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Receiving Injury Compensation After a Dog Attack

Posted on in BGL Law
Receiving Injury Compensation After a Dog AttackWhile many people are fond of dogs, there are instances when a dog may attack someone unprovoked. Dog bites can be particularly painful and expensive to treat because of the threat of:

  • Rabies;
  • Tetanus;
  • Infection; and
  • Damage to vital areas.

Owners are often liable for injuries that their dog inflicts on another person or animal. Illinois has a statute regarding personal injury cases involving dog attacks and when the owner is responsible for damages.

What You Should Do

If a dog has bitten or otherwise attacked you, there are several measures you need to take for your safety and the future success of a personal injury case:

  • Get your injuries treated immediately. A medical professional can determine the extent of your injuries and take precautions against any infection or transmittable disease. You will also establish a medical record of your injuries to use as evidence in your case.
  • Report the incident to the police. If you believe the dog is dangerous or vicious, the authorities need to know, so that the dog is confined. A police report of the incident will also be important evidence in proving the circumstances of the attack.
  • Seek legal guidance. A personal injury attorney can tell you how soon you must file your civil case and what compensation you may be able to receive.

Strict Liability

Some states require a dog attack victim to prove that the owner was negligent in order to receive personal injury compensation. However, Illinois follows a strict liability policy that holds owners responsible for their dog's actions, even if the dog has no history of violence. According to Illinois law, the owner of any animal is liable for civil damages if his or her animal injures a person, as long as the victim was not:

  • Committing a crime;
  • Trespassing on private property;
  • Provoking the animal; or
  • Threatening the owner.

Injury Claims

As with other personal injury cases, you can request compensation for a variety of expenses, as long as they are related to the dog attack. Common claims include:

  • Medical bills for immediate treatment and rehabilitation;
  • Property damage;
  • Mental suffering resulting from the incident; and
  • Lost income if the injury incapacitated you.

When to Seek Damages

Some dog attack victims are reluctant to seek personal injury compensation or report the attack to the police. They may be friends with the dog's owner or fear that the dog will be euthanized. As the victim, you need to consider what your injuries may cost you and the risk the dog may pose to yourself and others. Before making a decision, you can discuss your options with a McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC. Call 815-338-3838 to schedule a free consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1704&ChapterID=41

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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