Dog Bite Lawyer Chicago Explains Illinois Dog Bite Law
No matter how the dog bite happened, if you or a loved one got bit by a dog, it is smart to look for answers. Get help from dog bite lawyers chicago and find out as much as possible about Illinois dog bite law.
It's the best way to make sure you are protected and get a fair recovery in your case. That's what this page is about: getting you the help that you need.
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Have Questions About A Dog Bite Injury For A Dog Bite Lawyer?
If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog or other animal, then there are things you need to know about dog bite cases and the Illinois Animal Control Act.
It does not matter whether your attack involved a single bite with minimal treatment and a small scar or a tragic attack resulting in serious permanent injuries or even death. No matter what, here is the information you need to know so that you can intelligently evaluate your options.
The Animal Control Act and Illinois Dog Bite Law
Dog bite cases are usually controlled by the Animal Control Act. This is a law passed by the state of Illinois that makes owners or keepers of animals responsible for the injuries they cause if they get loose.
The Act makes it easier for you to win your dog bite case if you were bit by a dog. But that is only true if your case facts fall under the Animal Control Act.
In order to prove a case under the Animal Control Act, here is what you have to prove:
(510 ILCS 5/16) (from Ch. 8, par. 366)
Sec. 16. Animal attacks or injuries. If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.
There are a couple of things for you to pay attention to in the law.
First, only the owner or keeper of the animal can be liable under Illinois dog bite law.
So, for example, if a person is renting a home and they have a dog which bites someone. Then the owner of the home, if they do not live there, may not be liable. There are lots of wrinkles here, however.The important thing to remember is that anyone who owns the dog or keeps the dog can be liable under the law.
Second, there can be no provocation of the dog before you got bit by the dog.
In other words, you cannot make the dog angry or scared before the dog bit you. Examples of this could include if you are trying to take food away from a dog. Or if you tease the dog or hit the dog or agitate the dog. If you did any of these things, then the judge may decide that the law does not apply.
If the Judge says that the dog was provoked or agitated, then you cannot win a case under the Animal Control Act.
Third, there is no requirement here to show that the dog had bitten anyone in the past or is dangerous.
Proving a case under the Animal Control Act is usually pretty straightforward. But most people do not know a very important thing.
You DO NOT have to show that the dog was dangerous or violent in the past. Or that the dog bit someone else to win a case. This is one of the biggest reasons why it is the easiest ways to win a dog bite. But only if the Animal Control Act applies your your dog bite injury.
However, it is very important to determine who owned the dog and whether there is any insurance coverage (either owners insurance or renters insurance).
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Second Option Under Illinois Dog Bite Law: Negligence
A savvy attorney will often bring a negligence case to court as well, if the circumstances of your dog bite warrant it.
Bringing a dog bite case under "negligence" may sound fancy, but it really isn't. "Negligence"just means that we are allageding that the owner of the dog who bit you did something that wasn't reasonable. If they didn't act reasonably, they may be liable for your injuries and damages because their dog bit you.
For example, let's say a dog owner knows that his dog often jumps the fence and chases people down the street. A jury could decide that the dog owner was negligent for not keeping the dog leashed or crated. Or for not installing a taller fence.
Or if a dog owner knows that his dog is dangerous and has attacked or bittten people before, they have to be reasonable about controlling their dog. But what is the dog owner leaves his gate open and allows the dog to wander the neighborhood? Then a Judge or Jury in your dog bite case may decide that the owner was negligent.
Unlike a case under the Animal Control Act, here, under negligence, we do have to prove that the dog had some sort of history of biting or attacking people. That's because if an owner does not know his or her dog is dangerous, then they would not have known to control their dog moew carefully.
Dog Bite Injuries Can Be Serious
If your injury from a dog bite amounts to a small scar on your arm and minimal medical treatment, then you are entitled to a recovery. But it is not likely that you will get very much money for such a modest injury.
I have handled cases where the settlement was substantial in a dog bite case with the scar. But it depends on the circumstances. For example, a child with a scar on their face or a woman with a scar on her face may have a valuable case. But an older man like me would probably get less for a scar, especially if it is not usually visible.
In the most vicious dog attacks, there can be serious fractures and nerve damage. These injuries could require surgery and skin grafts. Powerful breeds of dogs can kill people, and they do. Especially children, who are very vulnerable.
As you can see, the range of injuries from dog bites can range from unpleasant all the way up to deadly.
These cases have nuances and details and the particular facts of your case make a big difference.
My best advice for you is to speak with an experienced dog bite lawyer chicago to evalaute your case and tell you the ins and outs of Illinois dog bite law as it applies to your specific case.
More Questions? Give me a call at 312-500-4500.
I offer a free no obligation consultation. Or you can submit your case to my office for review by cliking the button below.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you and your loved ones are well.
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