Dog Bite Attorney Fairview Heights, IL
Request a free consultation with an experienced dog bite attorney from Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC. Headquartered in Fairview Heights, IL, we serve all of southern Illinois and eastern Missouri.
Dogs bite, regardless of the type of breed. It is in their nature and instinct. However, dog owners are responsible for training their dog not to bite—and for controlling and restraining them when they are around other people. Too many dog owners do not do this, and when their dog bites someone, the victim is left with serious injuries.
Dog bites can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement, and complications often arise, such as infections. Physical injuries are not the only type sustained in a dog bite. These incidents can also cause victims to feel threatened, and many develop a fear of dogs after being involved in an attack. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries due to a dog bite, our dog bite attorneys in Fairview Heights, IL can help with your case.
Dog Bite Laws in Illinois & Missouri
- Illinois. The Illinois Animal Control Act eliminated the “one bite rule” in Illinois. Under the old law, dog owners were not liable when their pet bit someone unless they knew the dog had violent tendencies. Today, Illinois is a strict liability state, meaning that any time a dog bites someone that is lawfully and peaceably on property, the owner can be held liable.
- Missouri. The law in Missouri is similar to that of Illinois. While Missouri also once followed the one-bite rule for dog bites, today the state places strict liability on dog owners to ensure their dog does not hurt anyone. When a dog does bite someone, the owner must pay all damages the victim sustains.
Comparative Fault in Illinois & Missouri
While the laws in both Illinois and Missouri are quite strict, there are some exceptions to them. In both states, victims who provoke a dog and are then bitten cannot recover the full amount of compensation they would have been able to if the dog was not provoked:
- Missouri is governed by pure comparative fault law. Under this law, dog bite victims can recover damages even when they are found 99 percent at fault. It is only when victims are faultless that they can recover the full amount of damages. The court will assign dog bite victims a certain percentage of fault if it is found that they provoked the dog, and any compensation awarded is reduced by that same amount of fault.
- Illinois also follows comparative fault law. Unlike Missouri, however, Illinois is governed by modified comparative fault laws. Under these laws, dog bite victims can only recover compensation if they provoke the animal and it is found that they are less than 50 percent at fault for the bite or attack.
Dog owners will almost always try to shift blame to the dog bite victim in an effort to reduce the total amount of damages they must pay. If they are successful, it will greatly reduce the amount of compensation you receive. A dog bite attorney can help you refute these claims and will collect any evidence that shows you did not provoke the dog.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites may sound like minor incidents, but they are not. Dog bites are more than just a little nip in most cases and have the potential to cause the following injuries:
- Bruises, cuts, and scratches
- Puncture wounds that could cause excessive bleeding
- Broken bones
- Head and skull injuries, usually as a result of being crushed
- Diseases, such as rabies when a dog was not immunized against the disease
While the above injuries are serious, victims may also suffer from complications. The mouth of a dog is full of bacteria. When the skin is punctured, that bacteria can make its way into the wound and cause a serious infection. In other cases, a person who once loved dogs may develop a profound fear of them and may never be able to enjoy the animals ever again. Regardless of the type of physical or emotional injury sustained, both Illinois and Missouri law recognize that victims deserve to be compensated for all of their losses.
Get Legal Help Today
If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog and has sustained serious injuries, our experienced dog bite attorneys are here to help with your case. At the law offices of Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC, our knowledgeable attorneys know how to collect evidence to prove your claim so you recover the full amount of damages you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so we can review your case.
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