Dog Bite Lawyers in Weldon Spring, MO
Weldon Spring, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | Weldon Spring, MO Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Weldon Spring, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Weldon Spring, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's important to find qualified legal counsel as soon as possible after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Weldon Spring, MO and beyond hold negligent pet owners accountable to get the compensation they are owed. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Weldon Spring, 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
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites annually across the country. Dog bites can carry high medical costs, 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 medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Weldon Spring, MO
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — 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 such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional damages such as PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the incident — If you were attacked 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 there illegally 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 some "creative lawyering" to help find the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by local and state law. Generally, 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 did nothing to provoke or excite the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you need to speak to a qualified Weldon Spring, MO dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Weldon Spring, 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 — While you're still at the scene, take pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, you need to get checked out by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites frequently lead to infection, and you may need to receive a tetanus shot or other treatment to prevent complications. 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 back up your story.
- 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.
- Schedule a consultation with 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 the true value of your dog bite injury in Weldon Spring, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Weldon Spring, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Weldon Spring, 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 evaluate your case and advise 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 Weldon Spring, MO, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout your case, your Weldon Spring, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and make sure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- 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 negligent actors accountable for the damages 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 do something wrong – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone before 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 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 lawyers in Weldon Spring, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, below are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain 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 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 Weldon Spring, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Weldon Spring, MO, will look into a number of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims may be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's 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 certain 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 Weldon Spring, 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 Weldon Spring, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
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- What to Do After a Car Accident
- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
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Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Weldon Spring, MO Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Weldon Spring, MO, right away if there are financial damages. Legal representation 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 Weldon Spring, MO, dog bite lawyers are here 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 discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.