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Dog bites or dog attacks are no laughing matter. If you have been injured by a dog bite or dog attack reach out to a specialized dog bite lawyer here in Chicago at Marc. J Shuman & Associates. We are here to ensure you get the specialized protection and care you need.
According to research from Dogsbite.org victims of severe dog attacks often suffer acute damage. This can lead to specialized medical expenses that are as high as $250,000 to $1,000,000 for the required treatment.
If a victim requires reconstructive surgery, like a skin graft, tissue expansion or scar diminishment, they are likely facing the need for multiple procedures that can take several years to complete.
Did you know that across the U.S. 39% of emergency department visits because of dog bites result in injuries that require specialized orthopedic treatment? 1 of every 13 of those visits requires immediate emergency care.
“In 2019, homeowner’s insurers across the U.S. paid out $797 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries. The average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 134 percent from 2003 to 2019.1″
Nationwide, the rate of dog bite injuries is on the rise. The National Center for Biotechnology Information estimated that for each US dog bite fatality there are about 670 hospitalizations and 16000 ED visits.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, an ordinance passed in Chicago in 2001 which penalizes irresponsible owners of “dangerous dogs.”
The city of Chicago can fine dog owners $300 if a dog is allowed to run unsecured, and $10,000, with the possibility of jail time, if that dog attacks someone.
Owners of a dog involved in an attack and subsequently deemed dangerous by Chicago Animal Care and Control have up to 10 days after the declaration to purchase no less than $100,000 in liability insurance. Also, the dog would be required to be neutered and have an identifying microchip implanted at the expense of the owner.
Lawyers that specialize in dog bites are a big help:
Dog attacks represent some of the most gruesome and upsetting personal injuries, particularly when suffered by helpless parties such as children or the elderly. Dog bite victims often receive lasting physical damages as well as emotional pain and fear.
Should a bite occur, it is important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible. Our team can help a victim by gathering all the necessary information and interviewing witnesses. We will make sure there are pictures of the injuries and the scene of the attack and we can pursue a lawsuit for damages to cover the cost of necessary medical treatment.
Having a specialized dog bite lawyer available to guide you and your case through the system will give you peace of mind, and ensure that your needs medically and financially are being protected and fought for while you recover from such a traumatic event.
Your dog bite lawyer will also make sure that documentation of your injuries is sound and will enlist the help of medical experts to help your claim. They will help you to ensure that you identify the attacking dog and ascertain the name of the dog’s owner, collect the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the incident and take photos of the scene of the attack and your injuries.
Our Chicago team can help with your dog bite or dog attack claims:
The team at Marc. J Shuman & Associates serve the Greater Chicago Area and beyond. We will send an investigator to the scene of the attack, and make sure your doctor properly saves all evidence of your injuries.
We will make sure that all your paperwork is exact in regard to your injuries and where necessary we will enlist the help of medical experts for your claim. This helps keep your direct involvement to a minimum while finding out everything that is necessary to build a case against the at-fault party.
Since 1996, the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates have been helping dog bite victims, including all injured victims and their families, navigate the complex legal process. We can help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf.
The Law Office of Marc J. Shuman & Associates has over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 25,000 injury victims and their families. We advocate on your behalf so you can focus on the task of recovery.
Illinois Dog Bite FAQ
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a dog bite?
Dog bites fall under the category of Personal Injury in the State of Illinois. You have two years after the time of your injury, when the dog bit you, to file a lawsuit in Illinois. If you wait too long after the attack occurred, you would be precluded from bringing your claim.
Make sure that you receive proper medical care and consult with an experienced Dog Bite Lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. This can help with making sure that everything is on track for you to be taken care of and that you receive the proper compensation to cover your medical expenses from your injury.
How do I prove that a dog’s owner was responsible when their dog bit me?
Illinois follows a legal theory referred to as ‘Strict Liability’. If a dog attacked or injured you, and you had a lawful right to be in the place of the attack – for example, it was in a public place, or you had been invited to their property, the owner is responsible for your injuries. This is true even if they had no previous knowledge that the animal might be dangerous, as long as you had not provoked the animal.
My dog bit someone who snuck into my yard and taunted him. Am I responsible?
There are two situations when a dog owner is not responsible for the injuries received from a dog bite or other injury inflicted from their dogs. When a dog was provoked, such as through teasing or physical abuse, the person who provoked the dog is responsible, not the owner of the dog. Secondly, if someone trespassed on the dog owner’s property, then they were not lawfully on that property and therefore not protected by Illinois law. In that situation, the owner would not be not liable for their injuries.
What should I do after suffering a dog bite?
First, you should get immediate medical attention. Even a relatively minor dog bite can result in the transmission of dangerous diseases like rabies, which can be fatal without proper treatment. Contact a Dog Bite lawyer as soon as possible so that we can help you with the investigation and paperwork needed to move your case forward and protect your rights.
In addition, take photograph your injuries for evidence. Keep copies of your medical expenses and records stemming from your bite injury. Report the incident to animal control and the police and keep a copy of their reports. Also, keep a record of any correspondence between yourself and the dog’s owner or insurance.
My dog was attacked and hurt by another dog, what can I do?
If the other dog owner was negligent in preventing their dog from attacking yours – for example, if they were off the leash, or they did not make an effort to keep them under control – then they could be liable for the injuries of your dog. This could include compensation for vet bills, medications for your dog, or kennel fees while your dog is recovering. A Dog Bite Lawyer may be able to help you determine if you could be eligible for this.
I was hurt while running from an aggressive dog. Can I still make a claim?
Often, yes. If you have received an injury while running away from a dog who is threatening you, you are also protected by Illinois law. The most frequent outcome to this kind of case is that the dog owner’s homeowners insurance will have to pay for the medical bills and lost wages resulting from the dog attack.
If I’ve been bitten by a stray dog, what should I do?
First, as always, seek medical attention. Afterwards, you will want to report the incident to Animal Control so that they can catch the dog and observe it to make sure that it isn’t rabid, or to find its owner, if applicable. You may be required to take rabies vaccinations in order to protect you, as rabies can often be fatal in humans.
Other than my medical expenses, what damages can I claim for a dog bite?
While your medical expenses are a significant part of any claim stemming from a dog bite, some of the common damages stemming from dog bite lawsuits include:
- Lost income, should you be unable to work for a period of time following your injury
- Pain and suffering, such as when the victim was a child who suffers from nightmares or a fear of dogs stemming from the attack; as well as disfigurement from scarring, or other injuries such as nerve damage.
- Property damage, if your property or belongings were damaged as a result of the attack.