Each year, a number of people in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois are victims of dog bites. If a dog has bitten you, you may be frightened, in pain, and confused about what to do next. But rest assured that you do not need to go through the process alone. If you or someone close to you has been attacked by a dog in Illinois, it is important to reach out to a Skokie dog bite lawyer who can explore your options. At Injury Lawyers of Illinois, we can meticulously review the facts of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your injury claim.Dog Bites Cause Serious Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 4.5 million dog bites take place in the United States each year. This means that one out of every 72 people experience a dog bite. The CDC found that about 900,000 of those bites become infected. Unfortunately, the state of Illinois had the second-highest rate of dog bite injury claims in the country in 2012 and 2013, according to a State Farm report. The insurance company reported that Illinois had 309 dog bite injury claims, costing a staggering $8.9 million and accounting for a full 10 percent of all dog attack claims paid by the company nationwide.
While anyone might be a victim of a dog bite, children, postal workers, and family and friends of dog owners are most commonly the victims. Dog bites can result in a variety of injuries, including but not limited to:
- Broken bones;
- Severed limbs;
- Loss of consciousness;
- Anxiety and depression; and
- Scarring and permanent disfigurement.
Our Skokie dog bite attorneys understand that these incidents can mean a long and painful road to recovery. Not only can the injuries be extremely painful, but also they may leave the victim disfigured and severely scarred. These injuries can take a serious psychological and emotional toll on the victim. Under Illinois law, dog bite victims may be able to claim a variety of damages, such as medical expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, disfigurement, and more. Each case is different, and, of course, the exact amount of compensation in a particular case will depend on the specific injuries in the case.
The Illinois Animal Control Act holds dog owners liable for injuries and damages sustained by an unprovoked dog or other animal. Under the Act, individuals who “own” or “harbor” animals are liable for any damages suffered by victims of any animal attack. In other words, if you are injured by a dog bite, you will likely be able to recover damages for your harm from the dog owner with the assistance of a dog bite attorney in Skokie or surrounding areas. Illinois is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites, which means that the owner of a dog would be liable for the bite and could not argue that he or she had no warning of the animal’s aggressive tendencies. Put another way, the dog owner would be liable regardless of whether he or she was negligent.
Under Illinois law, victims of dog bites must file their claims within a certain deadline, known as the statute of limitations. A dog bite victim generally has two years from the date of the accident to file a claim in civil court. Failing to file a claim within this time frame could mean losing your right to compensation altogether.Seek Representation from a Dog Bite Lawyer in Skokie or Elsewhere in Cook County
Dogs are often loving, loyal companions that are valuable members of our families. The unfortunate reality, however, is that some dogs bite. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a dog bite, we can help. Our knowledgeable injury attorneys understand how to navigate dog bite cases and hold the responsible parties accountable. We represent victims in the Greater Chicago area as well as other locations in Cook County, such as Lincolnwood, Skokie, Evanston, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, and Jefferson Park. For more information, call (847) 982-9516 or 313-929-3807, or contact us online for a free consultation. We can also assist victims who have been injured by a defective condition on another party’s property or in another type of accident.