Dog Bite Lawyers in Edwardsville, IL
Edwardsville, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Review | Edwardsville, IL Dog Bite Attorneys
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 crucial to get experienced legal representation as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Edwardsville, IL and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent pet owners liable to get the financial recovery they are owed. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Edwardsville, 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
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites every year across the country. These injuries can carry high medical bills, as medical assistance can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in procedures, medication and other factors. Each day, nearly 1,000 people visit an emergency room for significant dog bites, and the average medical costs for a dog bite is $20,000.
In 2022, nationwide there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Edwardsville, IL?
If you have been bitten by a dog, 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 — If you want 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 injuries such as anxiety. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the bite — If you were attacked while you were on public property or on private property you had access to, 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 some "creative lawyering" to help locate the policy that covers your damages.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, based on local and state law. Typically, 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 did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to seek compensation, you should speak to a qualified Edwardsville, IL dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Edwardsville, 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 — While you're still at the scene, take pictures 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, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get your injuries seen by a doctor or other medical professional. Dog bites often 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 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 free of disease and infection, and that there is documentation of the incident 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. Never agree to a settlement without consulting with a lawyer, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Call 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 how much compensation you are owed for 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 provide a range of services to help you with your case. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate 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 your legal options. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Edwardsville, IL, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if you have to. Throughout the duration of your case, your Edwardsville, IL dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Acquire evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that corroborates 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 handle your claim with the dog owner's insurance company for you. Insurance companies want to devalue claims, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure the compensation covers all of your damages.
- Represent you in court — If your claim 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 liable 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 can be sued for a dog bite even if the owner did nothing wrong. Unlike other forms of liability, such as negligence, strict liability does not require you to prove that the dog owner did anything wrong. Instead, the mere fact that the dog caused harm 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 main 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
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack lawyers in Edwardsville, IL, understand how victims can be affected. For example, below are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Mental Anguish
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, 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 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 strike 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 various types of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You might be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a bite. It's important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- Lost Wages — 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 a traumatic experience. 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 — 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 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:
- 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
Schedule a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Edwardsville, IL Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Edwardsville, IL, right away if there are financial damages. Legal assistance 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 Edwardsville, IL, dog bite lawyers are here to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation case review.
Our lawyers would be 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.