Dog Bite Lawyers in Valley Park, MO
Valley Park, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | Valley Park, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
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 is essential to get experienced legal service as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Valley Park, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent dog owners responsible 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 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: Figures to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites annually in the U.S. These injuries can carry expensive medical expenses, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Each day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Valley Park, MO
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be wondering if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- Severity of your injuries — If you want to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. You can generally receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible injuries like emotional distress. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the attack — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, you may not have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll probably need to find an insurance policy that covers any damages the dog causes. Most times, this will be under a homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance policy. If not, you may need some "creative lawyering" to help find the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, 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 were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Valley Park, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Should I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog in Valley Park, 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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, without getting into 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 healthcare professional. Dog bites often 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 make a claim.
- Report the attack — 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is an official record of the attack to corroborate your claims.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting 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 — A lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases can help you determine the best way to move forward. 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 Valley Park, MO.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Valley Park, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Valley Park, MO offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details and determine whether you have a valid claim. 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 necessary. Throughout your case, your Valley Park, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather 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 deserve. Insurance companies want to devalue 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 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 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 the dog had to have bitten somebody before 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 operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued 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 only major 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog attack attorneys in Valley Park, MO, know how victims and their families can be affected. For example, here are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Every dog is capable of biting someone. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
Breeds 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 strike 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 into a variety of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might 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 Wages — If you've been bitten 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 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 — Though 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 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 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:
- 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
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Valley Park, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Valley Park, MO, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal representation 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 Valley Park, MO, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our attorneys would be more than 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.