Dog Bite Lawyers in Webster Groves, MO
Webster Groves, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Webster Groves, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Webster Groves, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Webster Groves, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's essential to find qualified legal representation as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Webster Groves, 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 Webster Groves, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites every year in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with high medical expenses, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each 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.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Webster Groves, 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:
- Seriousness of your injuries — 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 anxiety. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the attack — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had permission to be on, you may have a case. However, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, 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 policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, based on local ordinances and state statutes. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by another person's dog if:
- You were lawfully allowed to be where you were
- You were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you should discuss your case with a qualified Webster Groves, 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 Webster Groves, 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 — 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 an argument with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, you need to get evaluated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites frequently 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 transpired, you may need to report the dog bite to 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 documentation of the attack to show the insurance company.
- 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 it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Call a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes 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 Webster Groves, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Webster Groves, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Webster Groves, 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 your legal rights. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Webster Groves, 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 your case, your Webster Groves, MO dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that corroborates your side of the story. 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 often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your case 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors responsible for the harm 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 do something wrong – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has a history of aggression or or if the home owner did anything 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 generally 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 lawyers in Webster Groves, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For example, here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Every dog is capable of biting someone. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
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 remember 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 Webster Groves, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Webster Groves, MO, will look at a number of special and general damages. Some of 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 compensation.
- 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 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 Webster Groves, 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 Webster Groves, 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 Webster Groves, 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 Webster Groves, 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 Webster Groves, 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 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.
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.