In the state of Illinois, a pet owner can be, in most cases, held financially responsible if their dog bites or otherwise injures another person. The Illinois Animal Control Act defines an attack to include biting, clawing, or scratching. If you or someone you love has been injured by another person’s pet, a Clinton dog bite lawyer could talk over your case with you and explain your legal right to compensation for your losses.
It’s unfortunate but true that, in many cases, it is a small child who is injured by a dog bite or attack. Being bitten by a dog can require a trip to the emergency room for stitches, medication, and, in a more serious situation, possibly even plastic surgery. Frequently a dog attack will leave emotional trauma that can be as hard to overcome as the physical injuries. A compassionate injury attorney who has handled canine bite cases could understand the importance of considering things like future medical costs and compensation for pain and suffering as well as the immediate costs of emergency medical attention.
The Illinois Animal Control Act
In Illinois, a statute called the Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/1) provides a right to recovery for victims of animal attacks. The statute has four key elements:
1) Defendant must own, keep, or control the animal that attacked;
2) The injured person must have been peaceably conducting themselves;
3) The injured person must be in a place they have a legal right to be (they can’t be trespassing); and
4) The injured person must prove that they did not provoke the attack.
The Illinois Animal Control Act is a very favorable to victims of dog bite attacks. Often these cases can be settled out of court because the law is so favorable to those injured by a dog. Claims are typically paid by the dog owners homeowner’s insurance policy.
What Deadline Applies to Dog Attack Cases in Illinois?
The statute of limitations in Illinois is commonly two years in the case of personal injury. However, the statute may vary if the case involves a child. An experienced Clinton lawyer could ensure you understand the law as it applies to your dog bite case to help you make sure your claim is filed before any limitations expire.
Common Mistakes in Canine Bite Cases
There are some common mistakes people tend to make in the aftermath of a dog bite. These include:
Missing filing deadlines
Not reporting the attack to avoid creating an issue with a friend, neighbor or relative
Not seeking medical care
Assuming the owner will be good to their word when they promise to pay any medical bills
Taking a fast cash settlement from the insurance company before consulting with an experienced dog bite attorney in the area
Avoid these and other potentially costly mistakes – discuss your case with a Clinton lawyer today.
How Do I Know How Much My Dog Bite Case is Worth?
Several factors will come into play when determining the amount of compensation owed for a dog bite injury: the severity of the injuries and how much medical care was required, whether there is scarring or disfigurement, as well as any long lasting emotional damage that was caused to the victim. Other factors that will be important to consider are how and when the attack happened and whether the animal has a history of being aggressive. The amount of liability insurance the owner of the animal carries will also be an important element in establishing compensation.
Get in Touch with a Clinton Dog Bite Attorney Today
Call now to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. A Clinton dog bite lawyer could walk you through the claim process to achieve the compensation you deserve. We look forward to speaking with you.