Belleville Dog Bite Attorneys
Get Just Compensation for Your Injuries – And Don’t Pay Us Until We Win
There are more than 4.5 million dog bite injuries in the U.S. every year. Though some dog bites are minor, many are more severe, resulting in deep puncture wounds, nerve damage, scarring, and broken bones. Such injuries can leave victims with high medical bills and emotional issues that can last a lifetime.
According to the Illinois Animal Control Act, a dog’s owner or custodian is strictly liable for the actions of his dog—regardless of whether he was aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies or not. It’s the owner’s legal responsibility to compensate the victim for financial losses, physical pain, and emotional trauma the injury has caused. In most cases, the owner’s insurance policy will cover the cost of a dog bite claim. But if you’ve ever dealt with an insurance company before, you know how difficult it can be to get the payout you deserve.
If you or a family member has suffered a dog bite injury, you already have enough to deal with. You need to retain an experienced Belleville injury attorney to deal with the dog owner’s insurance company. You shouldn’t hesitate even if you’ve been attacked by a friend or family member’s dog.
At Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, we can help you get the compensation you need without the hassle you don’t. Partners John Hipskind and Brady McAninch will treat your case as if it were their own—with care and grit, fighting for the damages amount you deserve. Call our office for a free case evaluation at (618) 641-9189.
Do I Have A Case?
In Illinois, a dog owner has only three defenses if his or her dog bites you:
- You were trespassing.
- You were provoking the dog (teasing, hurting, etc.).
- You were assaulting or being aggressive toward the owner or a member of the family.
If you weren’t doing those things, you definitely have grounds for a dog bite claim.
In terms of trespassing, legally, if you set foot on another person’s lawn, you are trespassing. But that doesn’t mean the property owner isn’t liable if his dog bites you. An owner must take steps to ensure that the public is safe if he has an overly aggressive dog. Merely setting foot on someone’s lawn is not usually an excuse for a dog to bite you.
Can I Sue If The Dog Didn’t Actually Bite Me?
In Illinois, a dog attack doesn’t have to include a bite to be grounds for a lawsuit. A victim can sue for other injuries, such as scratches, injuries from a fall caused by the attack, or emotional trauma. This is why you need to consult an experienced dog bite attorney if you were attacked.
Issues with Insurance
Insurance companies are large corporations with ruthless attorneys and limitless resources. Their lawyers may attempt to exploit obscure clauses and provisions within their client’s policy to deny your claim. At best, they may offer you a settlement that is far less than adequate for you to recover.
Dog bites aren’t always covered by a person’s homeowners or renters insurance. Every insurance policy is different, and some have clauses where the owner is not covered if the dog is not on the property. Other policies do not cover certain types of dogs, such as Rottweilers or pit bulls. And there’s always the possibility that the dog’s owner has no insurance at all!
A dog bite attorney can investigate the situation and find coverage in other types of insurance. One example is automobile insurance: there have been cases where compensation was successfully recovered from a dog owner’s automobile policy, when the dog was inside the car or in the bed of a truck. Also, if the owner has no insurance, you can sue for coverage against the owner’s assets, such as a house, car, or bank accounts. In some cases, you may be able to have the owner’s wages garnished to get compensation.
At Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, we’ll work to build a case that proves the dog owner is responsible for the attack—you had a right to be where you were, and shouldn’t have been attacked. We know this is a stressful time for you—that’s why we’ll give you 24/7 access to our cell phones. Call (618) 641-9189 today for a free consultation.