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Dog bite

Dog Bites Have Consequences

Illinois is one of the top states in the country for dog attacks. With higher than average statistics, Illinois has strict laws for owners regarding the responsibility for a dog that bites. If a person is bit by a dog and was not provoking the animal at the time of the attack, the injured victim may have a valid claim against the dog’s owner. For dog bites, liability can fall on the actual owner of the dog or the person who was in control of the dog at the time of the attack (i.e. neighbor who had assumed complete control of the dog).

Compensation for Dog Bites

If you are attacked by a dog, you may have legal options for obtaining compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages. An Illinois dog bite attorney may be able to help you obtain compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. In most cases, the dog bite settlement comes from homeowner’s insurance policy, so don’t be concerned about seeking compensation if the owner is a friend, a neighbor or a relative.

A dog bite victim may seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Property damage (clothing, jewelry and eyeglasses, for example).
  • Lost income during recovery.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Pain and suffering could be a significant consideration if an attack caused a serious wound and emotional harm, such as an ongoing fear, or psychological concerns (post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)). The cost of psychological counseling or therapy the dog attack victim requires may be included in the damages sought.

Dog bite claims in Illinois are controlled by a “strict liability” dog bite law, 510 ILCS 5/16 and the state is not a one-bite rule. Under the statute:

If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.

In order to recover damages from a dog bite, the following must be proven: 

  • The dog attacked, attempted to attack or otherwise injured you
  • You had a lawful right to be in the place where the incident occurred
  • You did not provoke the dog.

Dog Attacks and Government Workers

Illinois State law also specifically addresses dog owners’ obligation to government workers who are attacked in the course of their job duties (mail carriers and other government workers such as meter readers, sanitation workers, etc). A lawyer experienced in dog bite cases may be able to help you recover money to help pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, or other costs which were placed on you due to the animal attack.

Generally under Illinois law, you have two years from the date of a dog bite in which to file a claim.

Common Injuries from Dog Attacks

Those attacked by dogs are most commonly bitten on the arm or hand, leg or foot, head or neck according to the Center of Disease Control (CDC). Both young and elderly are most often victims of dog bites as they are not as able to escape attack. The CDC lists the following as most common injuries from a dog attack:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Lacerations and abrasions (cuts and scrapes)
  • Contusions or hematomas (bruises)
  • Avulsion (tearing)
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Amputations
  • Crushing injuries, particularly to the head

Any dog bite that draws blood should be seen by a doctor. It is very important to verify that the dog has been vaccinated for rabies. Serious injuries may require hospitalization, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery and physical rehabilitation therapy, as well as help for emotional trauma as discussed above.

Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite, our experienced attorneys can help you receive compensation for the damages you have suffered. There is no fee unless we obtain compensation for you.

Get a free case review by calling 855-980-0078 ‌or‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌case‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌.‌  

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