Although many of us consider them a best friend, dogs can cause injuries. Regardless of their size, dogs can cause serious injuries if they choose to attack another animal or person, especially for young children or elderly adults. Fortunately, Illinois state law is generous towards dog bite victims when it comes to civil recovery for their damages.
If you were hurt by a bite or other attack from someone else’s pet, an Elgin dog bite lawyer could help you determine whether you have grounds to file suit. If the owner may have been liable, a dedicated personal injury attorney could help you seek restitution for every injury and loss you experienced from the traumatic incident.
Liability Laws for Dog Attacks in Elgin
Unlike plaintiffs in most other types of civil claims, canine attack victims do not have to prove legal negligence in order to hold the dog’s owner liable for their damages. Under 510 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/16, dog owners bear strict liability for their actions of their pets, meaning that they are automatically responsible to pay for any damages their dog causes another person by biting or attacking them.
Some states follow a “one-bite rule” that absolves dog owners of liability for bite injuries if they had no prior indication their dog was aggressive or dangerous. However, Illinois does not use that rule and holds all owners accountable regardless of their pet’s history. A local dog attack lawyer could help an injured victim pursue litigation for damages against an owner even if their dog had never attacked anyone before.
However, there are two key exceptions to strict liability for dog bites in Illinois. If a court finds that the victim provoked the dog in question into attacking them, or if the victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property at the time they were bitten, there would not be grounds to file suit.
Compensation for Canine Bite Injuries
Through a successful lawsuit, a convincing attorney could seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages suffered by a dog bite victim. A settlement demand could include objective financial losses, like medical expenses, as well as subjective personal losses, like physical pain and psychological trauma. A legal professional in the area at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could help plaintiffs determine what specific losses they could be compensated for in their dog attack claim.
Although plaintiffs in Elgin dog bite cases are not required to prove legal negligence, they still must adhere to the statute of limitations applicable for personal injury claims. As per 735 ILCS 5/13-202, most civil claims must be filed within two years of the incident or the case may be time-barred. Retaining experienced legal counsel can help injured victims meet all claim deadlines and ensure that they remain eligible to pursue compensation for the dog attack.
Reach Out to an Elgin Dog Bite Attorney Today
While most dogs are friendly and easy to approach, aggressive pets can cause serious harm if their owners are not careful. Dogs, whether big and small, can cause injuries. If you do end up sustaining severe injuries because of a dog bite, scratch, or other physical attack, you may be able to hold the dog’s owner strictly liable for your damages. Legal guidance will be valuable in determining the eligibility of your claim and arguing your case.
A qualified Elgin dog bite lawyer could help clarify your legal options and work with you in pursuing your claim. To schedule a consultation and learn how we can support you, call today.