Dog Bite Lawyers in Edwardsville, IL
Edwardsville, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Consultation | Edwardsville, IL Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Edwardsville, IL. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Edwardsville, IL dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is essential to get qualified legal counsel ASAP after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Edwardsville, IL and beyond fight insurance companies to get the compensation they entitled to. If you have a claim, don't wait another second to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Edwardsville, 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 reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 4.5 million serious dog bites every year nationwide. These injuries are associated with expensive medical expenses, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in procedures, prescriptions and other factors. Each day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for serious 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 $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Edwardsville, IL?
If a dog attacked you for no reason, you may be thinking about whether or not you have a valid claim. The answer depends on a few key factors:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a valid claim, 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 injuries like emotional distress. 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 if you provoked the dog, you likely don't 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 locate the policy that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, to some extent, dictated by local ordinances and state statutes. Generally, in Missouri and Illinois, you have a dog bite claim any time you were bitten by another person'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 make a claim, you should speak to a qualified Edwardsville, IL dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Do I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Edwardsville, 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 dog, your injuries, any injuries the dog sustained and where the attack occurred. Ask for the name and information of the dog's owners and any witnesses you can, but do not start an argument with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if the bite doesn't seem serious, it's important to get your injuries seen 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. Additionally, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive compensation.
- Report the incident — Depending on where the incident occurred, you may need to file a report with the local animal control agency or police department. 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 attack 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 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 — An attorney with experience in dog bite cases 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 Edwardsville, IL.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Edwardsville, IL Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Edwardsville, 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:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can go over the details 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 rights. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Edwardsville, IL, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if you have to. Throughout your case, your Edwardsville, IL dog bite lawyer will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire evidence to support your claim. 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 want to devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can stand up for you and make sure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your claim goes to court, a dog bite lawyer can represent you and advocate for your rights.
Understanding Dog Bite Laws
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold negligent actors responsible 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 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. 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 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 lawyers in Edwardsville, IL, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are some of the most common injuries related to dog bites:
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Any 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) 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 the same tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Edwardsville, IL?
A dog bite lawyer in Edwardsville, IL, will look at a number of special and general damages. Some of 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 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 traumatic. 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 some circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the 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 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 Edwardsville, 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 Edwardsville, 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 Edwardsville, IL Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote today for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Edwardsville, IL, right away 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 if we don't win your case you don't owe us anything and there aren't any upfront fees. Our Edwardsville, IL, dog bite lawyers are ready to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary case review.
Our firm would be happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.