If you are attacked by someone else’s dog, you can suffer horrible injuries. The physical damage can be very painful, and it can take a long time to heal. This attack can make your life very difficult, and it can be a long time until you are able to return to work, school, or other routine activities. Do not delay in calling an experienced Springfield dog bite attorney to help you recover the damages you need.
Life can be very complicated after a serious dog attack. In addition to terrible injuries, you may not be sure what to do next. Dog bite lawsuits can be complex, and the other party might be very unhelpful or trying to redirect blame onto you. Illinois law does allow you to recover compensation after being injured by someone else’s dog. Your attorney must be familiar with local dog and pet ordinances, and understand how to demonstrate liability in your case. Our Springfield personal injury lawyers have helped many victims through every step of the claims process after suffering a terrible personal injury.
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There Are Many Dog Bite Injury Victims In Illinois
Animal attacks can come out of nowhere and catch anyone off guard. This is especially true with attacks by dogs. These animals live in our neighborhoods, and we generally consider them to be a part of daily life. Unfortunately many domestic dogs pose serious threats to people. While accurate dog bite statistics are hard to come by, there are hundreds of serious dog attacks on people every year in Illinois. Recently a three year old Springfield girl was suddenly attacked by two pit bulls without much warning. Although she is expected to recover, she needed numerous surgeries and a long hospital stay. Additionally, a city worker received several bites from a dog while she was on the job. These incidents rarely allow the victims more than a few seconds to react.
Any dog can become dangerous if it chooses to attack. Even a small animal can cause a serious injury. Our lawyers know that acting with dog bite defense in mind can still result in harm to a victim. According to the Center for Disease Control, the most common dog bites by breed are inflicted by:
- Cocker Spaniels
- Bull Terriers
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
Negligence Law Regarding A Dog Bite
People must take reasonable steps to make sure that their dogs don’t cause unnecessary harm to others. Going further, many counties and municipalities have more specific requirements for pet owners. For example, in Springfield you must have a dog on a leash when in public if the animal poses a danger of attacking someone. Illinois law regarding animal attacks is governed by a rule called “strict liability”. This means that a person is liable for the actions of their pet or livestock, and cannot argue that they are not liable since they didn’t have any forewarning of the danger posed by the animal. Therefore, if a person owns a dog that bites someone, their only two defenses are that the person provoked the dog, or that the person was trespassing. Lawyers for dog bites in Springfield Illinois must understand Illinois negligence laws as well as local rules and ordinances.
Recovering damages in a personal injury case requires demonstrating how the other party acted in a negligent fashion. Specifically when it comes to a dog bite claim, your Springfield dog bite attorney must be able to show each of the following:
- The dog in question attacked or attempted to attack you
- You had a lawful right to be in the place where your dog injury happened
- You did not unreasonably act in a manner to provoke the dog
Dog Bite Injuries Can Be Serious And Long Lasting
Every dog bite is traumatic, and the physical harm done can be extensive. While accident injuries generally tend to be unique, this is especially true with a dog attack. Your dog bite symptoms can include emotional distress, loss or limited use of limbs, and even organ damage. Disease can be spread by an animal attack, and a dog bite infection can cause catastrophic harm if not quickly addressed by medical professionals. Your Springfield dog bite attorney must understand your injuries and the impact that they will have on your life. Gaining the full financial damages you deserve requires accurately showing the harm that has been inflicted upon you.
No two dog bites are the same. Your wounds may not cause permanent damage, or the effects can be long lasting. The nature of animal bites makes the injuries especially devastating to the victims. Dogs attack in order to cause debilitating damage, and the wounds sometimes have a very hard time healing. Injuries that you can sustain from a dog bite include:
- Torn skin and muscle tissue
- Broken or fractured bones
- Nerve damage that may be permanent
- Infections that develop around the bite wound
- Transmission of rabies or other serious diseases
- Organs damage through tears or punctures
- Post traumatic stress disorder
Steps To Take If You Or A Loved One Has Been Attacked By A Dog
Animal bites must be treated by medical professionals as soon as possible. The tissue damage that you sustain can be devastating, and animal attacks are known to result in disease being transmitted to the victim. One or several dogs can still pose a serious threat after the attack has ended. For this reason, we strongly encourage getting to safety before you do anything else. A dog may be confused and incorrectly feel threatened by your presence. Acting without delay is necessary to ensure your full recovery and to have the opportunity to file a successful claim for damages. While every case is unique, some steps to take after you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog include:
- Call 911 – Seek emergency medical attention immediately. Be sure to report your attack to police when you are able.
- Contact your attorney – An experienced Springfield dog bite attorney will understand how to help you through the entire recovery process. Building a strong case for damages against the negligent party can take time, so seek skilled legal help as soon as possible.
- Write down information about your attack – Writing details down can help you better recall events as time goes on. Inform your lawyer about every detail including information about the dog and its owner.
- Document your injuries – Take photos of your injuries as soon as possible. These records can help your lawyer build a case for financial damages.
- Take your recovery seriously – Animal bites can be difficult to heal. Follow through with your doctor, and make sure to ask how your injuries will affect your health going forward.
Do Not Delay In Calling A Dog Bite Attorney
It’s common for the victims of animal attacks to be uncertain about what steps they should take next. You may not know if the dog’s owner holds responsibility for your injury. Don’t agree to any compensation or damages before speaking with your lawyer first. You have the right to a financial recover from the negligent party, but they and their insurance provider might be very unhelpful as they seek to pay out as little as possible. Seeking an acceptable settlement offer requires building a strong case. Your Springfield dog attack lawyer must know how to gather all relevant evidence regarding your injury. This includes your medical information, the dog’s history, and witness and first responder reports regarding your attack.
Our dog bite attorneys have years of experience helping victims, but Illinois statute of limitations can prevent you from recovering if you wait too long. Dog bites and other personal injury cases must be filed within two years of the injury to the victim. If you do not make your claim within this period of time it’s likely that your case will be thrown out of court before you can recover damages. After suffering from a terrible dog bite, you can recover financial compensation for the following:
- Medical bills – You may need costly ongoing medical attention. In addition to helping pay your medical bills, you can get damages to help with future therapy needs.
- Lost wages – Many animal attack victims are unable to return to work for a long time. Your damages can include current lost wages and lost earning potential.
- Pain and suffering – The pain inflicted by an animal bite can be very difficult to live with. Scars and limited mobility can cause a victim great suffering.
- Post traumatic stress disorder – You may need professional treatment to address the significant trauma that was inflicted in your dog attack.
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help After A Dog Attack
Dog bites cause serious harm to many victims in Springfield and throughout Illinois every year. Your injuries can require a long time to heal, and it’s possible that you may never fully recover. The traumatic attack you sustained can leave you confused and overwhelmed. Getting your life back on track requires hiring a skilled Springfield dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. understands how to build a strong case for compensation after a dog attack. Given our state’s statute of limitations, it’s important to act without delay in filing a legal claim. Your Springfield dog bite attorney must understand how to investigate an animal attack and recover your damages in court if you do not receive an acceptable financial settlement offer.
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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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