Dog Bite Attorneys in Chicago, Illinois
Dogs are a wonderful part of our lives. However, things can quickly get out of hand when a beloved pet attacks a person. In particular, dog bites can have serious consequences requiring medical attention and emergency treatment.
At Law Office of Anselmo Duran P.C., we help dog bite victims in Chicago, Illinois, get the legal counsel they deserve. As personal injury attorneys, we proudly serve the communities of Lake County, McHenry, DuPage, Cook, Will, Kankakee, and Grundy with strong and compassionate legal representation.
Illinois Dog Bite Laws
Dog bites are surprisingly more common than most people think. Every year, 4.5 million people suffer dog bites in America. Of those, 1,000 require emergency medical treatment daily. Over 12,000 people need hospitalization to deal with dog bites.
Dog bite laws can vary depending on the jurisdiction, but in general, they are intended to hold dog owners responsible for the actions of their pets. Here are some key points to consider:
Many jurisdictions impose strict liability on dog owners for injuries caused by their pets. This means that the owner is responsible for the harm their dogs cause, regardless of whether or not the owner was negligent or knew that the dog had dangerous propensities.
Some jurisdictions follow the "one bite rule," which means that a dog owner may not be held liable for the first bite or attack unless they knew or should have known that the dog tended to be aggressive.
In some cases, a dog owner may be held liable if they were negligent in controlling their pet, such as by letting it roam free or failing to properly secure it.
Illinois does have a strict liability dog bite law. This law means that dog owners are liable for injuries dogs causes, regardless of whether or not the owner knew the dog tended to be aggressive or had previously bitten someone. The Illinois dog bite law considers the following:
The owner or keeper of a dog is liable for any injury or damage caused by their dog, whether or not the dog was provoked, as long as the injured person was lawfully on the property where the incident occurred. This includes not only bites but also other injuries.
In addition to civil liability, the owner or keeper of a dog may also face criminal penalties, such as fines or imprisonment, depending on the severity of the injury and other circumstances.
Liability in a Dog Bite Case
Liability in a dog bite case depends on the specific facts of the case where the incident occurred. In general, the following factors are typically considered:
The first factor usually considered is whether the dog’s owner or keeper is liable for its actions. In general, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries dogs cause. They can be held responsible for the harm their dogs cause even if they had no prior knowledge that their dog was dangerous.
In Illinois, a dog owner may be liable for their dog's actions if they were negligent in controlling the dog. For example, if a dog owner fails to properly restrain their dog or fails to warn others of their dog's dangerous propensities, they may be found liable for any injuries the dog causes.
In Illinois, a dog owner may be able to defend against a liability claim by showing that the injured person provoked the dog. For example, if the injured person hit or kicked the dog before the attack, the dog owner may be able to argue that the person provoked the dog, proving the attack was not the owner's fault.
Illinois law considers that if the injured person was partially at fault for the dog bite, their damages award may be reduced to reflect their negligence. For example, if the person was trespassing on the dog owner's property at the time of the attack, the damages awarded may be reduced.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Illinois
Statute of Limitations
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including dog bite cases, is generally two years from the injury date. This condition means that victims must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury, or they may lose the right to seek compensation.
The injured person may be able to recover damages for various types of losses and expenses resulting from the injury. Some possible damages that may be available in an Illinois dog bite case include:
These damages include the cost of medical treatment for the injury, such as emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
If the injury caused the injured person to miss work or lose income, they may be able to recover damages for lost wages or earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
These damages include compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the injury.
Scarring and Disfigurement
If the injury caused permanent scarring or disfigurement, the injured person may be able to recover damages for the impact on their appearance and emotional well-being.
Disability and Impairment
If the injury caused a permanent disability or impairment, the injured person may be able to recover damages for the impact on their ability to perform daily activities and enjoy life.
If the dog caused damage to the injured person's property, such as clothing or personal items, they may be able to recover damages for the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged items.
The number of damages that may be available in a dog bite case will depend on the specific facts of the case and the nature and extent of the injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help evaluate the available damages help victims pursue the compensation they deserve.
Dog Bite Attorneys in Chicago, Illinois
Don’t go through this difficult time alone. At our firm—Law Office of Anselmo Duran, P.C.—we strive to help our clients protect their right to fair compensation for a dog bite incident. You deserve to move forward with confidence. Set up a consultation with our attorneys today.