Man and dog have lived side-by-side for at least 14,000 years, if not longer. Today, dogs are kept as pets and companions, and are also used to herd animals, guide disabled persons, and perform myriad other work.
But as friendly and useful as dogs may be, dogs are not always well-tempered. In fact, there are about 4.5 million dog bites reported every year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When an individual is bitten by a dog, knowing which steps to take next and who will pay for medical expenses can be complicated. At the offices of Brassfield Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd., our McHenry dog bite lawyers can guide you through what you need to know.
The state of Illinois actually has statutory language that addresses liability–or who is responsible for damages–for a dog bite. To be sure, 510 ILCS 5/16 states that the owner of a dog is liable for “the full amount of injury” if the bitten victim can prove that:
This means that in almost all cases, if you are bitten by a dog, you can turn to the dog’s owner for compensation.
Bringing forth a Negligence Action
While you can hold a dog bite owner strictly liable per Illinois’ statute, you may choose to bring forth a negligence action instead if you believe that the dog owner’s negligence was the cause of the attack. For example, if the dog owner knew that the dog was dangerous, and did not take reasonable measures to prevent the bite from occurring, they could be held liable for your damages in civil court. You should consider filing a negligence-based if you want to seek damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress, and not just economic damages.
How Our McHenry Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
A dog attack is scary, and can have lasting effects on the victim, ranging from physical disability, scarring, and disfigurement to psychological injuries, like PTSD or a life-long fear of dogs. While the law may hold dog bite owners liable for harm that their dogs cause, recovering damages isn’t always easy. The dog owner may not have a liability insurance policy in place to pay for damages, or an insurance adjuster may refute or deny the claim.
At the law offices of Brassfield Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd., our experienced McHenry dog bite lawyers work hard to help you understand your options for getting paid after a dog causes you or a loved one injury. If you have been attacked by a dog, please contact our law firm today for a free consultation. We work aggressively on your behalf.
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