Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

dog bite

Dog Bite Injury: Who Is To Blame?

Did you know that depending on the situation and local legislation, a person who does not own a dog may be held accountable when it causes harm to a person?

Liability for dog bites is a challenging legal topic. Other than the dog owner, who else might be held accountable for injuries brought on by a dog attack depends on local or state law, how courts interpret those rules, and the case’s specifics.

It might be wise to speak with an experienced dog bite lawyer to assist in safeguarding your rights, whether you’re the dog bite victim, the dog’s owner, or someone who just so happened to be caring for the dog or on your premises.

A dog bite injury lawyer or personal injury attorney with experience in your case may demonstrate how the law applies to your particular circumstances and, if you’re the person being sued, what defenses you may have.

Dog Bite Laws

Following a dog bite event, there are several reporting obligations you may need to be aware of. These procedures often differ from municipality to municipality. First, you should contact your local animal control or law enforcement agency as soon as possible to report the incident.

A report will not only support your insurance claim, but it might also prevent a violent dog from biting someone in the future. It is also essential for any dog bite lawsuit you may want to file after the incident. Many dog bite lawyers advise reporting the incident as soon as possible.

Any personal injury claim is typically divided into monetary and non-monetary categories. Monetary damages are the actual, measurable expenses a victim faces. They include medical treatment, harm to private possessions, and lost pay resulting from the inability to work.

Although less objective, non-monetary damages are nonetheless recoverable in a dog bite case. They typically refer to the discomfort a victim of an accident endures, and they may also cover the underlying psychological and emotional anguish that frequently follows dog attacks.

These also apply to animal attack injuries, including dog bite claims. When personal injury lawyers file a dog bite case, they have to prove how the injury has affected the lives of their clients. However, you must prove it was an unprovoked dog attack.

A knowledgeable dog bite attorney may use their experience of similar cases to explain what your case might be worth, regardless of how minor it is or whether it involved the death of a family member.

How Can a Dog Bite Attorney Help

Dog bite cases are often dealt with in two ways: under strict responsibility rules or negligence regulations. Dog bites are considered a “strict responsibility” in Illinois. It implies that a dog owner may be held accountable for any harm their pet causes, regardless of whether the animal has ever displayed aggressive behavior.

Illinois goes further than most strict liability dog bite laws by making dog owners liable for harms other than dog bite wounds. The dog owner might also be responsible for injuries, such as a broken arm, if a dog jumps on someone and knocks them to the ground.

Dog bite lawyers in Illinois will help you navigate these complex laws governing dog attacks. Both dog owners and dog attack victims require professional representation in these cases.

If you are a dog owner, a dog bite attorney will help reduce the compensation that may be required of you. They may also help you defend against dog bite victims who have been trespassing on your property and now want to take advantage of you.

If you are an innocent victim of a dog attack, they can help you get compensation for your dog bite injury. Sometimes, a dog bite injury claim can become overly complex, and you need a competent lawyer to represent you.

Compensation In Dog Bite Cases

You might be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries; however, the settlement amount will vary significantly based on the specifics of the dog bite claim. Generally speaking, the total amount of damages that a dog bite victim may be awarded will be more the worse the injury was and lower the less severe the injury was.

One Bite Rule

Jurisdiction rules governing dog bite liability vary, and one of the critical variations is the presence of a “one-bite rule.” Essentially, this law argues that a dog is allowed one free bite before its owner is responsible for any harm it may inflict.

States that have implemented a variation of this regulation often won’t hold owners liable unless their dog has previously displayed aggressive behavior. In principle, the dog owner would not have a reason to assume that their dog has the potential to inflict this type of injury until they see it happen.

Illinois, however, has a stringent dog bite law, which means that the one-bite law does not apply. If a dog injures anyone, the owners, caretakers, or anyone responsible for the dog can be held liable.

Who is Liable?

  • Owners

Someone caring for a dog may be just as accountable as the legal owner under “common law” standards that render owners responsible for injuries when they have been negligent or aware their canines are dangerous. Additionally, several states with “strict liability” dog-bite laws define “owner” to include anybody with a dog.

  • Caretakers

When someone commits to temporarily caring for another person’s dog, such as a dog sitter or home sitter, the caretaker is typically regarded as the dog’s keeper. However, it may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the court.

Looking For An Attorney For a Dog Bite Case?

Have you been involved in a dog bite? Is someone suing you because your dog bit someone? Michael J. Brennan is an Illinois personal injury attorney serving Cook County and Greater Chicago.

We have experience dealing with many personal injury cases and we clearly understand Illinois law. If you want a competent injury and accident lawyer who knows how to navigate the complex Illinois law, call Michael J. Brennan at (708) 694-9728 for a free case evaluation.

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