Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer Explains What To Do

Dog attack

May 31  

Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer Explains What To Do If You Were Bitten

As Chicago personal injury lawyers, we know that dogs are not always man’s best friend. They sometimes bite, and unfortunately, the victims of dog bites and attacks are often children. Dog bites and attacks can lead to long-term problems, including a lifelong fear of dogs and permanent scars from bites and attacks.

Any good Chicago dog bite lawyer will tell you that this is how it works.  If a dog is provoked and attacks, you will probably lose the case.  Provoking a dog means playing with or teasing a dog, beating a dog or trying to take the dog’s food away, etc. You probably would not be entitled to damages. But if the attack is unprovoked, you may be entitled to compensation.

In trying to determine your right to damages from an attack by a dog, there are provisions in the Illinois Animal Control Act to keep in mind.

The Illinois Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/) states: “If a dog or animal attacks, attempts to attack any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such a dog or other animals is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.”

The Illinois Animal Control Act permits a person to recover money if they have been bitten by a dog.Under the law, you can recover damages from the dog’s owner under the following circumstances:

  • The person actually owns the animal.
  • You did not provoke the dog.
  • You were acting peaceably.
  • You were standing in a place where you were legally entitled to be.

If you can prove these four things, you are entitled to recover from the dog’s owner for medical bills, future medical care, pain and suffering, lost wages and disfigurement suffered in the attack.

Further, even if this is the first time a dog has attacked or bitten anyone, you might still collect from the owner’s insurance company. Most homeowner policies cover this type of incident under general liability policies.  You are looking for a homeowner’s policy or a renter’s policy, or a commercial policy if someone keeps a dog at a business.

If you were bitten by a stray dog, figuring out whether there is an owner and whether there is insurance can be tricky, and that’s when you definitely need a Chicago dog bite lawyer

Proceeding under The Animal Control Act is just ONE option open to you.

A good Chicago dog bite lawyer is going to know other ways to investigate. They can build the case to give you multiple possibilities of getting your medical bills paid, and being compensated for the trauma and physical injuries.

For example, my office recently took a dog bite case to trial.  In that case, a neighbor’s dog lunged over the fence and bit my client.

The dog owner did not have money or insurance.  The building owner did.

But as it happens in every kind of injury case, and dog bite cases are no different, people tell stories that aren’t true.

The dog owner/tenant said that that the landlord did not know about the dog, a large German Shepherd. The property owner said that the tenant never told him about the dog.

The problem with the story is that the dog is a large dog.  The dog did his business all over the backyard.  the dog would bark at anyone walking by the house or yard.  That was whether the dog was inside or outside.  The dog would try to push through the screen windows it would be so agitated.

Under the Animal Control Act, we have to be able to prove that the person being held liable was ‘keeping’ the dog, and under the law, a landlord is not legally ‘keeping’ his tenant’s dog.

So we proceeded under a general negligence theory and argued that the fence was inadequate for a known-aggressive dog.

Of course, the tenant claimed that the dog wasn’t aggressive, but the Jury did not believe the obvious lies of the landlord and tenant and compensated my client very fairly for his injuries.

So you see, these are not always slam dunk, easy cases.  there are plenty of wrinkles in them, and that’s why need you someone who is dedicated to handling cases like this, and will spend the time to think strategically on your behalf to give you your best shot at winning.  An experienced Chicago dog bite lawyer is the way to go.

In order to collect you often need Chicago personal injury lawyers to represent you since insurance companies often try to place the blame for the attack on the victim.

The Chicago Dog Bite Lawyers Are Here To Help You.


"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  

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About the author - Scott D. DeSalvo

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