Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer
The last thing that most people expect when they are around a dog is that they will be injured. However, dog bite injuries occur all the time, and they can lead to severe pain and suffering for victims. At Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, we are ready to help if you or a loved one need a Chicago dog bite injury attorney. Our team will investigate your claim and work to secure any compensation you are entitled to.
Why Choose Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP For Your Case?
After sustaining a dog bite injury, you need an attorney with vast experience in personal injury cases in Chicago. At Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, we are ready to step in and help.
- Our Chicago dog bite lawyers have more than 100 years of combined legal experience helping clients with all types of personal injury cases, including dog bite incidents.
- We have a reputation for success and have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in total compensation for clients.
- We take Chicago dog bite injuries on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients only pay legal fees after we secured the compensation they are entitled to.
What Are The Benefits of Hiring a Dog Bite Lawyer in Chicago?
An attorney is often necessary for a Chicago dog bite case so they can:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into the incident by obtaining all evidence related to the dog bite.
- Ensure that the dog bite victim receives proper medical care and that their total losses are calculated.
- Negotiate with all parties involved to recover fair compensation for their client.
Dog Bite Incidents Can Lead To Severe Injuries
According to data provided by the Canine Journal, we see that there are around 4.5 million dog bite incidents each year in the US. While not all of these require significant medical care, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that approximately 20% of all dog bite cases require treatment at the hospital.
Dogs have powerful jaws that can lead to significant injuries. It is not uncommon for our Chicago dog bite injury attorneys to help clients who have sustained the following:
- Extensive soft tissue damage
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Vein or artery damage
- Damage to tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Possible amputations of fingers
Is Illinois a Strict Liability State?
Illinois is considered a strict liability state when it comes to dog bite injuries. This means that a dog’s owner can be held liable for any damages caused by a dog bite, even if the dog has never bitten anybody before or shown aggressive tendencies. The dog owner does not have to be negligent in order for a victim to receive compensation for these cases.
How Much Compensation Is Available For A Dog Bite Case?
If you or somebody you love has sustained injuries caused by a dog bite, you may need to seek legal assistance. At Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, we want you to know that there are various types of compensation that may be available, including:
- Coverage of all medical bills related to the dog bite
- Lost wages if you are unable to work due to the injuries
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence or intentional conduct
When Can Victims File Claims Against Dog Owners?
An insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit should be filed as soon as possible after a dog bite injury occurs. The Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that dog bite injury victims in Chicago have a two-year window with which to file a civil lawsuit against a dog owner to recover compensation for their losses. Failing to file a claim in this time frame will result in the victim losing the ability to recover any compensation at all.
However, please do not wait two years to file a claim for a Chicago dog bite case. Most of these claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, and the insurance carrier will likely have shorter filing deadlines in place. A delayed claim will give the insurance carrier more reasons to deny or delay the case.
Proving Negligence After a Dog Bite in Chicago
When we turn to 510 ILCS 5/16 in Illinois’ code of laws, we can see that this statute covers how the victim can prove that a dog owner is liable for any damage their pet has caused. According to the law, the injured person must be able to show that:
- The dog attempted to attack or injure them
- They (the injury victim) had a lawful right to be in the place they were at the time the attack occurred
- The dog was not provoked in any way
Actually proving the elements of a dog bite injury case can become complicated. These incidents often initially begin with “he said, she said” statements. However, a Chicago dog bite lawyer may be able to uncover additional evidence to prove liability, including photo or video surveillance and statements from others who saw what happened.
Justice for Buddy Act
The Justice for Buddy Act involves the case of a little 10-year-old Yorkie named Buddy. In the incident that precipitated the law’s passage, Buddy and his owner were at Hanover Park when Buddy was viciously attacked by another dog. Unfortunately, Buddy was ultimately killed. The dog that attacked and killed Buddy was not muzzled, even though it was supposed to be. Worse, the same dog was seen roaming that area freely the week before Buddy was killed.
The goal of this law, which was passed by the Illinois legislature and went into effect in 2019, is to restrict the activities of dangerous dogs and their owners. The law created a “reckless dog owner” definition in the law. An individual would be labeled as a reckless dog owner if their dog is deemed dangerous for killing another dog or is found running at large two times within a 12-month period.
If a person is found to be a reckless dog owner, any dog on their property will be forfeited to a licensed shelter or rescue facility where efforts will be made to re-home the dogs if they are considered adoptable. A reckless dog owner will also be prohibited from owning other dogs for up to three years.
Contact Our Dog Bite Lawyers Today
The total amount of compensation awarded in these cases will vary depending on the specific factors related to each incident. When you need a Chicago dog bite injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (312) 781-1977.