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What to Know About Dog Bite Claims in Illinois

If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog, it can be a scary time. You likely have a number of questions and concerns about who will be paying for your medical bills, time off work, and your emotional trauma. Illinois law has a specific dog bite statute that explains how pursuing a claim in the state works. It is important that after you seek medical treatment, you contact an Illinois dog bite attorney right away. These types of claims can be complex, and you need an attorney who has experience handling them both in and out of court.

Here is what you need to know about dog bite claims in Illinois.

Illinois Dog Bite Statute

In order to recover for your injuries and damages after being bitten by a dog, Illinois statute 510 ILCS 5/16 states that if you want to prove that the dog’s owner is liable for your injuries, you must show the following:

  • The dog attempted to attack, attacked, or injured you;
  • You were lawfully permitted to be where you were attacked or injured at the time of the attack or injury; and
  • You did not provoke the dog.

This statute applies not only to bites but to any injuries caused by the dog’s other behaviors. An example is if you are walking down the street and a dog runs up to you and knocks you to the ground, causing you to be injured. In this case, you could pursue compensation for your damages under the applicable Illinois dog bite statute.

There is also something called strict liability that can apply in Illinois. Dog owners cannot say they were unaware that their dog was aggressive. If the dog bites you in an unprovoked attack and injures you, the owner is liable even if he or she had no warning that the dog had aggressive tendencies.

Common Illinois Dog Bite Injuries

There are some injuries that are more common than others when it comes to dog bite injuries. These can include:

  • Eye injuries
  • Scars
  • Nerve damage
  • Puncture wounds
  • Infections
  • Head and neck wounds
  • Face injuries
  • Emotional trauma
  • Rabies

Even minor bites should be taken seriously. You could develop a secondary infection, or if the dog was wild, there is a risk of rabies. It is important to seek medical attention immediately following a dog bite. Scarring is a common result from many dog bites, and the sooner you seek medical treatment, the better the wound will heal.

Contact an Illinois Dog Bite Attorney Today

In most cases, the dog owner’s insurance company will fight liability to keep from paying out a claim. The two most common defenses are trespassing and provocation. The dog owner will likely try to claim that you were trespassing or that you provoked the dog in some way. This is why it is important to have skilled legal representation who knows how to pursue dog bite claims. If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog, contact Brassfield & Krueger, LTD today to schedule an initial consultation.

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