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Who should pay for my injuries if I was hurt in a dog bite incident in Illinois?
It doesn’t matter where your dog bite injury occurred in the state of Illinois; in order to recover damages you are going to have to prove who was legally responsible for the bite and that you have the right to pursue damages for your injuries.
Who Could Be Liable?
The Illinois Animal Control Act makes the owner liable for any injuries caused by the owner’s animal. However, that same law defines “owner” in a way that you might not expect. According to the Illinois Animal Control Act, the person who could be liable for your dog bite injuries may be:
- The person who owns the dog. You might look to the dog’s license, where the dog primarily lives, who pays the dog’s vet and food bills, and other factors to determine who owns the dog.
- Anyone who has temporary custody of the dog at the time that you were hurt. If a friend, relative, vet, or someone else is watching the dog for the owner at the time of your injury, then that person who had possession of the dog at the time of the bite could be liable for your injuries.
- A property owner who allowed the dog to stay on his property. The property owner must have known the dog was there and not taken action to have the dog removed.
Sometimes more than one person could be liable for your injuries. It is important that you take action against the right defendant(s) so that you can get the recovery that you deserve.
How Your Own Actions May Impact Your Recovery
Your actions at the time of the dog bite and your actions now will impact your recovery. Specifically, in order to recover dog bite damages you must have been:
- In a place where you had a legal right to be at the time of the dog bite.
- Acting peacefully at the time of the dog bite.
- Not provoking the dog at the time of the dog bite.
Additionally, you must take action now—before the statute of limitations expires—so that you can get the fair recovery that you deserve. To learn more about your rights, please fill out our online contact form today and schedule a free meeting with us so that we can talk about your rights and potential recovery.
What should I do if I’m bitten by a dog in a park in the state of Illinois?
If you’ve been bitten or otherwise injured by a dog in a park, then you should take prompt action to protect your rights. After you get the emergency medical care that you need, you should take immediate steps to protect your legal and financial recoveries.
The First Step is Identifying the Dog and Its Owner
The first thing that you need to do is to identify the dog that bit you. You can do this by taking pictures of the animal with your cell phone or getting the names and contact information of witnesses who saw which dog attacked you.
Next, you need to identify both the owner of the dog and the person who had custody or control of the dog at the park. Both of these people could be responsible for paying your injuries pursuant to the Illinois Animal Control Act and common law in the state of Illinois.
Once you’ve made these identifications, then you will be ready to seek damages against the responsible person or people.
The Next Step Is Pursuing a Fair Recovery With the Insurance Company or in Court
You may first try to negotiate a fair settlement for all of your injuries with the responsible person or that person’s insurance company. This should include compensation for all of the damages that you suffered as a result of the dog, including (but not limited to) your past and future medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, then you will need to file a complaint in state court before the statute of limitations expires. While settlement talks may continue after you file your complaint, this action will ensure that your case can be heard in an Illinois court if a settlement cannot be reached.
You have a lot to think about with your medical and emotional recoveries. You shouldn’t have to handle your legal recovery alone. Instead, please contact us now at 1-800-800-5678 and schedule a free consultation with a local dog bite lawyer to find out more about how we can help you get the legal recovery you deserve after a dog bite in a park or anywhere in the state of Illinois.
Who will pay for my injuries if I’m hurt by a dog on a sidewalk in Illinois?
If you don’t do anything, then you will be the person paying.
However, you have the right to seek legal damages if you’ve been hurt by someone else’s dog anywhere in the state of Illinois. In order to get these legal damages, you need to take action before the legal deadline, or statute of limitations, expires, and you need to pursue damages against the legally responsible person.
Who Was Responsible for Your Bite?
It depends on who owns the dog and who had custody of the dog at the time that you were bit. The Illinois Dog Bite Law is part of the Illinois Animal Control Act. Section 2.16 of the Illinois Animal Control Act defines the owner of a dog as “…any person having a right of property in an animal, or who keeps or harbors an animal, or who has it in his care, or acts as its custodian, or who knowingly permits a dog to remain on any premises occupied by him or her.”
Thus, it is important to know who owned the dog that hurt you, who had custody of the dog at the time that you were bitten on the sidewalk, and whether the property owner knew the dog was there and allowed it to be there.
Once you have identified which person or people may be responsible for your injuries, then you can begin protecting your legal rights.
Take Action Today to Protect Your Fair Recovery
The first step in the recovery process may be to negotiate with the person responsible for your injuries or that person’s insurance company. However, it is important to do so in a way that doesn’t jeopardize your fair recovery…and it is also important to keep in mind that if a settlement is not reached, then you will need to file a complaint in court before the statute of limitations expires.
This can be complicated, but you don’t have to do it alone. You have the right to work with an experienced dog bite lawyer to protect your rights and to get the fair recovery that you deserve. For more information, please contact us anytime—24/7—at 1-800-800-5678.
Who should pay for my damages if I’m hurt by a dog in someone else’s Illinois home?
More information would be needed to give you a definitive answer. However, assuming that you were invited into the home or had a legal right to be there, that you were acting peacefully, and that you were not provoking the dog, then the person who should pay for your damages is not you.
Others Who Should Pay
You may take action to pursue a legal settlement or verdict against the “owner” of the dog. While the word “owner” is used in the Illinois Animal Control Act, it has more than one meaning. For purposes of a dog bite recovery, any of the following people may be considered an owner:
- The person who owns the dog.
- The person who is keeping the dog for the owner, or who has custody of the dog at the time that you are hurt.
- The property owner who knowingly allows the dog to remain on his property.
Thus, before you take action against a potential defendant, you need to know more about who owned the dog, who owned the property, and who had custody or control of the dog at the time that you were bitten or otherwise injured.
If You Don’t Want to Pay, Then You Need to Take Action
Your time to pursue a claim against any of the potential defendants described above is limited. Accordingly, it is important to identify the person, or persons, responsible for your bite, to protect the evidence in your case, and to speak with a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that you file your lawsuit within the legal time limits.
Dog bites injuries can happen anywhere. If you’ve suffered an injury from a dog in someone else’s home, then we encourage you to talk to an attorney to make sure that you’ve identified all of the potential defendants and that you take the appropriate actions to protect your recovery. Please contact us today via this website to learn more.
How should I report a dog bite in Illinois?
After you contact your family, friends, or employer to let them know what happened to you, you may be wondering who else needs to know about your dog bite injury. You may not feel like making calls, but it may be in your best interest to contact:
- Your doctor. If you are seriously injured, then you should call 911 immediately or get to the nearest hospital for urgent care. Whether you go to the emergency room or not, it is important to let your primary care doctor know what happened, to make sure that the dog bite is seen by a medical professional, and to follow all of your doctors’ instructions.
- The county Animal Control Administrator. The Illinois Animal Control Act requires that each county appoint an Animal Control Administrator. The administrator may have deputy administrators, particularly in larger counties of the state. If you have been bitten by a dog or another domestic animal, then you should contact the administrator’s office in the county where you were bitten within 24 hours. The administrator is required to make sure that the animal is seen by a vet within the required time frame and confined or quarantined for the required amount of time.
- A dog bite lawyer. The sooner that you contact an attorney, the sooner that your lawyer can get to work making sure that your rights are protected. An attorney can talk to the insurance company on your behalf, protect evidence in your case, and make sure that all legal deadlines are met. As the case progresses, your lawyer will represent you in formal negotiations and in court.
These three calls may go a long way toward protecting your physical and financial recoveries. Thus, we encourage you to make them as soon as you are physically able to do so or to have someone make them on your behalf while you are recovering from your wounds.
After these calls are made, please continue to browse our website to learn more tips and resources for handling a dog bite injury in Illinois.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a dog bite injury in Illinois?
Your time to file a dog bite injury lawsuit is limited in Illinois. In most cases, you have two years from the date that you were bitten by a dog to file a complaint in an Illinois state court. If you fail to file your dog bite case within that time, then you should expect that the defense will make a motion to the court to dismiss your claim and that the court will grant that motion. You will be left with no recovery.
Don’t Let This Happen to You
There is no reason to risk missing the statute of limitations in a dog bite case. Unlike some other types of injury cases, there is no mistaking a dog bite case. You know, or should know, exactly when you were bitten and you should get prompt medical attention and timely legal help to assist in your recovery.
There Are Exceptions to the Rule
In some rare circumstances, the statute of limitations will be shorter or you will be able to extend the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations will be considered to be “tolled” (in other words, the clock is stopped) while:
- You are a minor.
- You are out of the country on military service.
- You are mentally incompetent.
If no one bring a lawsuit on your behalf during this time, then you may have the right to bring a case when you turn 18, when you return from military service, or when you are deemed mentally competent.
There is No Benefit to Waiting
The more time that you wait before contacting an attorney, the…
- Longer you will wait for your recovery. The sooner you get started seeking a recovery, the sooner that you will have the money necessary to pay for your past, current, and future medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages.
- More you risk unintentionally harming your recovery. You may say something to the dog owner or the dog owner’s insurance company that could hurt your case, for example.
Accordingly, we encourage you to contact us anytime—24/7—via this website or by phone at 1-800-800-5678 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how a dog bite case works in Illinois and about how to protect your potential recovery from an Illinois dog bite injury.
Can I bring a lawsuit after a dog bite in Illinois?
Anyone can file a lawsuit in an Illinois court—assuming they pay the filing the fee and submit a complaint that complies with court rules. However, unless you have legal standing to file the lawsuit, you should expect that the dog owner whom you are suing or that dog owner’s insurance company will make a motion to have your case dismissed. Therefore, you want to make sure that you have legal standing to file a case before you do it.
Standing to Sue
In Illinois, you may have the legal authority to file a lawsuit if:
- You were bitten by a dog and you are over the age of 18. If you were physically injured by someone else’s dog then you have standing to bring a dog bite case in Illinois.
- You are the parent of guardian of a minor child who was bitten by a dog. If your child was physically injured by someone else’s dog, then you have standing to bring a dog bite case on your child’s behalf in Illinois. Any damages that are awarded in the case would be for the benefit of your child.
- You are the guardian of an adult who was bitten by a dog. If you are the legal guardian of an adult who was bitten by a dog then you may have standing to bring a dog bite case on that person’s behalf. Any damages that are awarded in the case would be for the benefit of the adult who was hurt.
- You are the administrator of the estate of someone who died from a dog bite injury. If you are the administrator of the estate of someone who died from a dog bite injury then you may have standing to bring a dog bite wrongful death case on behalf of the estate. Any damages that are awarded in the case would belong to the estate and would be distributed accordingly.
While having standing to sue is important, it alone will not guarantee your recovery.
You Will Have to Convince the Court That You are Legally Entitled to Damages
You have the right to work with an experienced lawyer on your case. To find out more about how a dog bite case works and how to get the damages that you deserve, please start a live chat with us now.
The dog owner is saying that my own negligence caused me to be bitten by his dog. Does that mean I can’t collect damages in a dog bite lawsuit?
In most cases, when you are acting peacefully and you are in a place where you have a legal right to be, a dog owner will be responsible for paying your damages if you are injured by the dog. However, the dog owner, the dog owner’s insurance company, and the dog owner’s attorney will try to defend against your claim to the extent possible.
One possible defense is contributory negligence. The dog owner may argue that you should not be allowed to collect damages because your own negligence caused you to be bitten by the dog.
How Will This Impact Your Case?
As with any legal claim, the defense will need to evidence. The defense will need to prove:
- You were the reason, or proximate cause for, the dog bite.
- The percentage of fault that is attributable to your own negligence. If the defense can persuade the court that you were more than 50% responsible for the dog bite, then you will not be able to recover damages. However, if the defense persuades the court that you were negligent but you were not the primary cause of the bite, then you may be able to recover damages. The amount of damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributable to you. For example, if the court finds you to be 25% at fault for the dog bite then your damage award would be decreased by 25% because it would be unfair to make the dog owner pay for the part of the dog bite incident you caused.
The exact impact on your case depends on the specific facts of your case. If you have been seriously injured then it is important to talk to an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to understand how an Illinois dog bite case works and to protect the fair recovery that you deserve. To learn more, please call us directly at 1-800-800-5678 or start a live chat with us via this website.
How can I recover for my medical expenses if I’ve been hurt by a dog in Illinois?
Even if you are confident that you can meet all of the requirements of the Illinois Dog Bite Statute, you still have to take action in order to make a fair recovery of the bite-related medical expenses that you have incurred and that you are reasonably likely to incur in the future.
How to Do That
The dog owner or the dog owner’s insurance company is not going to pay your recovery unless you negotiate a fair settlement or secure a court verdict. In order to get a fair settlement or court verdict, you should be prepared to prove…
- Which dog hurt you and the identity of the dog’s owner.
- That you did not provoke the dog and that you were acting peacefully at the time of the attack.
- That you were in a place where you lawfully had a right to be at the time of the attack.
- The full and fair value of your past, current, and future medical expenses.
You may benefit from working with an experienced attorney and expert witnesses to get the information that you need to make a full recovery.
What’s Included in a Fair Recovery of Medical Expenses?
Generally, any healthcare-related cost that stems from your dog bite injury should be included in your recovery. This includes costs that you have already accumulated and costs that you are likely to face in the future. It could include, but is not limited to:
- Doctors’ visits.
- Medications, such as antibiotics, pain bills, or topical scar treatments.
- Rehabilitation therapies, including physical therapy and occupational therapy, for example.
Together, these expenses can be significant, but the health care may be necessary to help you recover as fully as possible. Thus, it is worth fighting for the recovery of these expenses.
Your time to pursue a recovery for dog bite related medical expenses is limited. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact an experienced dog bite lawyer to talk about protecting your rights to a fair recovery of your medical expenses and all of your dog-bite–related damages. Simply call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-800-5678 or start a live chat with us now to learn more.
I have unexpected costs from a dog bite injury. Can I recover my expenses?
You may be able to recover damages for each individual cost that you can prove was caused by your dog bite injury. For example, if you paid someone to clean your house prior to the dog bite and you still pay someone to clean your house with the same frequency after the dog bite, then your house cleaning expenses would not be considered to be caused by your dog bite injury. However, if you cleaned your own house prior to the dog bite injury and you now pay someone to clean your house because your injuries make it too difficult for you to clean on your own, then you may be able to claim the house cleaning expenses as out-of-pocket costs in a dog bite lawsuit.
What Kinds of Things Are Considered Out-of-Pocket Expenses?
Any costs that you have to pay as a direct result of your dog bite injury are considered out-of-pocket expenses. In addition to the housecleaning example provided above, out-of-pocket costs could include things like:
- Transportation costs if you can’t drive or travel the same way that you did before the dog bite.
- Child care costs if you need to hire someone to help you with your children as a result of your dog bite injury.
- If your loved one died from her dog bite wounds, then funeral expenses may also be included in your out-of-pocket costs.
Know What Damages to Claim Before You Begin Negotiating a Settlement or Before You File a Lawsuit
It is important to make a comprehensive list of your out-of-pocket damages, and to attach receipts if available, before you pursue your recovery. That way you can be confident that all of your dog bite damages are represented in your settlement negotiations or in your request for compensation in court.
To learn more tips about how to protect your dog bite injury recovery, please start a live chat with us today or download a FREE copy of our dog bite brochure.