Peoria Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites are a serious problem where thousands of people in the United States are attacked by dogs every year, and many of them require extensive medical care for their injuries. Unfortunately, the injured victims often suffer ongoing mental anguish because they don't know where to turn for help or compensation for their losses.
The law offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are experienced in successfully representing dog bite victims throughout Illinois for years. Our personal injury attorneys work hard on behalf of our clients and many Illinois cities to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve after suffering from a dangerous animal attack while doing something as simple as walking down the street or playing in your backyard.
Call a Peoria personal injury attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice. Our Peoria attorney group injury victims free consultations with no obligation so you can learn more about your rights before making any decisions about filing a claim against another party's insurance policy - including homeowner's insurance policies!
Dog Bite National Statistics
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), cases involving animal attacks and dog bites have risen significantly in recent years. Data shows that upwards of 88,000 people are bitten by dogs every year, and around 9.3 percent of these victims require medical attention after being attacked.
About 15 dog bite fatalities occur in the United States each year, with about one-third of these dog attacks involving an unrestrained dog running off its owner's property. The vast majority (88%) involve male victims, and 94% of these victims know the dog that bit them.
The majority (70%) of dog bite injuries occur at home, but others happen around the neighborhood or even in public places such as schools, parks, and recreation areas. Children under five years old account for about forty percent of all fatal dog attacks, over half involving infants between 3 months and three years of age.
Dog bite injury claims are not easy to settle because compensation may be reduced or denied if the owner knew that their pet was prone to violent dog bites in the past. Insurance companies also tend to find other ways to reduce compensation by arguing over how much the victim's injuries are worth and at what point they occurred (i.e., before medical treatment was received, after surgery, etc.).
Many victims and families don't know where to turn for help or what to do after a dangerous animal attack. Call our Peoria dog bite lawyers for assistance today if you were injured in an animal attack on someone else's property or while lawfully on public property.
Dog Bite Lawsuit Considerations
Dog attacks in a neighbors backyard, private property, public park, or open area can leave the victim with catastrophic damages or dead. In addition, animals allowed to roam free without control of their owner create legal issues when they viciously bite, attack, or nip unsuspecting adults and children.
However, taking legal action against the property owner, dog's owner, or others can be complicated. There are specific factors to consider when filing a dog bite lawsuit to recover compensation for damages.
A Peoria dog bite attorney from our law office specializing in animal attack cases has posted some of those considerations below.
Statute of Limitations
Every state requires victims to file a personal injury claim within a certain time following an accident or incident, otherwise known as the 'statute of limitations.'
This law is meant to help protect defendants from old claims that are difficult to defend because evidence has been destroyed or lost. In dog bite cases, the statute of limitations is typically two years from the date an injury occurs or three years from when you should have reasonably known about your injuries but didn't get medical treatment.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations is restricted to two years from the date of dog bite injury and three years for minors. It means that a judge must dismiss any claims brought after two or three years of an incident without giving it further consideration; however, there may be some exceptions to this rule.
Dog owners can't avoid liability in dog bite cases if they knew about past violent behavior before the incident. If they had complaints about the dog's behavior before the incident, it is reasonable to conclude that your injuries were foreseeable, and it should fall under 'prior knowledge.'
Additionally, if you suffered serious injuries or scarring because of an animal attack, the statute of limitations may be extended for some time- maybe even up to 20 years.
Negligence and Ownership
Many owners are responsible for the behavior of their dogs, especially if they knew (or should've known) that their pet was likely to attack or bite someone without provocation. It is called 'negligence.' Every dog attack claim is evaluated for this factor because it can help establish liability against a dog owner, property owner, or others.
Under the law of negligence, a plaintiff must prove that a defendant failed to provide a duty of care owed and directly or indirectly caused injuries. In those cases where the defendant breached their duty causing injury to another person, they may be found liable for damages even if they didn't intend to harm someone.
In most cases, a dog owner is responsible for the behavior of their pet. However, it may be difficult to prove that someone is liable when they didn't know or couldn't have known about a dog's violent tendencies in some circumstances.
There are also special considerations when there isn't an identifiable owner, such as stray dogs and feral pets. In those types of cases, a property owner or city can be held liable if they know there's been a dangerous dog in the area but didn't take precautions to protect people from it.
Vicious animals without owners are especially problematic in areas with feral cats and dogs or in neighborhoods with leash laws because owners are responsible for keeping their animals contained and under control.
If you've been injured in a dog attack, consult an experienced Peoria personal injury attorney for legal advice and information on the best course of action to take if you plan to pursue a claim or lawsuit against another party.
Pain and Suffering
If you were attacked by an animal and required extensive medical attention beyond a simple doctor visit (e.g., surgery), your compensation claim may be worth more than you think.
Illinois State law allows victims to recover the monetary value of their pain and suffering if they can show that an animal attack caused them 'serious disfigurement or permanent serious impairment of health.'
Emergency Room Treatment
Often defendants will argue that your injuries were not serious enough because you did not require emergency room treatment, physical therapy, or hospitalization. However, the financial impact on the victim or surviving family members and growing medical bills and lost wages while healing could significantly burden the household.
Our Peoria dog bite lawyers can work with your medical provider to verify the extent of your injuries and prove that your claim has merit even though you did not receive immediate attention for your wounds.
In addition, to aggressively protect your legal rights, your Peoria dog bite lawyer will negotiate directly with the defendant's insurance company for the injuries caused by their animal.
Did an animal attack you? If so, contact our Peoria personal injury attorneys today! We offer free, no-risk consultations, and you don't pay your dog bite lawyer anything unless we win your dog bite case.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
While dogs are looked upon by many as loyal companions and family members, they can also be dangerous animals capable of causing serious harm to strangers.
The Peoria dog bite attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, represent the interests of those attacked by animals that have not been properly trained or restrained and who require expensive medical care due to their injuries.
Our knowledge of Peoria's animal ordinances allows us to defend ordinary people's rights by forcing dog owners to account for the damage done by their animals when they have not taken the proper precautions to keep their dogs at bay.
Peoria Ordinance Protects Residents From Negligent Dog Owners
The local ordinance protects residents' rights when facing an attack from a dangerous animal by requiring dog owners to register their animals, treat them humanely and provide compensation when their animals cause damage to property or bodily harm.
Following are some of the dog bite laws about animal ownership for those living in Peoria:
- Allowing a dog to roam free is prohibited by Sec. 4-2, and the dog's owners are subject to fines if their dogs are found to be running free. The fine for the first violation is $50, increasing with each additional violation to as much as $300 if the owner is guilty of multiple violations.
- Animals must be restrained when not on their owners' property. It means that owners must leash their dogs at all times when off their property.
- Sec. 4-6 requires owners to treat their dogs humanely, including providing food, water, shelter, and regular veterinary care to prevent disease. In addition, it ensures that their dogs do not transmit disease if they get free and attack another person.
All dog bites must be reported to the police within 24 hours, according to Sec. 4-13, and any person who has knowledge of an attack and fails to notify the authorities violates this law.
- Sec. 4-15 holds property owners liable if they take in stray animals. Strays may be sheltered for up to 48 hours while notifying local animal control or an animal shelter.
- Sec. 4-20 affords protection to dog owners from frivolous lawsuits by prohibiting the intentional provocation of dogs. Thus, if someone attempts to cause harm to an animal or provokes an attack, they will be considered at fault for the incident and unable to seek damages from the dog's owner.
- Sec. 4-52 required all dog owners to register their animals. Records must be provided to show that the dogs have been properly immunized and free from disease, to complete their registration
- If a dog is involved in an attack, the dog will be impounded for ten days and released only if a licensed veterinarian can affirm that the dog is not afflicted with rabies, according to Sec. 4-59. If the animal is not currently vaccinated or if its vaccinations are no longer viable, then it will be required to undergo rabies treatment.
These dog bite laws also offer protection to other animals in addition to people. Pet owners are required by state law to treat their animals humanely and keep them from running free, but there are exceptions for service animals, guide dogs, and police dogs.
While the dog bite laws of Peoria protect its residents, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and these laws do not require the dog's owners to be responsible for any damage caused by their animals.
As such, it is important for those who have been attacked or bitten, to seek compensation from a negligent owner if they hope to pay off the medical bills resulting from their injuries. Then, contact our Peoria dog, bite lawyers. We can protect your legal rights.
Peoria Dog Bite Injuries Leave Physical and Emotional Scars on Adults and Children
Owning a dog can be a wonderful and enriching experience. However, with ownership comes the responsibility of ensuring that the animal is not placed to harm others.
The injuries suffered when an animal attacks someone can leave a lifelong impact on the victim's physical and psychological well being. Aside from unsightly permanent scarring, tissue and nerve damage, and the risk of infection due to the introduction of microbes in the dog's saliva, victims often suffer emotional trauma from needing to live with an altered appearance or from the fear of being attacked again in the future.
Dog bite victims may find it extremely difficult to ever be in the presence of animals in the future and panic whenever a canine comes near. All injuries are considered when seeking compensation for an attack, whether physical, mental, or emotional.
Hiring Peoria Dog Bite Attorneys to Recover Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC aggressively pursues damages from negligent pet owners because they feel that the demeanor and actions of animals are more often reflective of their pet owner's treatment than on other factors.
If you have been injured in a dog attack in Peoria, IL, contact our legal team at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Learn more about your rights and legal options during a risk-free consultation.
Our Peoria dog bite attorneys will review the details of your case, perform a thorough investigation and advise you on the best legal strategy in the future so that you can recover the compensation you are entitled to under Illinois law.
Our central Illinois legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. We promise not to charge any upfront fees until we secure financial compensation on your behalf. If we fail to resolve your dog bite case, you owe us nothing.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with your Peoria dog bite attorney remains private through an attorney-client relationship.