Dog bites cause severe injuries and in some cases even death. The CDC estimates that around 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs on an annual basis. Of those, at least 800,000 require medical care. This is not a minor injury, so please do not back down from getting the compensation you deserve.
How much medical care will you need after a dog bite? Some injuries may only require minor stitches, while others are much more serious and can leave lifelong scars. There’s also the risk of infection or developing rabies. All this can create a mountain of bills.
Aside from that, there’s a serious emotional toll for most people. Some are professionals, such as package delivery drivers, who simply must interact with dogs in their lines of work. For others, the ubiquity of dogs as pets creates several moments of extreme fear or panic throughout the course of a normal week.
It can be hard to estimate exactly how much you need at the beginning. Many people accept far less than they deserve and end up paying the price themselves.
If you suffered injuries from a dog bite in Illinois, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. Specifically, the owner could be strictly liable if you didn’t provoke the animal.
Don’t assume that the conscientious pet owner will come forward and do the right thing. These cases often have a high emotional charge.
In the end, it’s up to you to Claim Your Justice ™. Our office is located in Schaumburg, but we are available to help personal injury clients throughout the greater Chicago area and beyond. Call us for a free consultation, and, if we decide we can work together, you can hire an experienced Chicago dog bite attorney today.
Illinois law states that if a dog bites you without provocation, the animal’s owner is liable for your losses. The relevant law is called the Animal Control Act. In order to present a claim under the Act, you must prove that:
It seems simple enough, in theory. In practice, these cases are usually challenging to navigate.
Step one in building a dog bite claim is showing that the defendant’s animal caused your injury. The difficult part of this usually isn’t proving that the dog attacked — it’s proving that the dog is associated with the defendant.
Nobody wants to be the owner of a dangerous animal, especially when there’s a personal injury claim involved. It could be up to you to provide a convincing argument regarding ownership.
Luckily, it is not up to the owner to step up. There is a process for establishing ownership logically, based on evidence, case precedents, and the general rule of law. Generally speaking, owners are people who are:
There are plenty of other possible complications on this point. Microchipping is one example. If a dog with a microchip bit you, you might assume that the chip corresponds to the owner. That’s not necessarily true. What if the dog is a rescue, and the new owner hasn’t updated the chip? It could take some effort to track down the new owner.
Another common complication involves the final type of ownership: knowingly allowing the dog to stay on a premise someone owns. A tenant could be illegally keeping a dog that the property owner has no idea about. A friend could be dog sitting for someone who’s out of town.
Who is the owner? Who is responsible? It’s a bigger question than you might think, and it could be a matter for the courts to decide. Our attorneys at Claim Your JusticeTM are here to help you work through it all and get the compensation you deserve.
Once you determine who is responsible for the dog, your next step is justifying your own actions. The final three points for a successful dog bite injury case all involve your conduct. Were you provoking the animal? Were you acting peaceably? Did you have the right to be where you were?
‘Peaceable conduct’ is a legal term that refers to you behaving in a normal manner in a place you’re allowed to be. If you’re selling door-to-door, you are behaving peaceably. If you’re carrying mail, that’s also peaceable conduct. When dogs attack door-to-door salespeople and postal carriers, it frequently forms the basis for a successful personal injury lawsuit.
Some things are strikes against you. For example, if you were trespassing on someone’s property with the intent to commit a crime, that wouldn’t be peaceable conduct. As a result, the strength of your claim would be greatly reduced.
Are you in doubt in regard to whether you were behaving peaceably? Contact us immediately. Don’t go out of your way to claim responsibility — the dog owner is unlikely to do so.
Claim Your JusticeTM by presenting the truth about why you were where you were at the time of the dog attack. Contact our attorneys as soon as possible after the injury. Our goal is to help structure your arguments and pursue your interests in the most effective way possible.
Even seemingly small bites can leave deep emotional and, in some cases, physical scars. Consider the whole cost of your injury before accepting any type of deal. Here are some of the possible problems:
These are just some of the risks dog bite victims face. There is a surprising amount of cost involved, and the bills just seem to keep piling up for most people. Additionally, dog bite cases can be technically and emotionally complex. Please don’t attempt to pursue a claim on your own.
Like it or not, canines are part of human culture. From the polar regions to the equator, dogs have followed humans nearly everywhere. This is one of the reasons that dog attacks are such traumatic experiences — victims simply can’t escape the animals that cause them to feel terror. Severe emotional trauma like this can take decades to recover from and may never completely heal.
How much is a lifetime of fear worth? How do you calculate the loss of emotional stability associated with never being able to feel comfortable around one of the most common pets in the world? These are tough questions, but our attorneys are experienced in answering them in negotiations and in open court.
A dog bite injury involves high medical and emotional costs. Courts understand this, but they need to see convincing evidence that is directly relevant to the events in question. We might enlist the help of expert witnesses, take detailed photographs, collect witness testimony, or interview our clients to provide the required support for arguments.
We also tell our client’s story. We put the facts in context. We help everybody understand the current and future struggle that comes from these injuries — and we make it clear that we intend to pursue the highest level of compensation possible.
If you were bitten by a dog, let Claim Your JusticeTM help. Contact us today at (847) 434-3555 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our skilled Chicago personal injury attorneys.
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