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Illinois follows the doctrine of strict liability. If a dog bites or otherwise injures someone, the law holds owners liable even if they had no idea their dog was capable of doing such a thing. Negligence does not always play a role in dog bite cases. If a dog bites someone, you can hold the owner liable whether or not they did something negligent.
Certain states have laws that dog owners are liable if their animal bites and injures someone. The victim doesn’t need to prove that the dog was dangerous. However, the claimant can’t have caused or contributed to their injuries in any way. To have a valid claim, you can’t be: Trespassing on the dog owner’s property when the dog bites you Bitten and hurt by a military or police dog while it was performing its duty Lacking physical injuries but have property damage To find out if you can recover compensation, consult our Chicago dog bite attorneys as soon as possible after you have suffered an injury. At Midwest Injury Lawyers, our attorneys are well-versed in Illinois dog bite laws and will explain exactly where your case stands.
If statutory strict liability doesn’t work in your case, you might prove the dog owner’s negligence. This involves establishing that the dog owner didn’t act reasonably in that situation. Under a negligence claim, our attorneys must prove that: Any reasonable dog owner should have acted in a different and specific way The dog’s owner didn’t act in a reasonable way The dog owner’s failure to act reasonably resulted in your bite and injuries Your attorney will rely on case precedents, specialty literature, and expert witnesses to help establish your claim.
Under this strategy, your attorney must prove that the dog owner violated Illinois dog bite laws or related statutes. A typical example of negligence per se is dog owners who walk their pets without a leash. Letting the animal roam unsupervised on the streets in some jurisdictions also constitutes negligence per se. However, this only applies if the injuries occur during the act of negligence—for instance, if your dog bite happened while a dog was off-leash or allowed loose to roam the streets.
Sadly, in some instances, dog owners deliberately cause bites and injuries. For whatever reason, they encourage their animal to attack another person. In these cases, obtaining compensation is often easier, although you will still need evidence and witnesses to prove your case. Our experienced Chicago dog bite attorneys can obtain and present this evidence.
Dog bite injuries can range from minor to severe. Sometimes victims are lucky enough to escape with a minor scrape, laceration, or bruise. Other times they lose a limb or the dog severely scars them.
Abrasions are superficial injuries like scrapes that don’t go deeper than the skin’s epidermis. Severe abrasions may leave scars.
Seek medical care to treat any infections or any complications. You will need medical records if you decide to file an injury claim.
Deeper than abrasions, lacerations cut or tear in the skin. They go through the epidermis and into the muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels inside the body. These wounds frequently are uneven, with zig-zag patterns that cause excessive bleeding. Lacerations from a dog attack require medical attention and, most likely, antibiotics and stitches. It’s not a good idea to close these wounds on your own with skin repair tape. Doing this can trap bacteria, increase the chances of an infection, and worsen the situation.
Punctures occur if the dog’s teeth pierce or puncture through the intact skin. Although these wounds are sometimes much smaller than lacerations, they also tend to be deep. A deep wound increases the risk of infection, so medical attention is imperative, even if there isn’t profuse bleeding.
To have a valid claim, you can’t be:
To find out if you can recover compensation, consult our Chicago dog bite attorneys as soon as possible after you have suffered an injury. At Midwest Injury Lawyers, our attorneys are well-versed in Illinois dog bite laws and will explain exactly where your case stands.
If statutory strict liability doesn’t work in your case, you might prove the dog owner’s negligence. This involves establishing that the dog owner didn’t act reasonably in that situation.
Under a negligence claim, our attorneys must prove that:
If the bite wound reaches the nerves, you might experience nerve damage. Depending on the extent, it can result in temporary loss of function, numbness or tingly sensations, or permanent loss of function in that body area. In extreme cases, nerve damage can cause permanent paralysis.
Crushing injuries happen more often if the attack involves large dogs. The bigger the dog, the more jaw force they can exert that can break, fracture, or crush bones. Crushing injuries can also impact your muscles and soft tissues.
Avulsion means something is ripping or tearing away. Avulsion injuries happen when a dog pulls skin or tissue away from the body. For example, if a dog completely rips an ear off the victim’s head, that is an avulsion injury. These kinds of injuries are quite extreme. They usually necessitate reconstructive surgery and can lead to lifelong scarring, disfigurement, or other issues.
Infections are common after dog bites. They typically grow from bacteria in the dog’s mouth, but they can also come from germs or bacteria on the victim’s skin. After a dog bite, having a medical professional thoroughly clean your wound is a good idea to reduce the chances of infection.
Victims should also look for:
You should seek medical attention immediately if any of these symptoms are present. If not treated soon enough, infections can create some horrible complications.
In worst-case scenarios, an amputation can happen during a dog attack, or the dog bite injuries can be so severe that doctors have no choice but to amputate an appendage. These victims will require physical therapy, prosthetics, and plastic surgeries.
Dog bites and attacks occur in terrifying situations. As such, it’s common for victims to have mental or emotional problems after suffering such an injury. This is especially true if the victim was younger when the attack occurred. They may require therapy or medications to help overcome these types of injuries.
Some injured parties don’t reach out for legal help because they don’t want to file a lawsuit. However, most dog bite cases don’t end up in front of a judge or jury. Most cases settle out of court through negotiations between attorneys for the claimant and those representing the insurance company.
Generally, settlements resolve the claim faster and cost less. Claimants can avoid the often overwhelming process of going to trial. At-fault parties can protect their reputation. Each side maintains more privacy in settlements since everything that takes place in court goes on public record.
You decide whether to accept a settlement or go to trial. Your attorney has an ethical duty to present you with any settlement offers you receive. They can discuss the pros and cons of settling and how much they think your claim is worth. Ultimately, you get to decide the direction you want to go. Sometimes even with the best attorney and multiple rounds of negotiations, an insurance company refuses to offer any amount near what your injuries are worth.
In these cases, injured parties must go to court to receive the compensation they deserve for their damages. Our Chicago dog bite attorneys can pursue compensation for your injuries through a settlement or litigation.
In Illinois, injured parties only have two years from their injury to file a legal claim.
Always realize that some injury claims may have different statutes of limitations. In some cases, you have less than two years. If you miss your deadline, you no longer have legal standing to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Don’t miss the statute that applies to your specific claim. Contact our experienced Chicago dog bite lawyers as soon as possible after your injury.
Many people don’t reach out for the legal help they need because they don’t think they can afford it. Sadly, they might walk away from the compensation they deserve to help pay for their injuries in these situations.
At Midwest Injury Lawyers, we know that personal injury victims, such as those who suffer dog bites, often face their own financial struggles and typically can’t pay for an attorney upfront. We want everyone to receive the financial recovery they deserve without worrying if they can afford legal help.
We only work on a contingency fee basis. We don’t ask for any money upfront. Once your case settles or we obtain a court award, we will receive payment directly from that. You owe us nothing if we don’t secure compensation on your behalf. In other words, our fees are contingent on our success. You can leave your wallet at home and still get the legal representation you need for your personal injury.
Take a look at the results we’ve achieved for Chicago dog bite victims in the past. We know Illinois and Indiana state regulations backward and forward, and we’ll translate that knowledge into a winning case on your behalf. For further information, reach out to our legal team.
Sam was a pleasure to work with. He was so attentive to my countless calls and emails where I felt like I was his only client. His professional demeanor and attitude are second to none, in my opinion. My case was a dog bite, and he got me the maximum amount payable and was settled […]
Want to be treated like a close friend, with respect and class? I highly recommend this company. Everyone I’ve spoken with was VERY professional. Special thank you goes out to Sam Carl. Thanks for all your help! Thanks for being very patient with me, keeping me in the loop with everything pertaining to the case, […]
If a dog recently bit you or your child, you deserve justice and compensation for your injuries. At Midwest Injury Lawyers, we offer free, no-obligation case reviews. Reach out to a Chicago personal injury lawyer. Contact us by phone at (312) 786-5881 or online to schedule yours today. We handle dog bite claims in all areas of Chicago, and we’re ready to help you and your family today.
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155 N Upper Wacker Drive, Suite 4250
Chicago, IL 60606
P: (312) 786-5881
Dog bites cases typically involve physical as well as emotional scarring. A good dog-bite lawyer understands that and seeks compensation not just for the pain a person has been through, but also for what they will continue to go through.
– Chester L. Cameron
Tell our experienced team about your accident and/or injuries. One of our personal injury attorneys will contact you to schedule a free case evaluation. Remember: you won’t pay for anything unless we secure a compensation on your behalf.
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