If you or a child were bitten by a dog in Chicago, Illinois, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Chicago dog bite lawyer at Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys can help you fight for the money you deserve. Your damages award may cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our lawyers have decades of combined experience standing up for injured clients in Chicago, after being involved in a Chicago premises liability case, catastrophic injury accident, bicycle accident, Chicago negligent security case, slip and fall accident, or any other type of accident. We’ve recovered numerous multi-million dollar settlements over the years–and we’re ready to fight for you.
How Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers at Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help With a Dog Bite Injury Claim
Dog attacks can cause serious physical injuries. Victims often struggle with fear and PTSD for years after their injuries have healed. Some even experience permanent disfigurement and scarring.
While Illinois laws are designed to protect dog bite victims, insurance companies can make the process difficult. An experienced Chicago injury lawyer at Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys can help. We know how to deal with large insurance companies and their defense teams. We’ll handle all of the legal issues while you recover.
When we handle your dog bite case, we will:
- Gather evidence to establish your right to compensation
- Assess your damages
- Defend you if you’re blamed for provoking the animal
- Hire experts when needed to prove elements of your case
- Protect you from any lowball settlement deals or insurance scare tactics
- Negotiate with the insurance companies for the full compensation you deserve
The thought of filing a lawsuit can be overwhelming. Let our Chicago personal injury attorneys handle the details. Contact us today to schedule a free case review to learn more.
How Common Are Dog Bites in Illinois?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Over 800,000 dog bite victims require medical attention due to the animal attack. Unfortunately, children are the most common victims of dog bites.
Illinois is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to dog bite injuries. Insurance companies paid out about $49 million in dog bite injury settlements in 2022 alone.
How Much Is My Chicago Dog Bite Injury Case Worth?
Many injured people hesitate to take legal action because they aren’t sure that it’s worth it. That’s understandable. After all, dealing with insurance companies is rarely pleasant. A lengthy legal battle can take up time, energy, and money.
You deserve to know what you’re getting into. Our lawyers in Chicago can help you understand how much your personal injury case is worth during a free consultation.
While all cases are different, the value of most personal injury claims depends heavily on the following factors:
- The nature and severity of your injuries
- The nature and cost of your medical treatment to date
- Your anticipated need for future medical care, surgeries, or therapies
- The value of your lost wages during recovery
- Whether the injury is expected to impact your future earnings
- The trauma of the dog’s attack, considering the victim’s identity
- Your personal pain and suffering
- Whether you’re expected to suffer any long-term disability or permanent scarring
The dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy or renter’s insurance policy should cover damages associated with your dog bite injuries. The amount of coverage available could also impact your case value.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Chicago Dog Bite Victims?
As a dog bite victim in Chicago, you should recover economic and non-economic damages under Illinois personal injury laws.
Economic damages offset your financial costs, including:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Reconstructive surgeries
Non-economic damages compensate for the trauma of the dog bite and injury and may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Depression or anxiety
Dog bite injuries have the potential to cause life-long consequences. As the victim, it’s important to recover fair compensation to account for both past and future losses.
Our legal team at Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys is here to help you fight for fair compensation. To learn more about your legal options after a dog bite, call us for a free case evaluation.
How Do I Prove I Deserve Compensation if I Was Bitten By a Dog in Illinois?
In some states, dog owners can avoid financial responsibility if their dog has never bitten anyone before. In these “one bite rule” states, dog owners are generally only responsible for damages if they knew their dog had vicious tendencies. Other states only hold the owner liable for medical bills.
Illinois is different. Under Illinois law, dog owners are responsible for all of a dog bite victim’s injuries, regardless of whether the dog was aggressive. However, victims must prove a few different things even under this “strict liability” dog bite law.
To recover compensation, you must prove:
- You were on public property or lawfully on private property (dog owners are not liable to trespassers)
- You were behaving peacefully
- You did nothing to provoke the dog to bite
- You were injured and suffered damages due to the dog bite
Unlike some states, the strict liability law applies even if the dog did not actually bite you. Many people are injured when a dog attacks or attempts to attack them, even if they aren’t actually bitten.
Does the Dog Owner Have Any Defenses to the Strict Liability Dog Bite Law?
Yes. Several different defenses are actually built into the Illinois dog bite law.
For example, the owner may avoid strict liability if:
- You provoked the dog to bite in some way
- You were trespassing
- The owner provided an adequate warning about the dangerous dog
Even if the strict liability law does not apply, dog owners can still be liable for their own negligence. For example, a dog’s owner may have been negligent if they violated Chicago leash laws and allowed the dog to roam freely.
If the dog’s owner denies responsibility, contact our experienced dog bite injury lawyers right away. When you enlist our legal team, you can rest assured that we’ll do everything we can to help you recover the fair compensation you deserve.
How Are My Legal Rights Impacted if I’m Being Blamed for Provoking a Dog to Bite in Illinois?
Illinois comparative negligence laws only apply in cases involving negligence. Illinois has a strict liability dog bite law. However, the provocation defense is included in the law. If the dog owner can prove that you provoked the dog, you lose your right to compensation under the strict liability law. Instead, you’ll have to prove negligence to recover damages.
Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence law with a 51% bar to recovery. Most personal injury victims can recover partial compensation if their percentage of fault is less than 51%. Once your share of the blame reaches 51%, you can’t recover any compensation at all.
Our Chicago Dog Bite Lawyers Will Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Injuries
Dog bites can severely impact the victim. Depending on the relative size of the dog and the victim, the injuries you suffer can be much more extensive than the bite itself. It’s always important to seek medical attention if you’ve suffered a dog bite injury.
At Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys, our lawyers in Chicago often represent victims of animal attacks who suffer:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries and vision loss
- Dental injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Organ damage
- Amputations caused by infection
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Fatal dog bite injuries are rare, but they do happen. If you lost a loved one due to serious dog bite injuries, our wrongful death lawyers can help you fight for fair compensation.
In Cook County, dog bites should be reported to local law enforcement. That way, the authorities can observe and test the animal for rabies and other harmful diseases.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit in Illinois?
The statute of limitations in Illinois personal injury cases is two years. You have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois. If you wait longer, you lose your right to sue for damages. That also means the insurance company is unlikely to offer a fair settlement.
Courts enforce the two-year deadline strictly. We highly recommend speaking with a lawyer sooner rather than later if a dog attacks or injures you. That way, we can take steps to preserve your right to compensation today.
Contact a Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer to Schedule a Free Consultation
Negligent dog owners should be held accountable when a dog hurts someone. If you or a loved one were injured by a dog in Chicago, call Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago dog bite attorney. We know the law–and we know how to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Visit Our Personal Injury Law Office in Chicago, IL
Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys
10 S La Salle St STE 1230
Chicago, IL 60603
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