In the United States, dog bites happen every day. Usually, the situation is minor and goes unreported. In other circumstances, a dog bite or attack creates a pile of medical expenses and emotional trauma for the victim.
Therefore, seeking the aid of a dog bite lawyer in Chicago will help you navigate through Illinois’ many specific dog bite laws.
Receiving a personal injury is one of the main reasons to seek help from an attorney in a dog attack situation. Furthermore, with a severe bite injury, you should seek medical attention immediately. Your health, or the health of a loved one, should always be the first priority.
After proper medical treatment, continue to follow all medical instructions as directed. During medical treatment at the emergency room, hospital stays or follow up care, document and keep all paperwork pertaining to your injury.
In Illinois, you have a deadline of two years from the exact day of the bite to file a claim. Furthermore, a lawyer will need all the medical information you saved during the claims process.
Another factor in considering hiring a lawyer is evidence of the circumstances surrounding the claim. To be successful in a dog bite lawsuit, you must prove three vital elements to show the owner of the animal is liable:
- You must be able to prove the dog caused the injuries. Therefore, the documentation of your medical treatment will provide the proof you need for your case.
- The victim of the attack had a right to be in the area where they received the bite. Therefore, if you entered a secure dog pen with proper ‘beware of dog’ warning signage posted, you may be responsible for your injuries. Or if you were trespassing at the time of the dog bite, you cannot hold the owner accountable.
- The dog was not provoked by the victim. If you were teasing or hitting the dog, you may be held accountable for your own injuries, not the dog owner.
In Illinois, the law covers both the injured party and the dog owner. However, if the correct elements can be proven in court, the owner will have to pay compensation. Each dog attack situation is different.
Seeking the advice from an experienced dog bite lawyer in Chicago is the best way to determine if you have a valid claim.