Dog Bite Lawyers in Litchfield, IL
Litchfield, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a No Risk, No Obligation Consultation | Litchfield, IL Dog Bite Law Firm
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's crucial to get experienced legal service as soon as possible after a dog bite. 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 compensation they deserve. If you have a claim, don't wait another second 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 Bite Statistics
Based on reporting from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over four and a half million dog bites every year in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with expensive medical costs, as medical treatment can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every day, nearly 1,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for significant dog bites, and the average dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200.
In 2022, in the U.S. there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Case in Litchfield, 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 the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- Severity of your injuries — In order to have a valid claim, your injuries your injuries have to have resulted in monetary loss. This may include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or broken bones, as well as less tangible damages such as anxiety. It's harder to get compensation for small injuries like bruises or scrapes .
- The specifics of the attack — If you were bitten 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 your attorney to do some "creative lawyering" to help locate the policy 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. Generally, 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 were acting peacefully and did not provoke the dog
If you don't know if you have enough to make a claim, you should discuss your case with a qualified Litchfield, IL dog bite lawyer. They can look at the circumstances surrounding your dog attack and advise you on your best options for compensation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite 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:
- Obtain 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 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, it's important to get your injuries treated by a healthcare professional. Dog bites frequently cause 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 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 corroborate your story.
- Be cautious with insurance companies — Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Never agree to 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 who specializes in dog bite cases 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 are entitled to for 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 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 the relevant state statutes.
- 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 legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to trial if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your Litchfield, IL dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you may have.
- 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 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 stand up for you 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 the public safe and to hold negligent actors responsible for the damages they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, 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 – as the standard in dog bite cases.
Instead, both states adhere to "strict liability", in which 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 dog bite laws in each state can be found in Missouri Revised Statute §273.036 and 510 ILCS 5/1.
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 Litchfield, IL, understand how victims can be affected. For example, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Emotional Trauma
Often, people stereotype certain dog breeds. There are facts to back this stigma, but it's not always the case. Any dog is able to bite a person. 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 keep in mind is how a dog was raised and how you interact with the dog. People have a similar tendency to strike 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 various types of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You may 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 Time at Work — 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 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 — Though 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 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 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:
- 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
Speak To a Dog Bite Lawyer in Litchfield, IL Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, contact Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is crucial to contact a local dog bite lawyer in Litchfield, IL, right away if there are financial damages. Legal counsel 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 Litchfield, IL, dog bite lawyers are here to help. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Our attorneys would be happy to speak with you. 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.