Waukegan Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites are not just painful but can also be costly. For example, the average hospital charge for treating a serious dog bite injury is $18,000-$30,000! In addition, a victim of a severe attack may also be forced to miss work or even lose their job while recovering from their dog bite injuries.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, will help guide you through every step of this process. In addition, we can help you file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the owner to cover your expenses and receive compensation for pain and suffering caused by this incident.
Call Waukegan, Illinois, personal injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the CDC, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. One out of five dog bites requires medical treatment for the victim, while 4% to 5% results in fractures or disfigurement.
Children are at the greatest risk of getting attacked by a dog. Almost 50% of all nonfatal bites are inflicted on children. The most commonly affected age group is 5- to 9-year olds, who account for more than 25% of all dog bite victims.
Dog Bite Lawsuits
Negligence is the basis for a lawsuit against a dog owner that has attacked another person or pet. The victim must show that the owner either knew or should have known about the dog's tendency to attack. This liability may be shared by others who had custody of the dog at the time of the accident. For example, any pet owners aware of multiple complaints about a dangerous dog and who did not do anything to prevent this incident would also be liable under Illinois law.
Dog Bite Lawsuits in Illinois
In Illinois, a dog owner is strictly liable for any damage or injury caused by their pet. There is no need to prove that the owner did anything wrong; the victim may file a suit against them for damages from this attack. It can be done even if they were not on the property where the dog bite injury occurred.
However, the victim must file a claim within five years of the incident, or their injury case will be barred from court.
Everyone is encouraged to follow this advice from the Animal Humane Association of Illinois to protect against dog attacks. Warnings include:
- Never approach an unknown dog, especially one that is confined or chained.
- Whistle to stop a dog from approaching you and then slowly back away until you can retreat to a safe place.
- If a dog knocks you down, curl up in a ball with your head tucked into your chest and protect your face and stomach area with your arms. Do not move or make noise until the dog is removed from the area.
- Never make eye contact with the dog, as this can make the animal more aggressive.
- If a dog does attack you, protect your face and neck with your hands because these are the body's most vulnerable areas.
- Never try to pick up a small child if a dog has bitten them. The child could be further injured or already subjected to a series of painful bites that would not be evident on the surface.
In an Accident? What Do You Do Now?
If you are involved in an accident with a dog, report it to the police immediately. Save any physical evidence from the scene of the incident. It may include the dog's body, blood from when it was hit by a car or when it attacked you, and anything else that could potentially be used as evidence against the owner.
Do not make any statements to insurance companies unless you are represented by an attorney who can negotiate on your behalf. It is because statements given to an insurer can be used against you during a legal case.
As long as the dog owner has known about the dog's tendencies to cause harm, they are responsible for any dog bite injuries it inflicts. It can include psychological damage due to an attack. A dog bite attorney will investigate the incident and determine if this applies to your injury case.
Dog bites can have long-term consequences, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. For more information on dog bites and how you can pursue compensation for your injuries, please visit the law offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today.
Safety Tips If A Dog Attacks You
If you are bitten or injured by a dog, some immediate safety measures to take include:
- Stay calm, so the dog does not become aggressive towards you more than it is already. Even if it has already started attacking, this action can stop additional violence since dogs prefer not to attack when the victim is frightened.
- Seek immediate medical attention even if the only minor dog bites injuries. Dog bites can cause infections or leave lasting damage on your body, so it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Make sure you have all of the pertinent contact information for filing a lawsuit against the animal owner. When filing the complaint, it is best to be as detailed as possible about what occurred.
How to Find the Maximum Compensation for a Waukegan Dog Bite Injury Victim
Victims of dog attacks are entitled to compensation for their injuries, including medical expenses and any other costs incurred as a result. They may also apply for pain and suffering damages provided they can prove that the owner was negligent in controlling their pet at the time of the attack.
If the dog was documented as dangerous, it is up to the owner's insurance company to prove that they took all necessary precautions before it broke free and injured you. It can include providing proof of registration, having a fenced yard, purchasing liability insurance, and more.
You may also qualify for punitive damages if it can be proven that the owner was aware of their dog's tendency to harm others and did nothing about it. Call Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Waukegan, IL.
Dog Bites and Dangerous Animals
The Animal Control Unit enforces all village ordinances, including ones that protect residents from animals considered dangerous. Reports of dogs biting people are not always caused by dogs known to act aggressively but instead often involve dogs that have not been vaccinated against rabies.
In 2011, a German shepherd bit a college student who was passing by his home. Then, the dog attacked another person who tried to help the victim. However, the dog owner claimed he did nothing wrong because he was unaware that the dog had contracted rabies after being bitten by a skunk weeks earlier.
A dangerous animal could cause serious dog bite injuries or death to anyone, including the owner's family members. Filing a civil claim against an animal's owner can help ensure they are held responsible for any damages their animal inflicts.
Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
According to DogBite.org, the most dangerous breeds cause the most serious dog bite injuries to people, including disfiguring mauls, permanent scarring, and even death. However, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) does not suggest that any particular dog breed be considered more dangerous than another.
According to the CDC, there are no reliable estimates on how many dogs are actually in this country because there is no official national registry for these pets. Therefore, it leaves the number subject to substantial variation, depending on whose estimation is used.
The AVMA has stated in a press release that "studies in insurance-claims data have found no evidence to indicate that one particular breed of dog poses greater liability risk than another." Many small breeds of dogs tend to bite more often.
Some dangerous breeds include:
Even dogs that appear nice and adorable can maul attack innocent bystanders who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A Dangerous Loss of Life
According to the Humane Society, between 1979 and 1998, pit bulls killed 184 people in the United States. There were also an additional 279 maimings by these dogs during that period.
In a 2003 report on fatal dog attacks, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) stated that no official national registry was kept on dogs, so the number of dogs may vary. There are no reliable estimates on how many dogs there are in this country because there is no official national pet registry.
A Waukegan dog bite lawyer can help dog bite victims file civil claims against the dog owners to protect them from repeated dangers associated with their pet. An animal owner could be held responsible for the dog-related injuries their pet inflicts, but animal attacks are not always caused by dogs known to act aggressively.
When filing against a dog's owner, it is important to prove that they knew their dog had dangerous propensities. It can often come from witnesses and previous complaints about the dog getting loose and attacking innocent bystanders.
If this is the case and you can prove that the animal owner was aware of their pet's dangerous propensities, it could be easier to get a settlement for your injuries.
The next step in proving your claim is to find evidence that proves your dog bite injury claims, such as medical records, graphic pictures of the injury, and statements from witnesses.
Is It Worth Suing For Dog Bite?
It is best to work with an attorney specializing in dog bite cases to prove that you are owed money for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. Taking on the liability insurance company that represents the animal owner is not easy, so it is best to get legal representation.
Your lawyer can ensure you collect compensation for all your damages that could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- The emotional trauma of the incident
Wrongful Death Dog Attacks
Surviving family members can use the legal remedy of filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the dog owner after losing a loved one from negligence. Illinois law allows a dog attack victim's family to file a lawsuit under negligence, negligent supervision, or reckless conduct.
However, a limitation is that the law allows only a maximum of $25,000 for a person dying from a dog bite. It is because the law views dogs as property and not sentient beings.
Animal Rights in Dog Bite Lawsuits
The problem with lawsuits is that they often blame the dog for being vicious when it's not the dog's fault. For instance, to win a civil case against an animal owner for damages, you must meet certain legal requirements. These conditions include:
- The animal has a propensity to cause harm or dog bite injury
- The victim knows of this
- The owner shares this knowledge, and the owner fails to take corrective action
- The dog bites after a failure of the owner to take appropriate action
It is important to note that if an animal is vicious and the owner cannot control it, that does not automatically mean they are responsible for an incident.
The victim must know the dog's dangerousness. It is done by asking them questions about their interactions with the animal before they were attacked. Unfortunately, many times the person did not know they were in danger. It is why it's important to get the help of a lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases.
The owner can argue that you knew the dog was dangerous or they were unaware of the animal's prior attacks.
Dog Bite Claims
A dog bite claim can be filed to help victims recover costs associated with their injuries, including medical treatment and rehabilitation. The victim will need the assistance of a personal injury attorney for this process.
A dog bite lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation by building your case around the following elements:
- Proof that the animal owner knew their pet had dangerous propensities
- Evidence that shows the dog's owner was negligent in controlling their pet
- Proof of injuries sustained from the attack
In Illinois, a dog owner is strictly liable for any damage or serious injury caused by their pet. Therefore, there is no need to prove that the owner did anything wrong; the victim may file a suit against them for damages from this attack.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC fights for victims of dog attacks in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, McHenry County, and Kane County. In addition, we have an office in Naperville if you need immediate help after a dog attack.
Waukegan dog bite attorneys have years of experience in handling vicious animal attack cases throughout the Chicagoland area. It is because thousands of individuals suffer animal bites every year who require immediate medical attention. In addition, the city of Waukegan, Illinois, has enacted municipal code ordinances to control the animal to protect the lives and well-being of its residents.
Claims for dog bites and dog attacks throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area and Lake County are handled under the umbrella of Illinois personal injury tort law. These laws protect the rights of injured parties when seeking compensation for their serious dog bite injury caused by the negligent actions of another party. It is important because more than 4.5 million dog attacks happen every year in the United States.
Nearly one out of every two dog attacks happen to children 12 years or younger, where the dog's serious bites cause significant injuries to their face, neck, shoulders, and arms. Additionally, Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are the most lethal breeds of dogs in the United States, accounting for nearly three out of four fatalities.
Most fatal dog bites occur within the household where the victim was temporarily living or visiting.
As a response to serious dog attacks that have taken the lives of innocent children, many cities throughout the Chicagoland area have tightened their dog laws to increase the safety of their citizens.
In Bloomington, Illinois, in January 2014, Kara Hartich lost her life on her fourth birthday in an attack by two of the family's unneutered male pit bulls while at home with her grandmother and two-year-old sister. The young child suffered multiple bites to her neck, head, and arms and was unresponsive when rescue personnel arrived.
Animal Control: Waukegan Municipal Code
Chapter 4 in the Waukegan municipal codes contains ordinances involving animal control within the city limits. These ordinances are designed to protect the public and provide detailed information on owning and controlling dogs, cats, and other animals residing in or visiting the city.
Some of these ordinances include:
- Maximum Number of Pets: No one residing in or visiting the city can harbor, own or house more than three dogs or cats in a combined total, except with the written permission of the Waukegan chief of police. (Section 4-5)
- Required Licenses: All dogs and cats four months of age and older must be licensed within 30 days after acquisition. All subsequent renewals of its animal license occur on May 1 of every year. All license tags must be worn by the animal at all times while attached to a durable collar. (Section 4-65)
- Animal Restraint: The city of Waukegan does not permit dogs running at large and instead must be kept under restraint unless utilized in law enforcement or rescue work. All dogs must be secured by a lead or leash while in public and behind the secured high fence of a sufficient, appropriate height based on the animal to prevent reaching over or jumping the wall. (Section 4-41)
- Prohibited Animals: The city of Waukegan does not permit other types of animals other than dogs and cats within its borders that are not recognized as service animals. There are several exceptions, such as animals being housed in proper facilities. (Section 4-3)
- Public Restrooms: The city of Waukegan prohibits individuals from allowing pets inside public bathrooms. (Section 4-22)
- Dog Fouling Ordinances: Any dog's owner, harborer, or keeper must immediately remove and properly dispose of any feces left by their animal at any location in the city. (Section 4-21)
- Animal Abuse: The city of Waukegan prohibits individuals from subjecting their animals to any mistreatment or neglectful behavior, which includes inflicting pain or suffering upon the animal. The city also prohibits people from abandoning their animals in a public place where they would be subject to suffering, taking the animal's life, and neglecting to provide food, water, and shelter. (Section 4-22)
File a Claim for Recompense
In Illinois, the city ordinances protect individuals who have suffered injuries when a dog is attacked by filing a claim or lawsuit against all parties responsible for the incident. However, these types of cases are difficult to litigate when the dog owners refuse to cooperate.
Because of that, victims will often hire animal bite case attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, who specialize in these types of cases.
Personal Injury Lawyers Holding Dog Owners Accountable for Dog Bites in Waukegan
Contact a Cook County dog bite lawyer. Our team of experienced attorneys can build a solid case for compensation to ensure you receive adequate recovery of the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, damages, and injuries.
Were you injured in an Illinois dog attack? Are the dog owners not responding to your information about their insurance company?
We are here to help you. Our team provides free consultations and may even go to court for you to ensure that all of your expenses are covered by the negligent dog owner.