Dog Bite Lawyers in Belleville, IL
Belleville, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Belleville, IL Dog Bite 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's important to get experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Belleville, IL and on both sides of the river hold negligent dog owners accountable to get the compensation they deserve. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Belleville, IL dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Figures to Know
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites every year in the U.S. These injuries can carry high medical expenses, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when taking into account procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Every day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
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 if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — In order to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial loss. You can generally receive compensation for injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as less tangible 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 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. However, if you were there illegally 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 policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based on local and state law. Generally, 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 were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you should discuss your case with a qualified Belleville, IL dog bite lawyer. They can analyze 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. Ask for the contact info of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, it's important to get your injuries treated by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often cause 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 make a claim.
- Report the attack — Depending on where the incident transpired, 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 documentation of the attack to show the insurance company.
- Be cautious with 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 it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes 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 how much compensation you are owed for 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 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 offer insight into your chances of success. They will review the circumstances surrounding the bite, including the severity of your injuries and any relevant laws.
- 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 court if necessary. Throughout your case, your Belleville, IL dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire 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 talk to the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your case 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold people responsible 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 do something wrong – 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 any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has been aggressive before or if the home owner did anything 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 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 you have two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack attorneys in Belleville, IL, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, below are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Any 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) 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 a similar tendency to strike 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 at a variety of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims 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 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 certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog 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 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 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:
- 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 Belleville, IL Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Belleville, IL, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Belleville, IL, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our firm would be happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our testimonials here.