Owners who fail to maintain control of their pets put other people are risk of harm, especially if the canine has a history of aggression. Dog attacks can be traumatic and leave severe wounds that could require substantial medical care.
If a dog attacked you, you might be wondering if and how you can hold the pet owner responsible for the damages you have suffered. Following an animal attack, you could benefit from contacting a Normal dog bite lawyer. With the help of a qualified personal injury attorney, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills, scarring/disfigurement, pain and suffering, and other losses you have suffered as a result of the incident.
Dog Bite Laws in Normal
The Illinois Animal Control Act, under 510 Illinois Compiled Statues §5/16, has removed the one “free bite” rule that many states still follow. If the person who was bitten was conducting themselves peacefully in any place where they were lawfully permitted to be, so long as they did not provoke the dog, the owner of the dog is liable for the damages the person sustained as a result of the harm.
While this change in the law is to the benefit of the claimant, it is still advisable to consult with a Normal dog bite attorney. An attorney could lend their legal knowledge and litigation experience to the claimant to improve their chances of a favorable resolution.
Liability for the Pet Owner
States follow either a negligence or strict liability theory when it comes to dog bites. The Illinois statute makes the dog owner strictly liable for their pet’s bites. Meaning, they cannot argue that they were unaware their dog was aggressive or that it had no history of this behavior. Therefore, if a plaintiff can show that there was an unprovoked attack, then the primary question for the court will likely be what damages the owner owes.
What Damages are Recoverable Following an Animal Attack?
A dog bite can not only cause immediate injury to the plaintiff but can leave longer-lasting effects such as scarring, mutilation, and disfigurement. Illinois law accounts for all these types of damages under 735 ILCS §5/2-1115.05.
Economic damages refer to the immediate and continual monetary losses resulting from the attack. Emergency visits to the hospital, continued medical treatment, lost wages, and any future costs related to the incident may all be recoverable under these damages.
After a dog bite, a plaintiff may have scarring and disfigurement. Furthermore, they may have physical and mental trauma, such as pain and suffering or PTSD. These losses are referred to as non-economic damages. A dog bite lawyer from Normal may be able to assist a claimant in calculating their damages.
Consult with a Normal Dog Bite Attorney Right Away
Under Illinois law, if a canine attacked you, you may be able to hold the dog’s owner liable for your damages. Depending on your case, you may be able to successfully receive financial compensation for both your immediate expenditures and long-term pain and suffering. To see whether that may be possible for you, you should consult with a Normal dog bite lawyer today.
With the help of an experienced attorney, you could gain a better understanding of your legal rights and best courses of action. Call today and schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.