Danville Dog Bite Attorney
Hire a Skilled Danville Dog Bite Attorney to Fight for Your Rights
If you were injured by a dog bite, you may have specific legal rights to pursue a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner. Dog bite claims can be complex, and many cases wind up in negotiations for a year or more. This is why you want to hire a skilled and experienced Danville dog bite attorney.
The right attorney will help protect your legal rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. At Patel Law, PC, we have years of experience representing clients in and near Danville after they suffered a vicious dog attack.
You want to retain an Illinois personal injury attorney who has a proven track record of successful awards for clients. Our team of lawyers has negotiated countless successful settlements and received numerous positive jury awards for our clients in Danville dog bite cases.
Dog Owner’s Liability
According to Illinois law, dog owners can be held legally responsible when their dogs bite people under certain circumstances. Under the Animal Control Act, ILCS / 16 §16, a dog owner is responsible for compensating you after a bite when the following circumstances exist:
- They own the dog who attacked you.
- The dog attacked you without any provocation. This means you did not tease or harass the dog in any way.
- When the bite occurred, you were somewhere that you were legally entitled to be.
Illinois law extends liability to not only the dog owner, but also anyone who has control of or keeps the animal. This might even be someone who knowingly lets the dog roam freely on their property.
Unlike many other types of personal injury, proving negligence is not the primary purpose in a dog bite case. Owners assume “strict liability” for their pets. This means you do not need to show the owner was negligent, just that they owned the dog.
How to Improve Your Possible Dog Bite Settlement in Illinois
If you have been attacked, you can do a number of things to help improve your potential settlement value. First, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can. Your physician will document all of the injuries you sustained and treat your wounds as necessary. Seeing a doctor right away is important as it shows you are taking your injuries seriously. It also confirms the severity of your injuries.
Put yourself in the shoes of the dog owner’s insurance company. Someone who is presenting a claim for extensive injuries who sees a doctor right away will likely have a higher claim value than someone who waited three weeks to visit the doctor.
You need to report the dog bite to your local police, as well. Take down all of the contact information for people involved, including any witnesses. Be sure to get a copy of the police report as it might prove to contain valuable evidence to support your claim.
Take detailed photos of your injuries, especially right after the attack happened. Depending on what part of your body you were bit, you may need someone to take the photos for you. Take additional photos of the healing process to document your claim. You can also keep track of any of your items that might have been damaged. Items like your clothing or other property could be reimbursed in some cases.
Do not attempt to negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company on your own. In most cases, they will try to get you to accept a low settlement or deny your claim entirely. By accepting a settlement amount before speaking with an attorney, you may have waived your rights to future compensation.
For example, you decide to take the $5,000 offer the insurance company made because you need to pay for medical expenses to date. They will have you sign a release that means you are barred from pursuing additional compensation. What you did not realize in your medical report is that your doctor said you will need at least another year of treatment and some scar revision surgery. By signing that release, you cannot ask the insurance company to pay the additional treatment and pain and suffering.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries will vary based on the circumstances of the incident. People commonly suffer injuries to their hands, face, arms, legs, feet, or head. With a dog bite, some of the most common types of injuries we see are puncture wounds, scrapes, bruises, bone fractures, and even amputations.
Contact an Illinois Dog Bite Attorney
If you suffered injuries after being bitten by someone’s dog, contact Patel Law, PC today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us evaluate your case and explain how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.