You never imagined that you would be filing a lawsuit to protect your legal rights and financial recovery after being hurt by someone else’s dog. Whether you are considering a claim against a friend, neighbor, relative, or stranger, you need to know how dog bite cases work in Illinois so that you can make informed decisions about how to protect your fair recovery.
Eight Things to Know Before You Go to Court
Before you go to court to file an official complaint to begin your dog bite lawsuit, you should know:
- How long you have to file a case. The Illinois Statute of Limitations generally gives you two years from the date of your dog bite to file a lawsuit in court. However, there are important exceptions to this general rule.
- Whether you have the legal authority to bring a case. This is known as legal standing. You may have standing if you were hurt, if you are the parent or guardian of someone who was hurt, or if you are the administrator of the estate of someone who died from dog bite injuries.
- How to protect your child’s rights, if your child was the one bitten by the dog. If your child is under the age of 18 then it is up to you to protect his legal rights and to help him get the recovery that he deserves.
- How your own actions may impact your case. If you were partly to blame for the dog bite then the defense may raise that issue in court. A finding of contributory negligence could mean that you are unable to recover damages or that the amount of damages that you recover is reduced according the percentage of fault attributed to you.
- How to collect and protect evidence. Evidence of dog ownership, the extent of your injuries and other things will be important to your recovery.
- What witnesses may be important to your claim. Eyewitnesses to the dog bite accident and certain expert witnesses can help you prove your claim and make a fair recovery.
- How settlements work in dog bite cases. Settlements require negotiation and once they are agreed to they are binding. Accordingly, it is important to know how to reach a fair settlement.
- Whether you need a lawyer. An attorney can remove the stress of a dog bite lawsuit from your shoulder’s, make sure that your legal rights are protected, and advocate for your full and fair recovery.
Once you have this information, then you can make an educated decision about whether to file a lawsuit.
Let an Experienced Attorney Worry About the Legal Details
The hard work may be just beginning once your lawsuit is filed. Before you even get to trial there may be motions to draft and argue and evidence to gather. The court has specific rules about everything that is done, and it can be overwhelming to handle your own claim. Accordingly, you should contact an experienced dog bite lawyer to discuss how an attorney can help you. For more information, please start a live chat with us now or call us directly at 1-800-800-5678.