Dog attacks can result in a wide array of severe injuries, even if the dog never actually bites the victim.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our experienced non-bite dog attack injury attorneys have helped dog attack victims in Chicago and throughout Illinois recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
If you have suffered a dog attack – even if you weren’t bitten – in Illinois, contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation so we can review the details of your case and discuss your legal options.
Types of Non-Bite Injuries Suffered When a Dog Attacks
When a dog attacks a person, the victim can suffer severe injuries even when there is no dog bite involved. Victims can sustain many types of injuries after being attacked or scared by a dog, including:
- Broken bones – A dog jumping on someone can cause them to fall and break an arm or leg.
- Severe cuts and scrapes – This can happen if a dog knocks a person over or if they trip and fall while trying to run away.
- Severe scratches – These can result from a dog scratching with its claws.
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement – This can occur in the same way that a dog attack can lead to cuts, scrapes, and scratches. If a dog jumps on a child and knocks them over, for example, they could fall face first on the concrete, causing permanent disfigurement.
- Severed body parts – There have even been cases where a dog’s saliva carried harmful bacteria which seeped into the victim’s bloodstream and cause blood poisoning, leading to amputation.
- Anxiety and depression – Being attacked by a dog is a traumatic experience and can victims to suffer from anxiety and depression. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from a dog attack can afflict the victim for their rest of their lives.
- Seizures and heart attacks – These have been known to happen due to the extreme fear, panic, and stress associated with a dog attack.
Getting Medical Help for Non-Bite Dog Attack Injuries
If you have been injured from a dog attack, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you think you’re OK at first, you should still see a doctor. Some conditions, such as brain injuries, may not display symptoms right away but could have severe consequences if left untreated.
It is critical that health professionals record the extent of your injuries. If you ultimately decide to file a lawsuit against the dog owner, you will need evidence that you were injured during the attack. Make sure that you tell the doctor you were attacked by a dog so that proper records are made about your injuries and how they occurred. Medical records can serve as evidence that you were seriously injured when a dog attacked you.
Compensation in Dog Attack Settlements in Illinois
When you are attacked by a dog in Illinois, there are several ways you can seek compensation for your non-bite injuries. The first thing you should do is consult with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney who can help you understand your specific case.
Illinois has “strict liability” laws that apply to dog attacks. This means that dog owners can be held liable for injuries caused by their animals even if the dog owner did not do anything wrong. The dog owner cannot use lack of negligence as a defense.
According to the Illinois Animal Control Act, if a dog attacks, attempts to attack, or injures a person who is peacefully conducting themselves in a place where they can lawfully be, the dog owner is liable for the full amount of the injury. Under the Animal Control Act, the dog owner must pay for all damages if you are injured.
If you are attacked by a dog belonging to a friend, neighbor, or relative, you might be hesitant to sue for damages. It’s important to know that damages in dog attack cases are typically paid by a homeowner’s insurance policy, so you don’t have to worry about bankrupting your friend.
Illinois dog attack settlements can include various kinds of economic and noneconomic damages, including:
- Past and future medical bills. This includes emergency room visits, hospitalization, psychological treatment, medical procedures, medications and rehabilitative therapy. The effects of a dog attack can linger for years, an attorney will take this into account when determining and negotiating the value of your settlement.
- Lost wages. Whether temporarily or permanently, if you cannot work due to the attack, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your lost income.
- Loss of future earnings. If the dog attack causes you to be disabled or in a condition to where you are no longer able to perform your job as you were prior to the attack, you may be able to recover compensation for your diminished earning capacity.
- Property damage. Any clothing or other personal property destroyed during the dog attack can be compensable.
- Pain and suffering. It is possible for a court to put a price on the emotional costs of a dog attack, even if the injury takes many forms and doesn’t come with a clear price tag attached. Some people develop lasting PTSD or a lifelong fear of dogs after being attacked, among other psychological conditions. This can result in costly psychotherapy as well as lost enjoyment of life.
Special Considerations in Dog Attack Claims
Dog attacks often involve special considerations that should be taken into account with your personal injury claim. One consideration is that a disproportionate number of dog attacks affect young children, often leaving a child with permanent disabilities and emotional trauma.
If your child was attacked by a dog, the Illinois personal injury attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. will work to ensure that your family receives the maximum compensation you need to give your child the best chance for a full recovery.
Another special consideration with dog attack cases deals with liability. In certain cases, the dog’s owner cannot be held liable for the dog attack, even in a strict liability state like Illinois. If the owner can prove that the dog was provoked by the injured individual, then they may not be held liable for the victim’s injuries. Also, if the injured party was trespassing on the dog owner’s private property when they were attacked by the dog, the dog owner may not be held liable.
Contact an Experienced Non-Bite Dog Attack Lawyer in Chicago
If you suffered injuries in a dog attack, even if you weren’t bitten, contact a Chicago dog attack attorney at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., today by phone or online to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
We will protect your rights and help you make informed decisions about your legal options. Our dog attack lawyers work hard to help our clients pursue the full and fair compensation they deserve.