Pursuing a Dog Bite Claim in Illinois

Personal Injury AttorneyIf you live in Illinois and own a dog that tends to bite, you either need to ensure it is well-behaved or keep it inside. When it comes to dog bite cases, according to the Animal Control Act, Illinois is a strict liability state and any injuries caused by your animals may be your responsibility.

You cannot argue you had no idea your pet was aggressive or could injure someone – even if it never exhibited such previous behavior. If your pet injures another person or their pet and caused injuries, you will be held liable as its owner.

Dangerous vs. Vicious Dogs

State law categorizes liable dogs as either dangerous or vicious depending on the severity of the attack. The former is a dog that is not on a lease, muzzled or was unattended by the owner and behaved in a manner resulting in the injury or death of another. This includes dogs that bite others without reason but does not cause a physical injury.

A dog is deemed vicious if it attacks someone without provocation leading to serious injuries and/or death. Dogs that have been deemed dangerous by the state three (3) times are also deemed vicious.

Responsibilities of Dog Owners

In the state of Illinois, dog owners have certain responsibilities that they need to upheld or their dogs may be deemed vicious or dangerous. For one thing, their pets always have to be in your sight, leashed if they are outside and muzzled if they are prone to aggressive behavior.

If the dog is not on the owner’s property, the owner has to ensure his/her pet is kept in an enclosure that can prevent an escape. The enclosure should also be sturdy enough to prevent children from entering. Owners are liable for injuries caused due to certain circumstances:

  • Their dog tried to attack or successfully attacked the victim
  • The victim had every right to be in the location where the attack occurred
  • The dog was not provoked by the victim or caused the attack

In other words, the only way dog owners can legally claim they are not responsible for an attack is if their dog was provoked into an attack (i.e. it was teased and beaten) or the victim trespassed on their property, which led to the attack. If not, the victim has two (2) years from the date of the incident to bring their claim to court or risk forfeiting their claim.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you are a victim of a dangerous or vicious dog attack, get in touch with us at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens today for a consultation. We have successfully represented cases like yours in court for the past 20 years and have recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. The call is completely free. Once you book an appointment, we will sit down with you to discuss the details. Call us today in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock or Antioch, IL, and get the compensation you deserve.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim against Police Dog Bites

It is not uncommon for the police to catch the wrong person and put them into jail, just to release them after realizing that they are innocent. You may not be bothered much when you are detained by a human police officer, but what if a police dog caught you in its jaws? It will surely do more harm than just damaging your pride and dignity. Now you must be thinking about your options if you find yourself in such a scenario. Can you file a dog bite lawsuit against the police or should you just walk away to avoid any further trouble?

Law Protection against Police Dog Bite Injury

The answer is yes, you can hold the cops liable. According to the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, the police cannot use unreasonable force (such as dogs biting individuals) when they are arresting a suspect. There are several possible consequences for police officers in doing so. They may have to compensate the victims for the pain and suffering they went through, or may be asked to pay punitive damages. Moreover, the federal law can provide some benefits to the victim, such as extension in the statute of limitations for filing a claim and compensation for attorney costs and fees.

Factors influencing a Police Dog Bite Case

You may be relieved to hear that you can file a claim against police dog bites, but unfortunately, it is not as easy as suing an ordinary dog owner. The government has given the police authority to use dogs to aid them in search and arrest missions, so it can be quite difficult to prove your case. However, there are several factors that can help you in overcoming this immunity and affect the outcome of your case:

  • You were unarmed when the dog bit you
  • Your crime was just a misdemeanor, not a felony
  • You were hiding and not running away
  • The dog bit you several times
  • The police officer didn’t had control over the dog
  • You surrendered right away, but the dog still bit

Filing a Police Dog Bite Claim

Once you have determined that your case is viable, here is how you can proceed with filing a lawsuit against the police:

  • There are several laws that are enacted for filing injury claims against the government. The procedures differ among states, but you can file a standard form to make the government aware of your injury. This procedure is known as government tort claim.
  • Now wait for their response, which you will most probably receive after a set amount of time after evaluating your case. If they don’t respond or your claim is rejected, you should proceed with filing a lawsuit.
  • Hire an experienced dog bite injury attorney who can help you build a solid claim and counter the arguments of government agencies effectively.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

If you have been bit by a police dog when you are no fault at all, you should file a case against the police. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.d


The Responsibilities of Dog Owners

Dogs make wonderful companions and are among the most popular pets in the United States. People must understand however, that owning a dog bestows a lot of responsibilities on them as well. As owners, it is our duty to train these animals and ensure that they are not involved in any incident and are not prone to biting people on our property.

However, to be completely safe from the hassles involved in such scenarios, it is best to obtain pet insurance. It can be difficult to cover the costs of different problems associated with dogs without ample insurance cover.

What’s more, in case of any or all biting incidents, the owner will always share some of the responsibility of causing an injury to a person regardless of the circumstances.

Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injuries are no more a rare occurrence. Research shows that around 5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States. Although most injuries are not serious, some 15 to 20 people lose their lives each year due to dog bite injuries. Children are especially at risk as over 90% children bitten by dogs require medical treatment.

Dog bite injuries produce both physical as well as psychological effects. You need to understand that you do not have to bear the medical expense in the case of a dog bite. You can hire an experienced legal representative who will be able to assess the damages that you can face due to a dog bite injury, and ensure that you can go through a particular channel to get the needed compensation.

Dog Bite Injury Claims

Dog bite injury claims often come under homeowners’ insurance because most accidents happen on the premises of the owner of the dog. There are also some accidents that occur when the dog is present in an alien environment such as at the house of a relative. Such situations represent complex legal issues which can only be resolved and simplified by an experienced lawyer.

The Reporting Period

All injuries that occur due to a dog bite must be reported within a period of two years from the incident. Minors though, can report such an incident when they turn of legal age and their period of the statute extends to two further years. Any report that is filed after this period is simply barred from presentation.

Most dog bite cases though, are recorded immediately and owners need to ensure that they actively take part in resolving these cases. Otherwise, they may face problems when an injured person builds up a strong claim and stands against them in a court of law.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

Limiting the Financial Burden

In most cases, the financial burden of a dog bite is shared primarily by the owner. The owner though can buy different insurance policies and regularly take care of the animal to avoid such an injury.

If you or someone you know is the victim of a dog bite injury, contact our offices today at (847) 395-2200 to schedule a free initial consultation with attorney Robert Edens.