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Champaign Dog Bite Lawyer

Thousands of people across Illinois keep dogs as pets. Unfortunately, not all dogs are friendly, and many people are injured or killed every year in dog bite attacks. According to the CDC, an estimated 4.5 million dog bites occur every year nationwide, and our most vulnerable populations – children and the elderly – are the most common victims. In central Illinois, the law office of Patel Law, P.C. has advocated for victims of dog bite attacks and represented their interests in personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite attack, get the best Champaign dog bite lawyer by contacting our office today to schedule a free consultation.

What Causes Dog Bites?

While dogs make great companions, at the end of the day, they are animals that have instincts and sometimes those instincts lead to attacks on people. The American Veterinary Medical Association has identified four main reasons for why a dog may attack a person. Those include stress, fright, illness, and playfulness. In addition, a dog’s breed, heredity, early experience, lack of socialization, inadequate training or supervision, and reproductive status may also play a factor in why it attacks.

The CDC released a list of the most dangerous dog breeds that caused the most fatal attacks on people across the United States. The breeds that topped the list include the following:

  • Pit bull
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd
  • Husky
  • Malamute
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman
  • Saint Bernard

If you or someone you know is injured in a dog bite attack, it is important that you seek medical treatment right away.

Injuries Caused by Dog Bite Attacks

Dog bite attacks can cause a number of serious injuries to a victim, along with complications after the fact that can cause even more damage. Some of the most commonly seen injuries after a dog attacks a person include:

  • Open wounds on the head, neck, and torso
  • Open wounds on the extremities
  • Bone fractures
  • Crushing injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Facial trauma
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Connective tissue trauma
  • Infective arthritis and osteomyelitis
  • Septicemia

These injuries can cause permanent disability and disfigurement for victims, and if not treated right away some of these injuries can even lead to the death of a victim. Because of the significant trauma that a dog bite attack can cause, Illinois law has taken a strict stance on dog bite liability.

Illinois Dog Bite Law

Illinois is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bite attacks. This means that under the law, if a dog attacks a person unprovoked the owner of the animal is liable for all damages caused by the attack. An owner cannot claim as a defense that they did not know or should have known that the animal was dangerous. Other states allow the “one bite rule,” but Illinois is not one of them. In order to collect compensation, the victim of a dog bite injury must show the following:

  • The dog attacked
  • The victim had a lawful right to be where the attack occurred
  • The dog was not provoked

Either the owner of the dog or the person who had control of the dog at the time of the attack may be liable for any injuries. A dog bite victim has two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit for damages.

Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

Compensation for dog bite injuries includes payment for all economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include all out of pocket expenses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and loss of future income and benefits. Noneconomic damages compensate the victim for their pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, emotional distress, and the loss of enjoyment of life.

However, it is important to point out that compensation may be reduced by the state’s modified comparative fault rule. In all personal injury cases, the court determines the degree of fault for every party involved in the incident and reduces the overall compensation by that percentage. If a party is found 50% or more at fault for the incident, they are barred completely from recovering any damages. This rule has the potential to significantly reduce compensation in a dog bite attack, which is why you should only trust the best personal injury attorneys with your case.

Talk to Our Office Now

You do not have to shoulder the burden of a legal case after a dog bite attack. Call the office or contact us today in Champaign at Patel Law, P.C. to schedule a free evaluation of your case with one of our experts in dog bite law.

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