A dog bite is traumatic, and injuries from the incident can last long after the attack itself. What might seem like a superficial injury at first often becomes more costly when dog attack victims suffer long-term physical and emotional scars.
If you or a loved one were injured in a dog attack due to someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to pay for their recklessness. See how the trusted dog bite injury attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC can help you get the compensation you’re owed for your injuries. For your free consultation, call us today at (314) 963-9000 or contact our personal injury law firm online.
Why Should I Choose OnderLaw, LLC to Handle My Dog Bite Injury Case?
It’s devastating when a dog attacks you. Beyond suffering from emotional and physical pain, sorting through costly medical bills and dealing with the negligent party who caused the attack can be overwhelming.
Dog bite victims can be owed significant compensation for their injuries. However, when victims try to handle claims on their own, they typically miss out on the money they deserve. People and companies liable for dog attacks might reach out to victims to try to talk them into a low settlement or trick them into saying something they can use to deny their claim. Furthermore, multiple parties might be responsible for the attack, and various laws apply to dog bite injuries, depending on the state. The claims process is so complicated that some victims give up.
You don’t have to face this alone. An experienced dog bite lawyer can help ease your burden by handling the confusing claims process on your behalf. We can help determine who is liable for the attack, gather necessary evidence, negotiate with the negligent party and their insurance company on your behalf, and fight to get the compensation you’re owed. A skilled personal injury attorney can deal with all of the details needed to tackle your dog attack case so that you can focus on healing from your injuries.
With OnderLaw, LLC, you can be confident we have your best interests in mind. Our skilled lawyers have helped clients just like you receive millions of dollars for their injuries caused by others’ negligence, and we have been recognized as some of the best attorneys in the country by top industry ratings. We’re also dedicated to our local community, and our team regularly supports nonprofit organizations around St. Louis and surrounding areas.
Our compassionate attorneys are committed to earning your trust by using our decades of experience to do all we can to help you overcome this vicious attack. If you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite injury, contact OnderLaw, LLC today and get the compensation you deserve. Call us at (314) 963-9000 or contact us online for a free consultation.
How to Handle the Aftermath of a Dog Bite Injury
It can be a traumatic experience when a dog attacks you. You may have loved dogs and thought they were harmless. However, you now understand how dangerous they can be. You might be facing a long road to recovery, expensive medical bills, and the stress of handling an insurance claim. You might think the best course of action following a dog bite is getting to a safe place. While that’s correct, you can also do some things to protect your rights to compensation.
Before leaving the scene of the attack, you should call animal control so they can secure the dog. If it’s aggressive and violent, you want to ensure it doesn’t harm anyone else. You could also inform the manager of the establishment if this occurred in a public place. Complete an incident report and obtain their name, phone number, and their insurance company details.
After you leave the scene, go to an emergency room immediately. Life-threatening infections could result from an untreated dog bite. Tell the doctor exactly what happened so they can adequately treat your wounds. They might need to give you a shot to prevent tetanus or rabies. Severe bites will require stitches or even surgery to repair damaged nerves and tissue. The doctor might advise that you return for additional injections or follow up with other medical providers. It’s vital that you follow their orders explicitly. You could end up with permanent scarring or physical deficits if you don’t receive sufficient medical care for your injuries.
While you’re getting treatment, it’s essential to show up for every appointment. Your doctors will monitor your progress and determine when you no longer require medical intervention. Some people make a full recovery, while others must face the reality of ongoing medical problems. If the dog bite left you with permanent damage, you might need continual physical therapy to improve your limited mobility or pain management.
Another critical step to take following a dog attack is to hire a St. Louis dog bite injury lawyer. At OnderLaw, LLC, we’re familiar with laws regarding dog bite cases and how to handle the legal process. You shouldn’t have to worry about the deadlines associated with filing a lawsuit, where to find relevant evidence proving fault, or how to negotiate with an insurance company for a fair settlement amount. We can handle all of that on your behalf so you can focus on getting your life back on track.
You might come across evidence you don’t even realize is evidence. Be sure not to dispose of any documents associated with your case. That includes billing statements, medical records, prescription receipts, and even insurance company letters. We could potentially use these to show that your actions didn’t cause the attack and that someone else should be held liable for your expenses.
OnderLaw, LLC Will Handle Every Step of the Investigation
After you hire us to take on your case, we will begin our work by investigating what happened. We have the necessary resources to confirm available insurance coverage, track down witnesses, and find substantial evidence proving who’s responsible for the incident. The set of circumstances associated with your situation will ultimately determine what kind of evidence we need, but that could include:
- Medical bills, invoices, and other costs resulting from the attack
- Eyewitness statements
- Photos and evidence from the scene of the dog bite
- Available liability insurance coverage
- Security video footage
- Records from animal control establishing prior violent behavior
- Police/incident reports
- Medical records, prescriptions, and other documentation related to the treatment
We want to ensure you don’t owe a penny for the suffering you endured. This incident wasn’t your fault, and you shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences. Under strict liability laws followed in Missouri, the dog’s owner should bear the financial burden of the costs you incurred. We will pursue the compensation you need from the at-fault party and hold them accountable for their actions.
What Kind of Compensation Could I Get for My Injuries?
Dog bite victims can often get significant compensation for their injuries. While the exact amount you’re owed will depend on the details of your case, typically, compensation in dog attacks includes:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Payment for therapies and surgeries needed to help you recover from the emotional and physical effects of the attack
- Disability accommodations
- Wages that you lost while recovering from your injuries
- Reduced ability to earn comparable income in the future
- Emotional distress, pain, and suffering
- Impacts from no longer being able to attend to household duties or participate in enjoyable activities like sports
- Damage to personal property during the attack
- Out-of-pocket expenses
At OnderLaw, LLC, we know that money can’t make up for what happened to you, but you should receive full value for your case. Paying for your medical treatment and associated costs yourself is entirely unfair when another person was negligent in causing your dog bite injury.
How Much Does OnderLaw, LLC Charge for Representation?
Our St. Louis dog bite injury lawyers take all cases on a contingency fee basis. We won’t charge any upfront fees or costs to represent you following a dog bite. You will only pay our legal fees if we’re able to recover compensation for your losses. If we lose, you won’t be forced to pay any money for our services.
Laws Associated With Missouri Dog Bite Cases
With dog attacks, multiple parties might be liable, depending on the details of the case. To get maximum compensation for a dog bite injury, you must file a claim against the correct party or parties. It can be difficult for victims to figure this out on their own because of the complicated laws and regulations surrounding dog attacks.
The first party that might be liable is the dog’s owner. Many states have laws specifically designed to handle dog attacks. In some states, victims can only sue a dog owner if the owner already knew the dog was dangerous due to the “one-bite rule.” However, Missouri uses the “strict liability” rule, which means that dog attack victims can sue dog owners, even if the dog has no prior history of aggression.
Other parties that might be liable in a dog bite case include the dog’s handler or caretaker. This might include a dog walker, dog sitter, or boarding facility. Other professionals or companies might also be partially responsible for dog attack injuries, including groomers, veterinarians or vet techs, landlords, or animal shelters.
To successfully sue a negligent party under the dog attack laws, victims must typically demonstrate that the dog caused their injuries. They must also prove they did nothing to provoke the attack, like pulling the dog’s tail. If a victim was partially responsible for the attack, they might still be able to sue for their injuries, but the court will likely reduce any compensation they’re owed under the pure comparative fault laws. For example, if your injuries cost $100,000, but you were 30% at fault for the dog attack, then you can only sue for $70,000.
Additionally, the victim must prove that either the dog bite occurred on public property, or if on private property, that they were on the property legally. For non-bite-related injuries, such as broken bones caused by a dog jumping on a child and knocking them over, victims need to show that the dog’s owner or handler didn’t take reasonable precautions to prevent the attack.
Determining liability in dog attacks is complicated because multiple exceptions apply. For example, if a dog bites a small child after the child did something to provoke it, like hitting or poking the animal, the dog owner might still be liable because the child couldn’t have reasonably known the dog would attack.
Additionally, while dog owners, landlords, and other responsible parties aren’t usually liable for attacks against people on their property illegally, they might be liable for a dog attack against a trespasser if they purposely created a situation to injure trespassers. Certain dog owners, such as government entities, might be protected against claims, depending on the situation. For example, a criminal usually can’t sue the government if a police dog bit them while running away from a crime scene.
Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit in Missouri
Missouri’s “statute of limitations” laws dictate how long victims have to file lawsuits in personal injury claims. Under this law, victims of dog attacks have five years from the injury date to take the case to court. It is easy for victims to miss important deadlines like the “statute of limitations” while recovering from their injuries. They might not even know the full extent of the damage done by the dog attack until years later.
After this deadline, it’s often impossible for victims to file a claim, even if they did nothing to cause their injuries. However, certain exceptions to the law might reduce or extend the timeline. For example, the deadline might be shorter if a government entity was partially responsible for the dog bite. In other cases, the period might be longer if the victim was a minor at the time of the attack.
Since laws surrounding dog bites and exceptions to these rules are so complicated, it’s critical to work with an experienced dog attack injury attorney. A skilled lawyer can help save you from missing important deadlines and losing out on the compensation you deserve.
Dog Bite Injury Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve been struggling to recover from your injuries and deserve the opportunity to hold the dog’s owner or another careless party liable for what the dog did. We know you have questions, and we want to answer them. Below we’ve responded to questions our clients often ask when they’re interested in pursuing a case following a dog attack. To better understand the legal process and how we can help, call us at (314) 963-9000.
Do I have a case even if my injury is minor?
That depends on the facts of your case. Sometimes, you could settle for an adequate amount of money with the insurance company even if your injury heals entirely after only a month. The best way to determine your legal options is to contact OnderLaw, LLC to review the details of the dog bite and estimate the compensation we could potentially recover for you.
What should I do if my friend’s dog injured me?
You might worry about the implications suing your friend might have on your friendship, but it is within your legal right to seek compensation for your losses. To avoid going to court, you might be able to settle the case by filing an insurance claim. Many homeowner’s policies cover these types of incidents. We can request a copy of their policy to determine the available coverage.
Can I file a lawsuit if my loved one died from a dog bite?
Yes. Sometimes, a severe infection or another complication resulting from a dog bite can lead to the victim’s death. You might be entitled to compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. There’s a strict deadline you must follow and other procedures to know about. Hiring an experienced St. Louis dog bite injury lawyer is your best chance of recovering the monetary award you need and deserve for your devastating loss.
Contact OnderLaw, LLC for Your Free Consultation
If you or a loved one were injured in a dog attack, OnderLaw, LLC is here to help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. We have helped clients just like you throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area obtain significant compensation for their injuries and get on the road to recovery.
Don’t wait to get the compensation you’re owed. Contact OnderLaw, LLC today at (314) 963-9000 or complete our online contact form for your free consultation with a dedicated and compassionate St. Louis dog bite injury lawyer.