They may be “man’s best friend,” but any dog can bite, and the statistics are quite startling. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year.
Of those who are bitten, the CDC reports that nearly one in five will require medical attention. Closer to home, the Illinois State Bar reported that in 2017 State Farm paid out $14 million in claims arising from dog bite injuries, the second highest number in the nation. Clearly, dog bite injuries happen much more frequently than you think, and the injuries can be severe.
If you’ve been attacked and bitten by a dog, you may be in pain and wondering what to do next. The experienced dog bite attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you deal with every aspect of the situation. From getting medical help to dealing with insurers, our Illinois personal injury lawyers, will advise you of your options, and explain what your claim is worth. More importantly, we can help you recover the compensation that you need and deserve.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (217) 528-9955 or contact us online. We don’t charge up-front fees and are only pain when you recover compensation.
The Law in Illinois Regarding Dog Bites
Generally speaking, most personal injury cases are based on a negligence standard, meaning that the victim must prove that the at-fault party’s carelessness caused their injury. While this makes sense in the context of a car accident, it’s a little more complicated in a dog bite case. After all, dogs are animals who may not always behave predictably or may get away despite the owner’s best efforts.
For these reasons, most states have laws that specifically address injuries suffered from dog attacks. Illinois’ dog bite statute is found in the Animal Control Act. The law allows for dog bite victims to recover compensation for their injuries if the following elements are met:
- The dog attacked, attempted to attack, or injured the victim;
- The dog was not provoked; and
- The victim had the legal right to be where they were when they were attacked (for example, the victim was not trespassing on the dog owner’s property).
If these three elements are met, then the owner may be held liable for all of the damages resulting from the dog bite. In addition, it’s important to note that the owner may be held liable for any injury, not just a dog bite. For example, the owner may be held responsible if their dog knocked the victim down and caused a concussion.
Illinois’ Strict Liability Standard for Dog Bites
Illinois law regarding dog bites is considered a “strict liability” statute. This means that the dog owner may be held liable based on the simple fact that the dog bit you. This is unlike many other states that follow the “one bite rule,” which requires the dog to have bitten someone previously for the owner to be held liable. As a result, Illinois law is very favorable in helping dog bite victims recover damages.
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If you’ve been hurt, it can be hard to know where to start. We begin every case with a free, no-risk evaluation. We’ll discuss your situation, answer your questions, and determine what comes next. Act now and get the recovery you deserve.
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