Dog Bite Lawyers in Webster Groves, MO
Webster Groves, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | 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 get qualified legal representation ASAP after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Webster Groves, MO and beyond hold negligent dog owners liable to get the compensation they are owed. If you were bitten by a dog, 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 Bites: Figures to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites every year across the country. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical bills, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious 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 $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Webster Groves, MO?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the attack:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary damages. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible damages like anxiety. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a small cut, you may not be able to make a claim .
- The specifics of the incident — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, 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 — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll likely 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 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. Generally, in Missouri and Illinois, you can seek compensation for a dog bite 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 threaten the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you should speak to a qualified Webster Groves, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case 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 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 pictures of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites often lead to 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 bite — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, you may need to report the dog bite to the local animal control agency or police department. This can help to ensure that the dog is observed to see if they're a danger to others, and that there is an official record of the attack to corroborate your story.
- Be cautious with 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 the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney who specializes in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. 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.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Webster Groves, MO Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Webster Groves, MO can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and tell you 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 Webster Groves, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout your case, your Webster Groves, MO dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire evidence to support your claim. 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 for you. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and make sure 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 liable for the harm they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
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 Missouri and Illinois follow "strict liability", in which 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 main 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 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. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack lawyers in Webster Groves, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For instance, below are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Any dog is capable of biting a human. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are often associated with danger 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 the same 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 into a variety of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims 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 reimbursement.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 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 could 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:
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- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
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Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Webster Groves, MO Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's crucial 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Webster Groves, 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 attorneys would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.