Dog Bite Lawyers in Wentzville, MO
Wentzville, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Wentzville, MO Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Wentzville, MO. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Wentzville, MO dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's crucial to get qualified legal representation as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Wentzville, MO and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent dog owners accountable to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Wentzville, MO dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites every year nationwide. Dog bites are associated with high medical expenses, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account surgery, medication and other factors. Every day, nearly 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant 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.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Wentzville, MO?
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be wondering 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 valid case, 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 such as post-traumatic stress disorder. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not be able to make a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the incident — 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. But, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, 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 coverage you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, 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 are unsure whether or not you have a viable case for legal action, you should discuss your case with a qualified Wentzville, MO dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Do I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog in Wentzville, 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 — While you're still at the scene, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are significant, you need to get your injuries treated by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites can be prone to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to receive compensation.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 attack to corroborate your story.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Never agree to a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Reach out to 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 the true value of your dog bite injury in Wentzville, MO.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Wentzville, MO Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Wentzville, MO can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- 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 Wentzville, MO, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Wentzville, MO dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire 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 for you. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you 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 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 innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors liable for the damages they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
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 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 main 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 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 Wentzville, MO, understand how victims and their families can be affected. 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 they're not always applicable. Every dog is able to bite a person. 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 the same tendency to strike others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Wentzville, MO?
A dog bite lawyer in Wentzville, MO, will look at a number of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might 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 Time at Work — 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 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 Wentzville, 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 Wentzville, 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
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Wentzville, MO Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Wentzville, 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 Wentzville, MO, dog bite lawyers are here to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation consultation.
Our firm would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.