Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend, and are now the most popular pets in the United States. However, even the smallest and cutest dogs can cause serious injuries, especially when you factor in subsequent infections from seemingly insignificant bites. If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog, particularly if the dog belongs to someone else, it is important to understand your legal rights and hire a top-tier law firm that has extensive experience handling dog bite cases.
Dog Bite Injuries and Illinois Law
Illinois is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites, meaning that whether the owner was negligent or not, they can still be held liable if their dog attacks or injures someone. It is crucial to work with a law firm that has in-depth knowledge of Illinois dog bite laws when dealing with dog bite cases. Our personal injury lawyers at Shea Law Group have extensive experience representing victims of dog bites in Chicago and throughout Illinois.
Types of Injuries Sustained in Dog Attacks
Dogs can attack from anywhere at any time, causing various types of harm, including scratches, bites, and fractures. Scratches can cause injuries similar to bite wounds, including punctured skin, tears in the skin and muscle, and other soft tissue damage.
Bites are the most common injury from a dog attack and can cause puncture wounds, tearing of fascia and muscle, nerve damage, injuries to eyes and ears, and other soft tissue damage. Fractures can occur in severe cases, depending on the size and strength of the dog. Fractures caused by dog attacks may include breaks to fingers, hands, arms, or legs, all requiring immediate medical attention.
Lastly, it is important to understand that in addition to the pain and suffering caused by these situations, dog bite victims often suffer emotional harm and mental anguish due to the attack.
Causes of Dog Attacks
Dogs may attack for various reasons, but many times, an attack is triggered by something even their human doesn’t understand. It could be a sound, scent, an unfamiliar person, or sudden movement that frightens them. Some untrained dogs or dogs that have been abused may attack when they feel threatened, which may simply entail a sudden movement in their direction. Therefore, it is best to keep your distance from unfamiliar dogs, especially when their owners are not around.
Chicago Dog Laws
Due to the frequency of injuries from dog attacks, Illinois and Chicago, in particular, have extremely strict dog-related legislation, making it somewhat easier to file a successful dog bite claim. Dog bites are the second-highest reason for emergency room visits involving children.
The State of Illinois has specific guidelines that help determine who is liable when a dog attacks, and by default, the responsibility falls on the owner of the dog, with only two exceptions: if you were attacked while trespassing, or if you provoked the dog in any way, you are then responsible for your injuries.
Vicious and Dangerous Dogs
Unlike pets, any dog deemed vicious or dangerous must be kept separated from the public. Vicious dogs are defined as those who will attack without provocation, and by law should be kept securely fenced-in. Dangerous dogs are those who have the inclination to attack when left alone. If a dangerous dog is not properly confined, and attacks or attempts to attack an individual, there may be legal repercussions as well as civil liability.
Why Choose Shea Law Group
At Shea Law Group, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with premier legal representation, and we are committed to ensuring that you receive the compensation you need to recover fully. Our experienced dog bite attorneys will help you through the dog bite injury claims process from beginning to end, making sure you understand what’s happening at each step of the process. We know how to navigate through the complicated forms and requirements of insurance companies.
We have earned significant compensation for our clients, and we will work diligently to get the positive results you deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog attack in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact a dedicated Chicago dog bite attorney at Shea Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.