, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ste Genevieve, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Ste Genevieve, MO can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and offer insight into your chances of success. 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 Ste Genevieve, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Ste Genevieve, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Acquire 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 negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you 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 negligent actors liable 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 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 – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has been aggressive 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 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 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 attack attorneys in Ste Genevieve, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, below are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Any dog is able to bite a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are 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 a similar tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Ste Genevieve, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Ste Genevieve, MO, will look at a number of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It's 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 — 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 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 Ste Genevieve, 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 Ste Genevieve, 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ste Genevieve, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Ste Genevieve, MO, as soon as possible 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Ste Genevieve, MO, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation consultation.
Our lawyers would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results 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.