Dog Bite Lawyers in Collinsville, IL
Collinsville, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Case Review | Collinsville, IL Dog Bite Attorneys
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 is crucial to get experienced legal service ASAP after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Collinsville, IL and beyond fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they entitled to. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Collinsville, IL dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites annually in the U.S. These injuries can carry high medical bills, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room 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 ended up costing $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 thinking about 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 valid case, your injuries must be significant enough to warrant medical attention. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as emotional damages such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of 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. However, if you were there illegally 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 policy you need.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, based on local and state law. Typically, in Missouri and Illinois, you can seek compensation for a dog bite 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 a viable case for legal action, you need to request a consultation with a qualified Collinsville, IL dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Do I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog 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:
- 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. Get the contact info of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, without getting into a confrontation 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 proof that you were injured in order to make a claim.
- 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 an official record of the incident to back up your story.
- 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 the first offer is likely to be less than the true value of your claim.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — A lawyer who specializes in injury claims can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can evaluate the circumstances of the incident and help you to determine how much compensation you deserve for 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 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 offer insight into your chances of success. 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 Collinsville, IL, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if necessary. Throughout your case, your Collinsville, 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 photographs of your injuries.
- Negotiate with insurance companies — A dog bite lawyer can talk to the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims, but a dog bite lawyer can fight on your behalf and ensure 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are designed to keep the public safe and to hold negligent actors accountable for the damages they cause. Each state has their own laws regarding dog bites, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state implements 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 do something wrong – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois 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 bit you is enough to establish liability.
The only major 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
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. For example, here are a few of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is capable of biting a person. This can be caused by how the person interacts with the dog and the environment it was raised in.
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 a similar tendency to attack 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 variety of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want compensation.
- 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 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 can 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:
- 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 Collinsville, IL Now
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Collinsville, IL, as soon as possible if there are financial damages. Legal counsel doesn't cost you anything. Here, 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 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 case review.
Our attorneys would be more than happy to speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.