Dog Bite Lawyers in Valley Park, MO
Valley Park, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Review | Valley Park, MO Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Valley Park, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Valley Park, 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 qualified legal service ASAP after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Valley Park, MO and on both sides of the Mississippi hold negligent pet owners responsible 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 Valley Park, 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: Numbers to Know
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites every year across the country. Dog bites can carry high medical bills, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Valley Park, MO?
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be thinking about 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 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 damages like emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were bitten 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 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 some "creative lawyering" to help locate the policy that covers your injuries.
- 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 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 seek compensation, you should discuss your case with a qualified Valley Park, MO dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Valley Park, 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:
- Obtain evidence — Before leaving, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for 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 you don't think your injuries are significant, it's important to get your injuries seen by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites frequently cause infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive compensation.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, 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 an official record of the incident to show the insurance company.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Never agree to 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 — A lawyer 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 how much compensation you deserve for your dog bite injury in Valley Park, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Valley Park, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Valley Park, 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 go over the details 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 the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Valley Park, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Valley Park, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- 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 on your behalf. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your case 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 the public safe and to hold people 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 at an earlier date 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 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 only major difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois is in regards to the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you generally 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 lawyers in Valley Park, MO, understand how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite someone. 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) 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 the same tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Valley Park, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Valley Park, MO, will look at a variety of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You may be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- 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 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 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 Valley Park, 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 Valley Park, 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
- Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Injury Claim Lawyer
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Valley Park, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Valley Park, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal representation 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 Valley Park, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free 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.