Dog Bite Lawyers in Fairview Heights, IL
Fairview Heights, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | Fairview Heights, IL Dog Bite Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in Fairview Heights, IL. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Fairview Heights, IL dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It's essential to find experienced legal representation ASAP after a dog attack. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Fairview Heights, IL and on both sides of the river hold negligent dog owners accountable to get the compensation they entitled to. If you have a claim, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Fairview Heights, IL dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bite Statistics
Based on reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites annually in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical bills, as medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider surgery, medication and other factors. Each day, almost 1,000 people go to 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 $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in Fairview Heights, IL?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a viable claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in financial damages. You can typically receive compensation for injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder. For less serious injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not have a claim .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were there illegally or threatened the dog or their owner, you may not have a case.
- Insurance coverages available — For more serious dog bite cases, you'll probably need to find an insurance policy that covers any damages the dog causes. Most times, this will be 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 you need.
- Dog bite laws — Whether or not you're able to make a valid claim for a dog bite also depends on local ordinances and state statutes. 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 excite the dog or its owner
If you don't know if you have enough to seek compensation, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Fairview Heights, IL dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Should I Do if I'm Attacked by a Dog in Fairview Heights, 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 — Before leaving, 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, but do not start a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical attention — Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, you need to get evaluated by a doctor or other medical 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 bitten, 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 quarantined and observed for signs of rabies or other diseases, and that there is documentation of the attack 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. Be wary of accepting a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as it may not fully cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer — An attorney who specializes in injury claims can help you to understand your legal rights and options. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Fairview Heights, IL.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Fairview Heights, IL Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Fairview Heights, 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 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 the injury claim process and what you're entitled to. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in Fairview Heights, IL, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Fairview Heights, 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 acquire evidence to support your claim. 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 stand up for you 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
Dog bite laws, and laws regarding personal injury in general, are designed to keep the public safe and to hold people liable for the harm they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois have most of the most important aspects in common.
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 actively forgo safety precautions – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has bitten anyone 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 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 you have two years.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
As harmless as they seem, "man's best friend" can be dangerous. Our dog attack attorneys in Fairview Heights, IL, know how victims can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but they're not always applicable. 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 danger 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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have the same tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Fairview Heights, IL?
A dog bite lawyer in Fairview Heights, IL, will look at various types of damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — You may be able to recover all costs related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It's 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 certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the dog 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 Fairview Heights, IL personal injury lawyers will ensure that no money is left on the table in your claim.
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- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
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Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Fairview Heights, IL Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It's essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Fairview Heights, IL, as soon as possible 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 Fairview Heights, IL, dog bite lawyers are standing by to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a no risk, no obligation consultation.
Our lawyers would be more than happy to discuss your case. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.