Dog Bite Lawyers in O'Fallon, IL
O'Fallon, IL Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Case Evaluation | O'Fallon, IL Dog Attack Law Firm
Dog Bite Lawyers in O'Fallon, IL. Dogs can add a great deal of fun, love and companionship to our lives. But when O'Fallon, 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 representation as soon as possible after a dog bite. As personal injury lawyers, Halvorsen Klote has helped clients in O'Fallon, IL and throughout Missouri and Illinois hold negligent dog owners accountable 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 O'Fallon, 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 4.5 million serious dog bites annually in the U.S. Dog bites are associated with high medical bills, as medical care can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Every 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, across the country there were 17,597 dog bite claims, which resulted in $1.136 billion in compensation.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Case in O'Fallon, IL?
If a dog bit you for no reason, you may be thinking about whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the bite:
- Seriousness of your injuries — In order to have a viable case, 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 damages like PTSD. For less significant injuries that didn't require medical treatment, such as a scrape, you may not be able to make a claim .
- The specifics of the bite — If you were bitten while lawfully on public or private property, you may have a case. However, if you were there illegally 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 find the coverage that covers your injuries.
- Dog bite laws — The validity of your claim is, at least to a degree, dictated by local and state law. Typically, 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 need to request a consultation with a qualified O'Fallon, IL dog bite lawyer. They can analyze the specifics of your case and advise you on what the best path forward is.
What Do I Do if I'm Bit by a Dog in O'Fallon, 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 — Before leaving, 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 people who saw what happened, without getting into a confrontation with the owner.
- Seek medical treatment — Even if you don't end up going to the emergency room, you need to get checked out 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. Furthermore, you'll need documentation of your injuries in order to receive compensation.
- Report the attack — Depending on where you were when you were attacked, 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 back up your claims.
- Be cautious with 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 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 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 O'Fallon, IL.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer in O'Fallon, IL Do for Me?
A dog bite lawyer in O'Fallon, IL offers expertise and peace of mind. Here are some of the things they can do for you:
- Evaluate your case — A dog bite lawyer can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a valid claim. 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 your legal rights. They can explain the laws that govern dog bites in O'Fallon, IL, and they can help you navigate the legal system from filing an initial insurance claim to going to court if necessary. Throughout the duration of your case, your O'Fallon, IL dog bite lawyer will be by the phone to answer any questions you have about personal injury claims.
- Obtain evidence — A dog bite lawyer can acquire evidence that backs up your side of the story. This may include medical records, witness statements and photographs of your injuries.
- 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 fight on your behalf and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court — If your lawsuit 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 accountable for the harm they cause. Each state makes their own dog bite laws, and the laws in Missouri and Illinois are similar.
Neither state has 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 adhere to "strict liability", meaning that a dog owner can be sued 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 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 dog bite claims must be filed within 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 O'Fallon, IL, understand how victims and their families can be affected after an incident. For instance, here are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Nerve Damage
- Facial Injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
Too often, people stereotype certain breeds. There are facts to back this up, but they're not always applicable. Any dog is capable of biting a person. This can be attributed to the dog's environment and interaction with the victim.
Breeds that are often associated with bites 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 the same tendency to attack others when they're scared or aggravated.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Dog Bite in O'Fallon, IL?
A dog bite lawyer in O'Fallon, IL, will look at a number of special and general damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses — You may be able to recover all expenses related to medical treatment caused by a dog bite. It's 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 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 certain circumstances a victim can sue for punitive damages if the 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 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 O'Fallon, 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 O'Fallon, 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 O'Fallon, IL Today
If you've been attacked by a dog, don't hesitate to reach out to Halvorsen Klote now for a consultation. It is essential to contact a local dog bite lawyer in O'Fallon, 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 if we don't win your case you don't owe us anything and there aren't any upfront fees. Our O'Fallon, IL, dog bite lawyers are standing by to win. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free 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.
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.