Answers to Common Questions About Illinois Dog Bite Cases

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From helping you after a dog attack or truck accident in Wisconsin to defending your rights as a rider, the personal injury trial attorneys at Hupy & Abraham will be fierce advocates in your time of need.

With offices across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, and representing clients hurt by slip and fall incidents, car accidents, wrongful deaths, drug and medical device injuries, dog bites, nursing home abuse and motorcycle crashes, we are available where you need us and when you need us.

Contact our professional team of Midwest injury attorneys by calling 800-800-5678 today for your free consultation.

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  • Can I recover for my lost income if I can’t work because of a dog bite injury in Illinois?

    How will you gain the income you need if a dog attack has disabled you?

    Yes, if you lose time from work because of your dog bite wounds, then you may be able to include your claim for lost income in your dog bite lawsuit.

    You will not need to prove that the dog owner was negligent in order to recover damages. Instead, you will need to prove that you are entitled to damages pursuant to the Illinois dog bite statute, and you will need to prove the value of your lost income.

    What’s Included in Lost Income?

    Any income that you can prove that you are unable to earn because of your dog bite should be compensable in a dog bite lawsuit. This could include, for example:

    • Your regular wages.
    • Bonuses and other compensation incentives.
    • Benefits, such as healthcare and retirement savings that are funded by your employer.
    • Income from clients or customers if you are self-employed.

    Some of these things, such as lost wages, may be relatively easy to prove. However, other things that are less certain—such as future income, bonuses, and income from being self-employed—may require the help of expert witnesses such as doctors and economists.

    Why You Need to Take Action Now—Even If You Are Still Out of Work

    You may not yet know the exact date when you can return to work. However, your time to file a lawsuit is limited and you may lose your right to recover damages if you wait too long to file a case. Accordingly, Illinois courts allow you to prove what your likely and reasonable future lost income will be when you seek damages.

    For more information about how to protect your right to recover full and fair damages for a dog bite injury in Illinois, please contact our experienced attorneys today at 1-800-800-5678 to schedule a free consultation or download a free copy of our dog bite brochure.

  • Can I recover for the pain and suffering that I experience because of a dog bite in Illinois?

    Emotional and psychological damages may result after a dog attack

    Yes, if you have suffered a dog bite wound in Illinois and you experience emotional pain or suffering, then you may be able to collect compensation for your emotional injuries as part of your dog bite settlement or court verdict.

    Your time to take action to recover dog bite damages is limited and you must file a lawsuit or agree to a settlement before the statute of limitations expires.

    Examples of Emotional Distress That May Be Compensable

    If you experience any of the following then it is important to talk to your dog bite lawyer about your rights. You may be able to recover if you:

    • Suffer emotionally because of the appearance of a scar. A scar—particularly a facial scar—can interfere with your self-esteem. You may be worried about how people see you and you may have trouble acting with the confidence that you did prior to the dog bite.
    • Have a fear of dogs or a fear of getting hurt that you did not have prior to the dog bite. It is difficult to avoid dogs in Illinois. You may see a dog while you are getting your mail, mowing your lawn, going to a park, or walking down the street. If you experience fear, anxiety, or panic when you see a dog then it can interfere with your everyday life.
    • Have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can interfere with your everyday life. You may relive the attack in your dreams or have recurring daytime thoughts about the incident. You may be fearful and anxious. You have difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, or experience changes in behavior or personality. The symptoms can last for months, years, or even a lifetime; however, PTSD can be treated with the help of a medical or mental health professional.

    You may also recover damages for your suffering if you can prove how the dog bite affected you psychologically or emotionally in a different way.

    Take the Necessary Steps to Protect Your Recovery

    Damages for emotional distress after a dog bite incident may include compensation for:

    • Prescription medications
    • Counseling
    • Mental anguish
    • Pain and suffering

    To discuss your own unique situation, please contact the dog attack lawyers at Hupy and Abraham via this website at any time to discuss your rights.

  • Are Illinois landlords responsible when a renter’s dog bites someone?

    In Illinois, it’s rare that a landlord would be liable for a dog attackIn most cases, Illinois landlords are not responsible for damages when a renter’s dog bites or attacks someone else. Instead, Illinois law puts the responsibility for those injuries on the owner of the dog—in this case the renter or tenant, rather than on the landlord. Thus, the dog bite injury victim would need to pursue an insurance claim or legal case against the dog’s owner for damages.

    While it is typically the dog’s owner who is liable, there may be limited situations where it would be important to talk to a dog bite lawyer about the potential liability of an Illinois landlord. Specifically, it would be important to talk to a dog bite attorney about whether the landlord…

    • Knew that the dog had a history of biting, attacking, or being aggressive.
    • Had rules about dogs in common areas, such as requiring dogs to be leashed or to be only in certain areas of commonly shared outdoor or indoor spaces on the rental property.

    These facts could be relevant to your recovery after a dog bite.

    Don’t Assume the Insurance Company Will Take Care of You After a Dog Bite

    In order to make a fair recovery from the dog’s owner, or someone else, you will need to present evidence of what happened and a convincing argument as to why you should recover damages for your injuries.

    If you or your child has been hurt by a dog in Illinois, then it is important to understand your rights and fight for your fair recovery. Please download a free copy of our dog bite brochure to learn more today.

  • How likely is it that my Illinois dog bite case will settle out of court?

    Many factors will determine whether your dog bite case settles out of court

    Most dog bite cases settle before they go to trial. Whether your case is likely to settle before trial depends on a number of factors, including:

    • The quality of the evidence. Eyewitnesses who can testify about your dog bite attack, doctors’ records that prove your injuries were caused by the dog bite, and other convincing evidence may make the defendant more likely to settle with you out of court.
    • The strength of your case. If the defendant believes that you will likely succeed at trial and recover damages, then the defendant may be more likely to settle your claim with you for a fixed and known amount rather than take his chances in a courtroom.
    • How you negotiate. You may be more likely to settle your case for a fair amount if the defendant believes that you or your attorney understand your rights and is serious about pursuing a fair recovery.

    Of course, other factors may also influence whether or not you are able to settle your case before trial. For example, there may be factors that you can’t control, such as the reasonableness of the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company.

    This Is Too Important to Do Alone

    It can be difficult to know when to settle your case and when to take your chances at trial. However, if you are interested in settling your dog bite claim out of court, then it is important to:

    • Get immediate medical attention and follow your doctors’ orders.
    • Begin protecting your rights as soon as you are hurt by not giving any statements to the dog owner or insurance adjuster.
    • Learn more about how a dog bite case works in Illinois by browsing our website or download our free dog bite brochure.

    We also encourage you to start a live chat with us and let our experienced attorneys help you get the fair recovery that you deserve.

  • I was bitten by a cat in Illinois. Is the cat owner responsible for paying for my injuries?

    Yes. If the cat was kept by an owner and was not a feral or wild animal, then the owner of the cat is responsible for your injuries, according to the Illinois Animal Control Act.

    While most domestic animal injury cases occur because of dog bites or dog attacks, the Illinois Animal Control Act is clear. The owners of any domestic animal—feline, canine, or other species—are responsible when their pet hurts someone else. The law begins with the following specific language, “When a dog or other animal…” and state courts have interpreted the law to include pets other than dogs.

    Thus, the owner of a cat is responsible if that cat caused your injury as long as the bite, scratch, or attack occurred while you were peacefully conducting yourself in a place where you had a legal right to be and you did not provoke the cat.

    How to Protect Your Fair Recovery

    If you can prove that the cat owner is legally responsible for your injuries and your recovery then you can protect your rights by:

    • Getting the necessary medical care.
    • Watching what you say to the cat owner, his attorney, or his insurance company.
    • Understanding your own rights.
    • Standing up for your rights by pursuing a legal claim.

    If you are successful in your case, then you may be able to recover damages for your past, current and future…

    • Medical expenses.
    • Lost income.
    • Out-of-pocket costs.
    • Pain and suffering.
    • Other damages related to your cat bite injury.

    These damages can allow you to get the care that you need and prevent you from suffering the financial consequences of your injuries when it was someone else’s cat who hurt you. If you have any questions about your recovery, then please start a free live chat with us today to get more information.

  • What is the difference between a dangerous dog and a vicious dog in Illinois?

    Illinois statute 510 is the Animal Control Act. This act defines the terms “dangerous dog” and “vicious dog” and outlines the laws that affect these dogs and their owners.

    A "dangerous dog" is a dog that shows tendencies that may cause the dog to bite in the future. A dangerous dog is defined as:

    • A dog who behaved in a way that would be as threatening while off its owner’s property and unmuzzled, unleashed, or otherwise unattended by its owner; or
    • A dog that has bitten without justification and has caused minor physical injury.

    A dog that growls and barks when you knock on the door is not dangerous because it is on its owner’s property. A dog that jumps on your child and knocks her down while she is on the sidewalk may be dangerous. Any dog that bites but does not draw blood can be considered dangerous under Illinois law.

    Once a dog has caused a serious physical injury, it becomes a “vicious dog.” For a dog to be declared a vicious dog, one of the following must be true:

    • The dog attacked a person without justification and caused serious physical injury or death.
    • The dog was found to be a "dangerous dog" on three separate occasions

    A dog that attacks someone who is breaking into a home or causing the dog harm is not vicious, because the dog was provoked.

    Although these laws are designed to protect the public, it isn’t easy to have a dog declared vicious or dangerous. Illinois law protects dog owners by giving dog owners a chance to prove that the dog’s behavior was provoked and the dog’s actions were justified.

    If you have been bitten by a dog in Illinois, the “vicious dog” hearing may effect your case. Contact a Rockford dog bite attorney to learn how you can protect your rights and make sure that the dog doesn’t attack again. To schedule a free consultation, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-390-6350.


  • I have recently become the victim of a dog bite in Gurnee and believe the dog was vicious. What is the meaning of a vicious dog?

    Being attacked by a dog can be a shocking and devastating event. Many people who are victims of a dog bite will suffer from severe injuries that have long-term complications. They may also suffer from mental distress and a new fear of dogs. Fortunately, in Illinois there are strict statutes that hold the owner of the dog responsible.

    One of the ways a victim can easily prove that the dog owner is liable is if the dog is considered to be vicious. A vicious dog must be enclosed in a fence or structure that is at least six feet high and the fence must prevent the children from entering. A dog is considered vicious when:

    • It shows unprovoked danger. A dog may be considered vicious if it bites or attacks a human or any other domestic animal when it is unprovoked.
    • Has known aggressive tendencies. When a dog has a known tendency or disposition to attack without being provoked it may be vicious. It may also be vicious if it endangers the safety of a human or domestic animals.
    • Has a bad reputation. A dog may be considered vicious if the dog has a known reputation for viciousness, for dangerous actions, or for attacking humans or other animals when unprovoked.
    • Is dangerous. If the dog has been identified as a “dangerous dog” on at least three occasions it will be classified as vicious.

    If you are the victim of a dog bite, it is important that you seek legal recovery as soon as possible. To discuss your legal options, contact an experienced Illinois dog bite lawyer at Hupy and Abraham. Call 866-625-2299 for more information and a free case evaluation.

  • I witnessed a dog bite in Illinois. How can I assure my dog won’t do this?

    The fact of the matter is that there is no way you can guarantee that your dog won’t bite a person or another dog. Dogs are animals and will sometimes act on their instinct, which sometimes is to bite. Just because a dog bites does not necessarily mean he is a bad dog, or that you should get rid of him.

    Although there is no way to guarantee that your dog won’t bite, you can—and should—do your best to train him not to bite. You can teach and train your dog to be well behaved and not react to situations by biting in a number of ways. The best way to prevent a Gurnee dog bite is by taking the following precautions:

    • Socialize your pet. A well-socialized puppy is far less likely to be fearful of new situations. The lack of fear in your puppy will lead to a decrease in the likelihood of aggression. When a puppy is young, and as he grows, he should be exposed to as many new places, people, and situations as possible.
    • Spay or neuter your dog. Studies have shown that a dog that has been spayed or neutered is less likely to become aggressive. A less aggressive dog is not as prone to biting as an aggressive dog.
    • Use obedience training. A dog that is obedient is much easier to control. Teach the dog basic commands that will keep him focused on you during stressful situations or situations in which he may be scared.

    If you or a loved one has been a victim of an Illinois dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation. A Gurnee dog bite lawyer at Hupy and Abraham will be able to guide you through the settlement process. For a free case evaluation, call 866-625-2299 today.