Illinois Dog Bites and Animal Attacks Attorney
We often hear from clients who are hesitant to pursue a claim after a dog bite or animal attack because they don’t want to “sue their neighbor.” But the truth is, you are not suing your neighbor – you are simply holding them accountable for their actions (or inaction). And if they have insurance, their insurance company will be the one paying any damages that are awarded.
If a dog or another animal has attacked you or someone you love, we want to help. Call us today for a free consultation with one of our Illinois dog bite and animal attack lawyers.
What You Need to Know About Dog Bites and Animal Attacks in Illinois
There are a few things you should know if you or someone you love has been the victim of a dog bite or animal attack in Illinois:
Dog bites and animal attacks form a huge portion of the premises liability claims we handle at Hess Injury Law. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of these types of injuries, and we know what it takes to get results.
The Process of Filing a Dog Bite Claim in Illinois
If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog bite/animal attack, the first step is to contact an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer. At Hess Injury Law, we offer free consultations so that you can have your case evaluated and get answers to all of your questions before making any decisions.
Once you hire our firm, we will get to work on your case right away. We will investigate the attack and gather evidence to support your claim. We will also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to reach a settlement. We are prepared to take your case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.
You should not have to worry about how you will pay your medical bills or support yourself and your family after a dog bite/animal attack. Let us help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Common Injuries suffered in Dog Bites / Animal Attacks
The injuries suffered in a dog bite or animal attack can be serious – and even life-threatening. Some of the most common injuries we see include:
Other injuries may also be suffered in a dog bite or animal attack.
Compensation for Dog Bites and Animal Attacks in Illinois
If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog bite/animal attack, you may be able to recover compensation for:
The value of your dog bite/animal attack case will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the economic impact of your injuries, and the emotional impact of your injuries. We will work with you to determine the value of your case and fight to get you the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Wrongful Death Claims Arising From Dog Attacks
If you have lost a loved one in a dog bite/animal attack, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the owner of the dog or animal. Wrongful death claims can be filed by the victim’s spouse, child, or parent, and they can seek compensation for funeral expenses, lost income, and other damages.
Are Punitive Damages Available in Dog Bite / Animal Attack Cases?
In Illinois, punitive damages may be available in dog bite/animal attack cases if the defendant acted with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer and deter future wrongful conduct.
Situations when punitive damages might be appropriate include:
The amount of punitive damages that may be available in a dog bite/animal attack case will depend on several factors, including the severity of the victim’s injuries, the defendant’s wealth, and the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct.
Who can be Held Liable for Dog Bites or Animal Attack Injuries?
In Illinois, only certain people are considered “legal owners” for purposes of liability in dog bite/animal attack cases as defined in the Animal Control Act.
What if I Was Bitten by a Police Dog?
Police dogs are often used in law enforcement situations, such as apprehending suspects and searching for missing persons. While police dogs can be helpful in these situations, they can also harm innocent bystanders.
If you have been injured by a police dog, you may be able to seek compensation from the police department that employs the dog. To do this, you will need to show that the police department was negligent in using the dog. For example, if the police department failed to train the dog properly or if the dog was not adequately supervised, you may be able to hold the department liable for your injuries.
What if I Was Bitten by a Dog at Work?
If a dog bit you while you were working, you may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. Workers’ compensation is a system of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job. Benefits can include medical expenses and lost wages.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to show that your job caused your injuries. For example, if you are a mail carrier and are bitten by a dog while delivering the mail, you will likely be covered by workers’ compensation.
What if I Was Bitten by a Dog on Public Property?
If a dog bit you on public property, you may be able to seek compensation from the government entity that owns the property. To do this, you will need to show that the government entity was negligent in its property maintenance. For example, if the government entity knew or should have known that there was a dangerous dog on the property and failed to take steps to remove the dog, you may be able to hold the entity liable for your injuries.
Let an Experienced Dog Bite and Animal Attack Attorney in Illinois Help You
The first step in seeking compensation for your dog bite/animal attack injuries is to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help you determine who may be liable for your injuries.
If you have been injured by a dog or other animal, contact the law offices of Hess Injury Law. Attorney Hess has successfully represented numerous victims of dog bites/animal attacks, and he can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dog Bites/Animal Attacks
If a dog or other animal attacks you, you should first seek medical attention. Once you have been seen by a medical professional, you should contact an experienced attorney. An attorney will be able to help you determine who may be liable for your injuries and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Even if you did not suffer any physical injuries, you may still be able to seek compensation from the owner of the dog. For example, if you suffered emotional distress as a result of the dog bite, you may be able to recover damages for your mental anguish.
In Illinois, you generally have two years from the date of the attack to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
If the dog that attacked you does not have an owner, you may still be able to seek compensation from your homeowner’s insurance policy or from the government entity that owns the property where the attack occurred. An experienced attorney will be able to help you determine who may be liable for your injuries.
Most dog bite/animal attack claims are resolved through negotiation and settlement. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, a judge or jury may need to decide your case at trial.
The amount of money you may be able to recover will depend on the specific facts of your case. Generally, you may be able to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced dog bites or animal attacks attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help you determine what type of compensation you may be entitled to.