Dog Bite Lawyers in Litchfield, IL
Litchfield, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Complimentary Case Review | Litchfield, IL Dog Attack Attorneys
Dog Bite Lawyers in Litchfield, IL. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when Litchfield, IL dog owners don't keep their dogs in check, it can cause injuries and other damages to innocent people. It is important to find experienced legal counsel ASAP after an accident. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in Litchfield, IL and on both sides of the Mississippi fight insurance companies to get the financial recovery they deserve. If you were attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to call us at 866-382-4167 or contact our Litchfield, IL dog bite lawyers online. Halvorsen Klote represents clients in the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois.
Dog Bites: Figures to Know
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are more than four and a half million dog bites annually across the country. Dog bites are associated with high medical bills, as medical treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars when factoring in tests, medication and other factors. Each day, almost 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment 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 ended up costing $1,136,000,000 in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim in Litchfield, IL
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation from the dog owner. The answer depends on your unique situation:
- The extent of your damages — If you want to have a viable case, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary damages. This may include physical injuries that led to medical treatment, as well as emotional injuries such as PTSD. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were attacked while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. But, if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog, 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 the injuries a specific dog causes. Most times, this will be 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 injuries.
- 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 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 did nothing to provoke or threaten the dog or its owner
If you are unsure whether or not you have enough to make a claim, you need to discuss your case with a qualified Litchfield, IL dog bite lawyer. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What Should I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog in Litchfield, 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:
- Acquire evidence — Before leaving, take photos 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 a confrontation with the owner.
- Get medical attention — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, it's important to get your injuries treated 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 documentation of your injuries in order to receive compensation.
- Report the bite — Depending on where you were bitten, you may need to report the dog bite to 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 attack to corroborate your claims.
- Don't believe insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Be wary of accepting a settlement before you speak to an attorney, as the first offer is likely to be less than what your claim is worth.
- Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer — An attorney with experience in dog bite cases can help you determine the best way to move forward. They can look into the details of your case and help you to determine the true value of your dog bite injury in Litchfield, IL.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Litchfield, IL Can Help
A dog bite lawyer in Litchfield, 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 Litchfield, IL, and they can help you navigate the injury claims process from filing a claim with the appropriate insurance to going to trial if necessary. Throughout your case, your Litchfield, IL dog bite lawyer will be there to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Gather evidence — A dog bite lawyer can gather evidence that backs up 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 negotiate with the dog owner's insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies often try to pay out as little as possible, but a dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and make sure 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
Any law regarding personal injury is designed to keep innocent people from harm and to hold people accountable for the harm 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 actively forgo safety precautions – to determine if an owner can be liable.
Instead, both Missouri and Illinois adhere to "strict liability", in which a dog owner can be sued for any damages their dog causes, whether or not the dog has been aggressive 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 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
A dog might be considered "man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Halvorsen Klote's dog attack lawyers in Litchfield, IL, understand how victims can be affected. For instance, below are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is able to bite someone. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are often associated with danger 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 remember is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have a similar tendency to lash out others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in Litchfield, IL?
A dog bite lawyer in Litchfield, IL, will look into a number of special and general damages. Some of these include:
- Medical Expenses — Victims might be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It is important to document everything (recovery, scarring, prescriptions, etc...) if you want reimbursement.
- Lost Time at Work — 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 traumatic. 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 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 Litchfield, 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 Litchfield, 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
Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Litchfield, IL Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is important to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Litchfield, 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 Litchfield, IL, dog bite lawyers are ready to win. 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 speak with you. We've won numerous cases and you can view our case results here.