Rockford Dog Bite Lawyer
Were you injured by a dog or other animal? If so, the animal owner is likely to deny liability and refuse to pay for your medical bills.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you get compensated for your injuries if they occurred because another party was negligent in handling their pet or livestock animal. We'll work with you every step of the way and never charge any fees unless we win your case!
Call a Rockford personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice and to schedule a free consultation. Learn more about how we can help you file a lawsuit against an irresponsible pet owner after suffering from serious injuries caused by their aggressive animals!
Dog Bites in Rockford, Illinois
Dog bites are one of the most common types of injury in America today. Approximately 4.5 million people each year suffer from dog bite-related injuries that require medical attention. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that children are the most common dog attack victims.
Depending on the severity and type of injuries, a victim may file a lawsuit against the owner, claiming negligence or injury due to defective products. In addition, most states have strict liability laws regarding dog bites, making it easier for a victim to seek compensation from the owner.
National Dog Bite Statistics
The CDC declared that over half of all Americans are bitten by dogs at least once during their lifetime! The most common reasons for dog bites are being bitten while playing with or petting the animal, startled by a strange noise, or falling over.
Most dog bite victims only suffer minor injuries that don't require any medical attention. However, some people whose dogs are in Rockford have seriously hurt IL and other parts of the country.
Some dog breeds that are more likely to cause injury than others, according to the National Canine Research Council:
- Pit bulls
- German shepherds
- Labrador retrievers
- Wolf hybrids
Illinois Dog Bite Laws
The state legislature has enacted dog bite laws to protect citizens from public areas and private property attacks. Rockford dog owners must keep their pets under control at all times so that they don't bite or injure people.
These laws make it easier for victims to file a lawsuit against an irresponsible dog owner who fails to keep their animal under control. The laws also protect pet owners from being punished by harsh penalties such as fines and prison sentences.
Illinois Animal Control Act
The state legislature enacted the Illinois animal control act (510 ILCS 5) to ensure that pets are not a threat to the community. The law makes it a criminal offense for an owner of a pet to allow their animal to run loose and create a disturbance.
A person may also be guilty of this offense if they fail to leash their pet in public spaces such as parks, enclosed areas, parking lots, schoolyards, or near another person.
In most cases, a pet owner could be fined up to $500 for the first offense and up to $1,000 if they allow their animal to roam again within one year of being cited for this offense. In addition, if a dog allowed to run loose in a public place kills another animal, the dog's owner may be fined up to $2,500.
Dog owners who allow their pets to kill another person could face criminal charges of reckless conduct or aggravated battery. This offense carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and fines that could exceed $1,000.
Illinois Stray Animal Act
The stray animal act (510 ILCS 5/24) makes it illegal for an owner to let their pet roam unattended on someone else's property. In addition, if the pet is not wearing a valid license tag or microchip, they may be deemed as strays and impounded by animal control services.
Rockford, Illinois Dog Ordinances
Both Rockford, Illinois, and Winnebago County have enacted local ordinances to help control dangerous dogs in the city. These laws set rules for preventing dog bites and ensuring that it is a punishable offense when a pet owner violates them, creating a legal issue.
To avoid serious sanctions, dog owners must take proper precautions in controlling their pets whenever off their property. They are also required to follow state laws regarding obtaining a dog license and taking care of their pet.
Rockford, IL Dog Attack Laws
In June 2011, the city council in Rockford adopted a new set of rules to revise animal ordinances throughout the city. The revised laws added further penalties on dog owners whose pets cause serious injuries or death to a person.
The ordinance stated that if a dog is involved in an attack, the owner may be fined and imprisoned for 30 days. A repeat dog bites offense can result in a three-year prison sentence with a fine reaching as high as $200,000.
Dog bites are one of the most serious issues that Rockford residents have to deal with every day. Victims who have suffered severe injuries due to an attack may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the owner for compensation.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
According to the National Institute of Health, common dog bite injuries range from minor to severe. An uncontrollable dog mauling can lead to the victim's death at the attack scene, emergency room, or weeks later when the deep infection develops.
National data shows that common dog bite injuries involve the following:
- Dog bite laceration
- Stab wounds
- Avulsion injuries (i.e., pulling of the flesh)
A rabies infection could result from a dog bite if the wound is covered with saliva. The CDC reports that about 30,000 people each year receive post-exposure rabies treatment following a dog bite because they are at high risk for contracting the disease.
About 1,000 people in America die each year due to complications caused by a dog attack. Severe injuries usually result when the animal clamps down on the victim's airway, throat, or blood vessels leading to severe internal bleeding.
Other injuries related to dog bites may involve the following:
- Broken bones
- Permanent nerve damage
- Disabling, chronic pain
- Permanent disability
- Behavioral changes
- Death of a loved one
A Rockford dog bite lawyer can help families pursue damages based on wrongful death resulting from a dog attack.
Dog Attacks and Personal Injury Law
The legal system views pet attacks as personal injuries because they cause serious damage to the assaulted person. It's not uncommon for someone who has been attacked or bitten by a dog in Rockford, IL, to suffer from emotional distress such as fear, anxiety, or depression.
Strict Liability States for Dog Attacks
Most states have strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites. These are the only types of injury cases where a person does not have to prove any negligence on the dog owner's part to win the case.
Instead, victims only need to show that they suffered from a dog bite injury and prove that it was the direct result of an attack by a Rockford dog owner.
The Negligence-Based States for Dog Attacks
The victim's location determines whether or not a state is considered to have strict liability laws for dog bites. In states with no strict liability laws, victims must prove that the dog owner was negligent in preventing the attack.
Illinois is one of those states, making it advantageous for victims whose dogs in that state have been injured because they only need to prove negligence on the dog owner's part. In addition, this makes it easier for them to recover damages since there are no caps placed on pain and suffering damages for dog bites.
Dog Bite Lawsuits in Illinois
Illinois is one of the states with no caps on damages for personal injury cases involving animal attacks. It means that victims can claim all their losses, including medical expenses and lost wages, as well as other types of compensation, such as loss of consortium (i.e., sex), disfigurement, and death.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
If a dog attacks you in Rockford, IL, there are several things that you should do immediately after the incident to help you build your case. Taking these steps quickly will be easier for you to collect all the necessary evidence to prove your case.
Take the following steps after a dog attack:
- Get to safety and call 911
- If you can, take photos of the scene using your cell phone camera
- Remove yourself from excessive exposure to the dog's saliva by slightly pressing on the wound area with a dry cloth or towel
- Document the dog's breed, its name, age, and weight
- Write down the owner's name, address, phone number, and insurance information
Get to a doctor as soon as possible for treatment. If you have any of these symptoms after being bitten by a dog in Rockford, IL, seek medical attention immediately:
- Weakness, fatigue, or fever
- Trouble swallowing or breathing
- A bloody nose
- Swelling near the wound area
The Deadly Dangers of Rabies
Being involved in an animal attack with a rabid dog or another animal could claim the life of the dog bite victim.
Rabies is a deadly disease that affects the nervous system in humans and other mammals. If not treated properly, this disease can lead to death. Rabies spreads through an infected animal's saliva - it does not spread through its blood or urine.
Symptoms of rabies include:
- Extremely aggressive behavior
- Trouble breathing
- Distracted/confused behavior
- Frothing at the mouth
- Wobbly, uncoordinated body movement
Were you or a loved one attacked by a dog in Rockford, IL, and suffered from rabies from the attack? If so, it's important to seek medical attention immediately before the symptoms become more severe.
Should you have any questions about your legal options after being bitten by a dog in Rockford, IL, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today.
Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Injury lawsuits involving dog bites typically fall under three categories:
- Negligent supervision
- Trespassing, and
- Animal attacks
Negligent supervision cases generally involve victims attacked by another person's pet while on their property or with permission. Trespassing injuries usually involve victims who were attacked after entering private property without the owner's consent.
In cases involving animal attacks, the victim will have to prove that the dog had been known to bite once or multiple times and that the dog's owner hadn't taken any precautions to prevent an attack.
Different states hold different rules when it comes to dog bite cases. Under the "one free bite" rule, dog owners are only liable for injuries caused by their dogs if they knew that the animal was dangerous or had previously been bitten before.
It is important to contact experienced dog bite lawyers in Illinois today. If a family pet attacked you in Rockford, IL - they'll be able to help you navigate through the complicated system.
Getting Medical Attention
After being attacked by a dog in Rockford, IL, it's important to seek medical attention immediately. However, if you aren't sure whether or not your injuries are serious enough for an emergency room visit, here are some general guidelines:
- Do seek help if you're experiencing severe bleeding, pain, or broken bones.
- Don't worry about medical expenses right away - you can always research the cost of treatment and decide whether or not it's worth it later. Instead, focus on getting treatment if you suffer injuries by contacting a doctor today.
Getting Legal Help
If a dog attacked you in Rockford, IL, it may be possible to file a civil lawsuit against the animal owner. Experienced dog bite lawyers will be able to help you decide whether or not this is worth pursuing.
When determining who is at fault for an attack by a dog in Rockford, IL, it's important to look at the history between the victim and the animal owner. If you've had issues with trespassing or another form of provocation before, it may be possible to hold you partially accountable for your injuries.
How Much is My Dog Bite Case Worth?
The evidence and facts surrounding your case are unique, making it challenging to value your claim accurately. However, our dog bite lawyers can accurately evaluate and analyze contributing factors to determine the case's worth.
These contributing factors might include:
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- The location of the incident
- Your work status, occupation, and earning potential
- Whether or not your injuries are permanent
- How long it will take for you to recover
- The cost of any medical treatment needed
- Suppose the dog's owner knew that their pet was dangerous or had previously bitten someone before. It can often play a role in determining whether or not they were negligent.
The jury will also consider the evidence and facts surrounding your case to determine how much your case is worth. For example, in Illinois, the dog bite law states that anyone suffering a bite from an animal should not have any financial liability imposed upon them if their injuries are less than $500 in value.
However, those suffering from more severe injuries can be compensated for injuries over $500 in value. If a dog is considered vicious under the Illinois Animal Control Act, the victim can seek financial compensation even if their injuries are valued at less than $500.
To realistically value your case, it's important to consult with a personal injury lawyer trained and educated about these complex dog bite cases.
For years, dog bite laws have been changing, making it more important than ever to speak with Rockford dog bite lawyers who are up to date on all of the most recent news, which will affect your case.
What Should I Do If a Dog Attacks Me in Rockford?
If a dog has attacked you, it's important to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer in Illinois.
They will be able to get all of the evidence and the facts they need to help determine whether or not it's worth pursuing the case while also helping you find out how much your dog attack injuries are worth.
Losing A Loved One through a Wrongful Death Animal Attack
Did your loved one die after being involved in an animal attack? Are you seeking financial compensation to recover your losses and pay for funeral expenses?
Under Illinois law, the state legislature has provided a legal remedy to surviving family members who lost a loved one through another's negligence, including not controlling a pet who bit someone else.
Qualifying family members include surviving spouses, children, parents, grandparents, siblings, and others. By filing a civil lawsuit, each family member can hold the pet owner legally and financially accountable for failing to control their pet.
The law allows the family members to ask the court to order the animal's owner to pay for damages of their loved one killed in Rockford. The damages could include:
- Medical and psychiatric bills
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
Filing a Dog Bite Claim: What Are My Legal Options After Suffering From A Dog Attack?
In most cases, a person bitten by a dog may seek compensation from the dog's owner if they can prove that they were not at fault for the incident. For example, it could include proof that the animal was known to have been aggressive in the past or when it attacked without provocation.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a claim and how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
Hire a Rockford Dog Bite Attorney to Resolve Your Compensation Case and Hold Dog Owners Accountable
At the law offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our Rockford dog bite attorneys represent injured victims and surviving family members suffering injuries and losses due to an animal attack.
Our law firm has been representing personal injury victims throughout the State of Illinois for years. You can trust our knowledgeable legal team seeking compensation on your half.
We're available at our Rockford office 24/7, nights and weekends by cell phone, and our law firm offers free consultations to all new clients wanting to discuss their dog bite cases. Call a dog bite lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice and schedule a free case evaluation.
Our Rockford, IL dog bite attorneys accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you pay nothing until your Rockford dog attack attorney resolves your dog bite case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our Rockford dog bite lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.