The Chicago dog bite attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are hardly surprised that the CDC reports 4.5 million people are bitten by dog every year. Our injury lawyers use the full force of Illinois law to recover financial compensation from the owner of a dog for physical and emotional damages suffered by our clients.
An example of a recent dog attack case our office handled involved a 12-year-old boy who was attacked by a dog at a family reunion. The dog bit the boy and pushed him backwards into a bonfire. A recovery for both bites and burns was made against a relative for $755,000.
If you or your child was injured by a dog in Chicagoland area, we invite you to complete our on-line case intake form for a free review of your situation. A lawyer will personally review your case and advise you of your legal options to recover financial compensation for you pain, disfigurement, lost wages and medical expenses. While our office is headquartered in Chicago, we serve people injured in dog bite attack cases across the entire State of Illinois.Our Commitment to Getting Dog Bite Victims the Maximum Compensation Illinois Allows
It is easy to look at dog bite injuries and assume that they are one-dimensional physical injuries. To the contrary, the effects of a dog bite are physical and psychological. In many circumstances, victims may require plastic surgery to address unsightly scars and may suffer emotional trauma due to their appearance or develop fear of animals due to an association with the attack.
When evaluating your case, our Chicago dog bite lawyers will look at every aspect of Illinois tort law to ensure that you receive all the compensation that the law allows.
According to Insurance Information Institute, Illinois ranks second in the nation when it comes to payouts for claims made under homeowner insurance policies in 2016. The Institute reports that there were 910 claims made against dog owner’s insurance policies with an average payout of $42,837.
Below are some factors that need to be considered when evaluating dog bite cases from a settlement or litigation perspective.
- Medical care and bills. Some dog bites can require extensive medical procedures to repair damage to muscle tissue and nerves or to cover up the appearance of scars that alter the victim’s physical appearance. Bites may also become infected and require emergency treatment to address the infection.
- Emotional and psychological trauma. Some victims experience flashbacks of a brutal attack any time they approach another animal. It can impact their ability to socialize with dog owners and make it difficult to maintain friendships and relationships with people who have pets.
- Residual scarring. It is difficult for children and adolescents to develop friendships and make needed social connections when they are ridiculed over their appearance. Dog bites can leave noticeable scars and make it difficult for children to lead a normal and healthy life without undergoing extensive plastic surgery.
While provocation may be claimed as a defense in dog attack cases, Illinois law firmly places responsibility on dog owners when their canine injures a person due to a bite or attack (non-bite injuries) pursuant to the Illinois Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/1). It is the responsibility of owners to take reasonable measures to control the actions and temperament of their animals, however.
The following are the fair expectations placed on all dog owners:
- To keep dogs contained when on their premises or on a leash when in public.
- To properly train their dogs and reinforce a peaceful temperament. Many of the owners of vicious dogs actually promote their aggressive behavior and think that it makes a statement to have an attack dog. When the dog gets loose and mauls another human being, the appeal is quickly lost.
- To supervise their animal when it interacts with strangers. When children approach a dog and ask to interact with it, it is the duty of the dog owner to make sure that the dog remains peaceful and docile. Before the child interacts with it, the owner should establish boundaries early on that will prevent provocation of the animal.
In addition to the above laws that apply to all dogs in Illinois, the City of Chicago has enacted its own ordinances for dog owners to comply with in order to ensure public safety. Known as "Animal Care and Control" the city has incorporated these regulations as part of the Municipal Code (7-12-010). In part, Chicago requires dog owners to:
- Animals shall be leashed or fenced in on the property in order to avoid crossing the property line (7-12-030)
- The executive director has the authority to investigate dog bites and determine if a dog is 'dangerous'. If deemed to be a vicious animal, the director may have the dog euthanized.
- When the executive director deems a dog to be dangerous, a fine may be imposed between $500 and $1,000 and obedience training may be ordered.
- Dog owners must notify the director within 24-hours of a bite attack on a person
- All dogs over four months must be licensed and vaccinated
The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers regularly use the applicable laws to pursue claims or lawsuits on behalf of people injured by dogs in Chicago. If you have been injured in a dog attack, contact us to learn more about how we can help you recover the compensation you need to cover the cost of your medical treatment and ongoing care.How Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Can Help You
Many people assume that there is little that they can do following a dog bite attack in terms of pursuing the owner of the animal for damages related to their injuries.
Our law firm is committed to protecting your rights and taking the steps necessary to hold the owner of the animal responsible for the attack. You can take comfort in the fact that our office has successfully handled people from all parts of Illinois with serious injuries related to dog attacks.
You can review a sampling of our dog bite settlements here.
From the time our office is retained in a dog bite case, we get to work to secure the following materials to help ensure the value of your case is maximized via settlement or trial:
- Medical records and bills
- Dog registration materials
- Veterinary records
- Police or animal control reports
- Professional photographs of bite wounds and scarring
- Reports from experts such as animal behaviorists or plastic surgeons who can help explain the cause of the attack and extent of the injuries
- Correspondence with the dog owner's homeowners insurance carrier
Our Chicago dog bite attorneys are specialists in Illinois dog injury law and have pledged only to collect a fee after successfully securing compensation on your behalf. We will arrange a consultation to review your legal options free of charge and if we cannot assist you in your financial recovery, you’ll owe us nothing.
In an effort to educate people regarding their legal rights following a dog attack, we have assembled some of the most comprehensive resources available on the web.
- Free Dog Bite Guidebook
- Dog Bite FAQ’s
- Illinois Dog Bite Case Valuations
- Information on aggressive breeds such as Pit Bulls, Dobermans and Rottweilers
- Dog Bite Infographic
The content on this page was prepared and maintained by attorney Jonathan Rosenfeld.