Dog Bite Lawyer in Chicago
Legal Rights of Dog Bite Victims
Illinois is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bite cases and has a clear law, which states that a dog owner is liable for negligence that results in any injury caused by the animal. A dog bite victim has clearly defined legal rights in the state of Illinois.
The right to retain an attorney
If you have been bitten by a dog or any animal, you will be well-served to hire a reputed and knowledgeable Chicago animal bite attorney who specializes in dog bite or animal attack cases. No amount of personal knowledge on the subject can match a skilled dog bite injury attorney, who can help protect your rights, identify your legal options and help recover damages.
In the state of Illinois, dog owners are bound by what is known as “strict liability.” What this means is that the animal owner is responsible for the attack and resultant injuries irrespective of the circumstances. It means that even if the owner has restrained the dog and has taken precautions, he or she is still liable if the animal attacks someone. The victim in this case, has the right to file a civil lawsuit against the owner to recover damages. In many cases, victims desperately need this money to pay for medical bills, cosmetic surgery, pain medication and court costs.
When the attack is provoked
If the dog or animal attacks as a result of the victim’s provocation, the animal owner may claim “contributory negligence,” which means that the victim’s negligence contributed to the attack. In such cases, victims may not be able to claim damages. The same may be true if the victim was trespassing on private property where he or she had no permission to be or if the victim was in the process of committing a crime such as a break-in or a burglary.
Right to compensation and damages
Most dog bite cases are settled out of court among attorneys and insurance companies. When these cases do go to court, juries award compensation, mostly to cover medical expenses. Sometimes, judges will award lost wages to the victim or for pain and suffering that resulted from the injuries. In cases where plaintiffs can prove that the dog owner deliberately and maliciously ordered the attack, punitive damages may be awarded as well.
If you or a loved one has been attacked and severely injured by a dog, call Page Law at (800) 227-2727 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer.
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Download our helpful Dog Bite Guide including bonus checklist, written by attorney John J. Page.
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