Dog Bite Lawyers in Collinsville, IL
Collinsville, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | Collinsville, IL Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Collinsville, IL. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Collinsville, IL dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's crucial to find qualified legal service ASAP after an incident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Collinsville, IL and beyond fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Collinsville, IL dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote fights for the rights of the injured in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
Based on research from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than 4.5 million serious dog bites every year nationwide. These injuries can carry expensive medical expenses, as medical assistance can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for serious dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Collinsville, IL?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering if you have a case for legal action. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- Circumstances surrounding the bite — 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. But, if you were trespassing or threatened the dog or their owner, 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 coverage that covers your damages.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by 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 were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have a viable case for legal action, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Collinsville, 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 Collinsville, 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:
- Obtain evidence — While you're still at the scene, take photos of the surrounding scene and any injuries. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any people who saw what happened, without getting into an argument with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, you need to get evaluated by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often lead to infection, and shots or medications may be necessary to get you fully healthy. Additionally, 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 file a report with your local municipality. This can help to ensure that the dog is observed to see if they're a danger to others, and that there is documentation of the incident to back up your claims.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — If the dog's owner has insurance, their insurance company may reach out to you to offer a settlement. Never agree to 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 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 Collinsville, IL.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in Collinsville, IL Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in Collinsville, IL can handle all the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Analyze your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and advise 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 your legal rights. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Collinsville, IL, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to court if you have to. Throughout your case, your Collinsville, IL dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you may have.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that backs up your side of the story. This may include medical records, witness statements and photographs of your injuries.
- 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 stand up for you 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold people accountable for the damages 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 you can't hold the owner liable if it's the dog's first aggressive incident – or uses negligence – requiring the dog owner to actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both states follow "strict liability", in which a dog owner is liable for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone before or if the home owner did anything wrong. Strict liability recognizes that dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their dog, while allowing dog bite victims who did nothing wrong to get full compensation without having to prove wrongdoing on the part of the dog owner.
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 dog bite claims must be filed within 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 Collinsville, IL, understand how victims can be affected after an incident. For example, below are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Mental Anguish
Too often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but it's not always the case. Every dog is able to bite a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds 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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Collinsville, IL?
A dog bite lawyer in Collinsville, IL, will look at a number of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- Lost Wages — If you or your child have been injured because of 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 have lifelong consequences. These types of non-economic damages are factored into personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- Punitive Damages — Although rare, in some 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 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 Collinsville, 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 Collinsville, 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
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Collinsville, IL Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, contact Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Collinsville, IL, right away 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 there aren't any upfront costs and you only pay if we win the case. Our Collinsville, IL, dog bite lawyers are standing by to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation consultation.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to speak with you. 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.