The Chicago dog bite attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are hardly surprised that 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog every year, according to the CDC, and hundreds of thousands of these are injured seriously enough to need medical attention. If you’ve been attacked by a dog, a Chicago dog bite attorney from our firm can use the full force of Illinois dog bite law to recover financial compensation from the animal’s owner for physical and emotional damages.
Helping You Recover Compensation for Your Injuries in a Dog Attack
An example of a recent dog bite lawsuit that 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 backward into a bonfire. Our dog bite injury attorney made a $755,000 recovery to help the boy and his family recover from the bites and burns.
If you or your child has been injured by a dog and you need a dog bite lawyer, Chicago residents are invited to complete our online intake form for a free review of your situation. A dog bite injury lawyer will personally review your case and advise you of your legal options to recover financial compensation for your 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.
Illinois Dog Attack Lawyers Committed to Getting Victims the Maximum Compensation
It is easy to look at dog bite injuries and assume that they are one-dimensional physical injuries, but 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 a fear of animals due to the attack.
When evaluating your case, our Chicago dog bite lawyers will look at every aspect of Illinois dog laws to ensure that you receive all of the compensation that the Illinois dog bite statute of limitations allows.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Illinois ranked second in the nation for payouts for claims made under homeowner insurance policies in 2016. The institute reported that there were 910 claims made against dog owners’ insurance policies in that year, with an average payout of $42,837. When victims of vicious canines need an expert in dog bite law, Illinois residents know they can count on us to get results such as these.
Factors that need to be considered when evaluating dog bite cases from a settlement or litigation perspective include:
- Medical care and bills: Dog bites can have a host of medical complications like infections and require extensive work to repair tissue, muscle, or nerve damage, all of which can call for expensive treatment. Extensive scarring may even drastically change the victim’s physical appearance.
- Emotional and psychological trauma: A dog attack is a trauma that can give the victim PTSD, which can manifest as flashbacks or reactions of fear and panic when they spot an animal. This impacts the victim’s ability to maintain a relationship with people in their lives who have pets.
- Residual scarring: Dog attacks can leave scars that can hinder the victim’s ability to socialize because of low self-esteem and confidence. Children and adolescents might especially suffer from bullying or teasing. Fixing these scars often requires expensive plastic surgeries.
How the Law Applies to Dog Bite and Attack Cases
While provocation may be claimed as a defense in dog attack cases, the Illinois Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/1) firmly places responsibility on dog owners when their canine injures a person. It is the responsibility of owners to take reasonable measures to control the actions and temperament of their animals.
These 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, but 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 to prevent provocation of the animal.
In addition to these laws that apply to all dogs and their owners in Illinois, the city of Chicago has enacted its own ordinances for dog owners to comply with in order to ensure public safety, which are part of the Municipal Code (7-12-010). In part, Chicago requires that:
- Animals shall be leashed or fenced in on the property in order to avoid crossing the property line (7-12-030).
- The executive director of Chicago Animal Care and Control has the authority to investigate dog bites and determine if a dog is dangerous. If it is 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 older than four months must be licensed and vaccinated.
A Chicago dog bite attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will use the applicable laws to pursue claims on behalf of people injured by dogs. If you have been injured in a dog attack, contact us to learn more about how a lawyer for dog bites can help you recover the compensation you need to cover the cost of your medical treatment and ongoing care.
How Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC 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 helped people from all parts of Illinois with serious injuries related to dog attacks.
From the time our office is retained in a dog bite case, we get to work to secure the following materials to help ensure that 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 insurance carrier
Our Chicago dog bite attorneys are specialists in Illinois dog injury law and will only 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. If you need help and guidance from a dog bite lawyer, Chicago residents can contact us 24/7.
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: Click the links below to learn more.
- 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.