Dog Bite Lawyers in Alton, IL
Alton, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Evaluation | Alton, IL Dog Attack Attorneys
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 is important to get experienced legal service as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Alton, IL and beyond hold negligent dog owners responsible to get the compensation they entitled to. 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.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites each year nationwide. These injuries are associated with high medical expenses, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, in the U.S. there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Alton, IL
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be wondering whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a viable case, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. You can generally receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional damages such as anxiety. 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 attack — 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. But, if you were trespassing 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 probably 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help find the policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, dictated by local ordinances and state statutes. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim 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 excite the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you should discuss your case with a qualified Alton, IL dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Should I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Alton, IL?
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 — As soon as you can afterwards, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get checked out 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. Furthermore, you'll need proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were bitten, 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 free of disease and infection, 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.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in injury claims can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine how much compensation you deserve for 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 go over the details and determine whether you have a valid claim. They will review the circumstances surrounding the bite, including the severity of your injuries and the relevant state statutes.
- 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 legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Alton, IL dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can obtain evidence that backs up your side of the story. 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 to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are 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 before 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 operate under the doctrine of "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 you to prove that the dog owner did anything wrong. Instead, the mere fact that the dog caused harm is enough to establish liability.
The dog bite laws in each state can be found in Missouri Revised Statute §273.036 and 510 ILCS 5/1.
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 dog bite claims must be filed within two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog bite attorneys in Alton, IL, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For example, below are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Mental Anguish
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite a human. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
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 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 Alton, IL?
A dog bite lawyer in Alton, IL, will look into a variety of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might be able to recover all expenses 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 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 — Although rare, in certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog 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 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:
- 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
- Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
- Auto Crash Attorney
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Alton, IL Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Alton, IL, as soon as possible 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. 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 lawyers would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.
Attorney at Law
Joel Halvorsen and his partner Greg Klote founded the Halvorsen Klote law firm on the principle that injured people and their families should have access to the same quality legal representation as large insurance companies.
Attorney at Law
Greg Klote is a partner and founder of Halvorsen Klote.
Greg has successfully fought for people who were injured through no fault of their own. He became a lawyer to help make a difference in the lives of those who have been wronged and treated unfairly.