Dogs bite nearly 5 million people a year in the U.S. Almost half of those injured are children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. About 800,000 Americans each year seek medical attention for wounds from dog bites, and 386,000 require emergency room treatment. About 16 people die every year after being attacked by a dog. The CDC’s figures do not consider the psychological trauma of experiencing an animal attack.
For more than 25 years, the dog bite attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. have helped thousands of Chicago-area injury victims and their families obtain compensation for the pain and suffering they have experienced because of dog bites or other animal attacks. We are a leading personal injury firm with a reputation for thorough and aggressive representation of our clients.
If you have suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one in an animal attack that occurred in the Chicago area or anywhere else in Illinois, call us today at 312-361-1823 or use our online form. We have offices in Chicago and Waukegan. Our Chicago dog bite lawyers will protect your legal rights and pursue the financial compensation you deserve.
Chicago Dog Bites and Illinois Law
The Illinois Animal Control Act erased the “one free bite” law. The law had excused a dog owner from being liable for a bite by their pet if they were not aware of the animal’s propensity to bite.
Today, Illinois law specifically states:
“If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself in any place where he may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in damages to such person for the full amount of the injury sustained.”
Are Certain Dogs More Likely to Attack Than Others?
Any dog, even one you know as friendly, can bite you. The CDC studied breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks between 1979 and 1998. During that 20-year period, at least 25 breeds of dogs were involved in 238 human dog bite-related fatalities.
The breeds that the CDC identified in fatal attacks on humans are:
- Pit bull-type
- German Shepherd
- Husky type (including Siberian)
- Wolf-dog hybrid
- “Mixed breed”
- Chow Chow
- Saint Bernard
- Great Dane
- Labrador Retriever
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- West Highland Terrier
- Australian Shepherd
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Cocker Spaniel.
Here are some things you should try to do if you have been injured by a dog bite or another domesticated animal attack:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Immediately report the incident to the police and request a copy of the police accident report.
- Obtain the name and contact information of the dog owner.
- Get the name and contact information of any people who witnessed your accident.
- Photograph the animal that caused your injuries, as well as the location of the incident.
- Photograph any visible injuries you have suffered as result of the incident with the animal or permit our investigator to accomplish this.
- Do not communicate with the owner of the dog or the owner’s insurance company. If you accept any form of compensation, you may waive your right to sue for additional damages.
- Save any clothing that may have been damaged by the animal.
- Save and, if possible, photograph any property damage caused by the animal.
Compensation for Chicago Dog Bite Victims
Recovering from a dog bite can be a lengthy and painful process. Often, victims can recover damages to cover their medical treatments, any necessary medications, future treatment, psychological counseling and any lost wages. Claims can be made against the dog owner, the dog owner’s insurer, and possibly a third party if their negligence caused the injury.
A key issue in recovering compensation in a Chicago dog bite lawsuit is determining whether the at-fault party has insurance coverage, including homeowner’s insurance. Our attorneys will pursue all avenues to make sure our clients are fully and fairly compensated.
Contact Our Chicago Dog Bite Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite or another animal attack that caused serious injury, you have rights. Among other things, you may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the animal’s owner or custodian to recover compensation for medical costs, property damage, lost wages, future losses or for your pain and suffering.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a dog bite incident, contact the Chicago dog bite lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. We will provide a team of legal professionals, medical experts and investigators who are dedicated to your cause. We can help you make informed decisions about your legal options. We will work hard to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us today at 888-616-4334 or use our online form.