Illinois Dog Bite Law
Every day, nearly 1,000 people are taken to emergency rooms seeking medical treatment for a dog bite injury. If you or your child has been bitten by someone else’s dangerous dog, you deserve to be compensated. The state of Illinois implements “strict liability” for dog bites and other animal attacks. That means a dog bite victim does not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent, only that he or she was injured without provoking the animal. If this can be established, the pet owner of the vicious animal can be held responsible for compensating you for medical bills and emotional damages resulting from this dog attack.
Your Rights as an Attack Victim
The Illinois dog bite law specifies an animal that “attacks, attempts to attack, or injures” a victim. That means even injuries provoked by an animal can result in a personal injury claim, not just animal bites. For example, if a disobedient or ferocious dog jumps on you, and you fall and become injured, the dog owner could be held liable.
If found responsible, the dog owner could be held liable for your:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lost wages and future income loss
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs are strong animals, even the little ones. They use their teeth and jaws to rip apart food and flesh. This can cause severe injuries, significant blood loss, and nerve damage for bite victims. Dogs are prone to bite children because of their small size, viewing them as foes as they match up in stature.
Injuries could include:
- Severe lacerations and puncture wounds
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Fractures and broken bones
What to Do After a Dog Bite
When you or a loved one suffers a dog bite, there are steps you will need to take to ensure your physical safety and protect your rights. Tending to the wound immediately is often necessary to stop bleeding. Call 911 for emergency medical assistance if you notice the sight of blood.
When possible, you should also try to:
- Get the contact information of any witnesses
- Contact animal control to report the incident
- Take pictures of the wounds
- Get the name, address, and phone number of the animal’s owner
You’ll also want to see a doctor as soon as possible to further examine the dog bite. There are pathogens in animal saliva that can lead to infection and some dogs are actively carrying diseases, such as rabies. You may require shots or other medical treatment to help guard against serious injury or even death.
Once you have taken care of the bite itself, you will need a Chicago personal injury lawyer on your side.
The Best Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer
In the state of Illinois, dog bites are a “strict liability” issue, but this does not mean that compensation is guaranteed. In fact, even though a dog’s owner can be held liable for your injuries, it is unlikely that you will ever receive compensation without the help of an injury attorney.
Dog bite lawsuits are often touchy for victims as they involve neighbors, friends, or even relatives. Insurance companies that cover dog bites know this and are not above exploiting your vulnerability to cheat you out of what you are due.
Our Chicago dog bite attorneys know the tricks insurance companies will use to minimize settlements. We can deal with these companies, fight for your legal rights, and help you get fair compensation.