Dog Bite Lawyers in Belleville, IL
Belleville, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Review | Belleville, IL Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Belleville, IL. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Belleville, IL dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is crucial to find experienced legal service ASAP after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Belleville, IL and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent dog owners accountable to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Belleville, IL dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites each year nationwide. Dog bites can carry expensive medical costs, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in procedures, medication and other factors. Every day, almost 1,000 people go to an emergency room for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, in the United States there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Belleville, IL
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be wondering whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- Severity 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 injuries such as anxiety. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not have a claim .
- The specifics of the incident — 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 if you provoked the dog, 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 the injuries a specific 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 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 and state law. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you can seek compensation for a dog bite 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 don't know if you have enough to seek compensation, you should discuss your case with a qualified Belleville, IL dog bite lawyer. They can look at the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Belleville, 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:
- Acquire evidence — While you're still at the scene, take pictures of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Get the name and information 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 end up going to the emergency room, you need to get checked out by a healthcare 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 proof that you were injured in order to receive compensation.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, 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 documentation of the incident to show the insurance company.
- 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 before you speak to an attorney, 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 evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Belleville, IL.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Belleville, IL Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Belleville, IL can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. 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 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 your legal options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Belleville, IL, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if necessary. Throughout your case, your Belleville, IL dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence to support your claim. 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 to get you the compensation you're entitled to. Insurance companies want to minimize claims, 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 responsible for the damages they cause. Each state implements their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
Neither state has a "one bite rule" – where the dog had to have bitten somebody at an earlier date for the owner to be liable – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states operate under the doctrine of "strict liability", in which 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 bit you 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 has to do with 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
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Our dog attack lawyers in Belleville, IL, understand how victims and their families can be affected. For instance, below are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Mental Anguish
Too 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 person. 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 danger 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 Belleville, IL?
A dog bite lawyer in Belleville, IL, will look into various types 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 bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 some circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the owner's conduct was intentional or extreme.
- Property Damage — This may 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 Belleville, 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 Belleville, 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
Call a Dog Bite Lawyer in Belleville, IL Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Belleville, IL, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Belleville, IL, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.
Our lawyers would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials 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.