Dog Bite Lawyers in Alton, IL
Alton, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | Alton, IL Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Alton, IL. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Alton, IL dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's important to find experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Alton, IL and throughout Missouri and Illinois fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery 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 Alton, IL dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Figures to Know
Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites each year in the U.S. These injuries can carry high medical bills, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in procedures, medication and other factors. 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 ended up costing $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Alton, IL?
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be thinking about if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Severity of your injuries — If you want to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial damages. You can generally receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible injuries like anxiety. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a bruise, you may not have a claim .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — If you were bitten while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, you may have a case. But, if you were there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, you likely don't 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 coverage you need.
- Dog bite laws — Whether or not you're able to make a valid claim for a dog bite also depends on local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by another person's dog if:
- You were at the location legally
- You did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to make a claim, you should speak to a qualified Alton, IL dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Alton, IL?
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:
- Gather evidence — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Ask for the contact info of the dog's owners and any people who saw the attack, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites can be prone to 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 incident — 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 — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Be wary of accepting a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases 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 Alton, IL.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Alton, IL Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Alton, IL can provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the benefits to hiring an attorney for your claim:
- Analyze 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 Alton, IL, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Alton, IL dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather 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 to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, 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 represent you and advocate for your rights.
Understanding Dog Bite Laws
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold people 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 has a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody in an earlier incident for the owner to be liable – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to actively forgo safety precautions – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner is liable for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing wrong. Unlike other forms of liability, such as negligence, strict liability does not require the victim to prove that the dog owner did anything wrong. Instead, the mere fact that the dog caused harm is enough to establish liability.
The only major difference in dog bite law between Missouri and Illinois has to do with 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
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Our dog attack attorneys in Alton, IL, understand how victims can be affected. For example, here are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, 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) 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 attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Alton, IL?
A dog bite lawyer in Alton, IL, will look into a variety of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- Lost Wages — 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 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 certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This could include damages to your home, your clothes, a bike or motorcycle, your phone and other things that might've 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 Alton, IL personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
Other cases we take on and win in Alton, IL 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Alton, IL Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Alton, IL, right away if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Alton, IL, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.