Sometimes, dogs cause injuries. For the compensation you need, turn to a Chicago dog bite attorney.
Because dogs aren’t aware of the consequences of their actions like humans are, it can be argued that there are no bad dogs—just bad owners, improper training, and negative experiences. That’s why dog bite injury claims hold the dog owner accountable for the harm the dog has caused.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, the owner should pay for your medical costs and any other damages you’ve suffered. A Chicago dog bite lawyer will help you get the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and emotional damage.
A qualified attorney from Lane & Lane, LLC will know just the right way to approach this situation and help you understand all the complications along the way. Work with us so you and your family can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands.
Illinois’ Dog Bite Laws
Illinois has a couple of laws that have to do with dog bites and when the owner is liable. The first is the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, which includes dog bites and is two years.
The second is specifically for injuries caused by dogs and is called “strict liability.” Unlike “one-bite” rules, which give the owner “one free bite” to realize the dog is dangerous, “strict liability” means the very first injury the dog causes is the owner’s legal responsibility.
There are exceptions to the strict liability rule. If the injured person was trespassing or provoked the dog in some way, intentionally or not, the case may be in jeopardy.
To win a Chicago dog bite case, the victim must prove that he or she didn’t provoke the animal, but the defendant will attempt to show there is insufficient evidence that the dog was not provoked or provide contradictory evidence of his or her own. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer backing you up.
Injuries and Chronic Conditions
A dog can inflict lots of damage pretty quickly. The young and the elderly are most prone to serious injuries because they often can’t run away or fight off the animal. Children often suffer facial injuries due to their height, and they also tend to experience the worst mental trauma.
After a dog bite in Chicago, child victims could develop a phobia of dogs and even avoid their own family pets. We have to make sure any injury is accounted for in your claim, whether it’s physical or psychological.
Dog bite injuries can include the following:
- Facial lacerations
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Nerve damage
- Lost fingers, nose, toes, ears, or other extremities
- Blood loss
- Organ damage
- Broken bones
- Emotional trauma
Compensation for Chicago Dog Bite Victims
Once we itemize your injuries, we have to assign a monetary value to every damage you’ve suffered. This is relatively easy for hospital bills and wage decreases, but the intangible damages are harder.
Working with your medical and mental health experts, we can provide evidence and quote a cost for these intangible damages, as well. Anything that changes for the worse in your life is worth including in your Chicago dog bite claim.
To compensate you fully, our demands in your claim may include the following:
- Immediate and ongoing medical expenses
- Current and predicted lost income
- Disability accommodations for your car, home, or workplace
- Pain and suffering from the attack and recovery
- Emotional distress from the changes in your ability to live a normal life
- Loss of companionship, consortium, and care
- Property damage
- Punitive damages for egregious negligence
Modified Comparative Negligence in Illinois
Usually, modified comparative negligence means your compensation will be reduced by the amount of blame you hold for the injuries. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 but were found to be 20 percent at fault, then you would only get $80,000.
However, in dog bite cases, if you cannot prove that you did not provoke the dog or that you were not trespassing, it is possible that your entire case could be thrown out. The other side will do everything it can to negate your claim, including digging into your past and twisting your words to make it look like you caused the dog’s aggression.
Even accidentally stepping on a dog's paw can be made to look like provocation, so having a dog bite lawyer in Chicago who is familiar with these rules and tactics is important to the success of your claim.
Hire a Chicago Dog Bite Attorney
Cases like this are sometimes difficult to file because you might have known the owner or the dog for years. Despite any misgivings you have, you have to hold the owner accountable so what happened to you won’t happen to someone else—and so your medical bills and other expenses won’t break the bank.
You need an understanding attorney who can handle your case with the sensitivity it demands—but with the tenacity necessary to win. Our legal team at Lane & Lane, LLC will provide you with the support and knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your injury claim.
Call a Chicago dog bite lawyer at 312-332-1400 or fill out the contact form below to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation now.