April 6, 2021
Most Common Animal Attacks
Animals are unpredictable by nature. Any animal, both wild and domesticated, can potentially attack and cause severe injury or illness. Some animals attack more frequently than others. But if an animal attacked, you could be entitled to financial compensation if another party’s negligence caused or contributed to your injuries.
The Chicago personal injury lawyers with Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. explain which animal attacks more often and how you could recover compensation. If you have questions, call us at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation about your options.
Animal Attacks in Illinois
While most Chicagoans don’t encounter wild animals that often, you can be attacked by wild animals in Illinois, such as the timber rattlesnake, brown recluse spider, and the occasional coyote. However, your chances of being bit or attacked by someone’s pet are far more likely.
Pets that can attack include:
- Exotic animals
Dog Bites Are Most Common Animal Attack
While many of these animals can attack, none come close to the number of dog bites across the United States. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that there are more than 4.5 million attacks by dogs every year.
Dog bites can be vicious and cause severe injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Some dog bites are so severe that they are fatal.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
Get medical care right away. Dogs can transmit parasites, bacteria, and viruses in their blood and saliva. Treatment for dog bites includes wound care, antibiotics to avoid infection, and the possibility of certain vaccines, including rabies.
After you see a medical provider, call an Illinois dog bite lawyer. You could recover damages for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.
How to Get Compensated for an Animal Attack
Were you seriously injured in a dog or other animal attack? A dog bite lawyer may be able to help you get the most out of your claim. In 2019, there were more than 850 insurance claims filed for dog bites in Illinois.
There are two ways to recover money damages after an animal attack: file an insurance claim with the dog owner’s property or renter’s insurance; or file a personal injury lawsuit if you cannot settle with the insurance company.
A dog bite lawyer with Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can file your claim, negotiate a settlement, or take your case to trial, if necessary.
We Build a Case Designed for Maximum Results
Although many dog bite cases are settled outside of court, our legal team is prepared. We build a case using evidence needed to support your case, including:
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Video of the attack
- Vet records
- Other relevant records
A dog bite injury lawyer is with you throughout this process.
We seek both economic (monetary) and non-economic (non-financial) damages on your behalf.
Economic damages could include:
- Lost income
- Costs of mental health counseling
- Other medical expenses and equipment
- Property damage
- Diminished earning capacity
- Costs of household maintenance
- Childcare expenses
Non-economic damages might include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of society and support
- Emotional distress
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Damage to your reputation
You could be awarded punitive damages as well. These are beyond the losses you’re entitled to recover. They are the court’s way of punishing the liable party for deplorable actions. Though rarely awarded, they could greatly increase your injury settlement.
Illinois Dog Bite Laws
Illinois is a strict liability state for dog bites. This means that it is irrelevant if the dog has previously bitten anyone before. Dog owners have an obligation to take reasonable measures to prevent their dogs from harming people or other pets. Any breach in this duty that causes severe injury may be grounds for a civil claim.
Some of the reasonable measures that dog owners are expected to take include:
- Using a leash or harness
- Keeping the dog in a fenced backyard or kennel
- Registering their dog and making sure it is properly vaccinated and tagged
People who are injured while trespassing or committing a crime probably cannot recover damages. This is also true if the victim provoked the dog into behaving aggressively.
Deadline for Dog Bite Lawsuit
If you or your attorney cannot recover compensation from an insurance claim, you might have to go to court. Illinois has a statute of limitations, or deadline, for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Under state law, you have two years to file a lawsuit. If your claim isn’t filed before the statute of limitations expires, you lose the chance to seek compensation in civil court.
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Illinois
Animals attack people every day and often because owners fail to uphold their legal responsibility. If you or a loved one are suffering from a dog bite or other animal attack, you could be awarded compensation.
An Illinois dog bite lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is ready to help.