Dog Bite Lawyer Decatur
What happens when man’s best friend becomes your worst enemy? It may sound like a nightmare, but it is reality for many people—and it happens more often than you might think. Approximately 4.7 million people are injured by dog bites in the United States every year.
These dog attacks can cause a variety of injuries. Deep cuts, or lacerations, and puncture wounds are some of the most common. If you suffer these injuries, seek medical attention right away to clean the wound, close up it with stitches and prevent infection. Bacteria from the dog’s mouth leads to infection in approximately 15% of cases, so it is a real concern. The worst type of infection is rabies, which occurs when the dog is not vaccinated. Deep bites can also lead to nerve damage and scarring. If the scarring occurs on the face, it could cause disfigurement. In extreme cases, dog attacks can be fatal.
Dog bites can be serious, and as such, you should not hesitate to take swift legal action. You have just two years from the date of your dog bite incident and seek compensation for your damages. These include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. If you wait too long, your claim—and rights to compensation—will be denied.
Do not lose out on the financial compensation you deserve. Contact an Illinois dog bites attorney from Patel Law. We have experience handling cases involving dangerous or vicious dogs. Contact us for a free consultation today.
Illinois Dog Bite Statute
Illinois dog bite laws can be found under statute 510 ILCS 5/2. 05a. Illinois dog bite law defines a dangerous dog as any dog that is not on its property and is unleashed, unmuzzled, or unattended by its owner. Because of this, it is imperative that dog owners keep their dogs on their property at all times. Under statute 510 ILCS 5/2.18b, a reckless dog owner is one whose dog leaves the property and kills another dog.
There is another state statute, 510ILCS 5/2.11a, that requires all dogs on private property to be enclosed by a 6-foot-high fence so that children do not enter. Dog owners can take their dogs for walks on public property. If permitted, they can also take their dog to someone else’s private property. However, the dog must remain leashed at all times. If a dog escapes, the owner can be held responsible for dog bites and any other damage.
Liability in a Dog Bite Case
Dog bite cases fall under either negligence or strict liability. Each state has different laws and liability issues when it comes to dog bites. Illinois is a strict liability state, which means that a dog’s owner cannot claim that their dog was not aggressive or that it has never hurt anyone in the past. Some states have one bite laws, which gives owners one chance. Illinois does not allow this. When the dog acts aggressively for the first time, the owner is still held liable.
As mentioned above, dog owners are legally responsible for any damage caused by their dog. However, the injured person still has to prove that the dog owner was negligent. To prove liability, the victim must prove all three of these elements:
- The dog attempted to attack or injure the person.
- The person had a right to be where they were at the time of the attack (i.e. they were not trespassing)
- The dog was not provoked in any way (i.e. the victim did not hit or tease the dog)
Dog bite laws in Illinois are broad enough to expand beyond dog bites. Dog bite laws also cover other dog behaviors that can cause injuries. For example, even if a person is injured after getting knocked down by a dog, the owner could be held liable for any injuries. This can be frustrating to owners, since dogs often jump when they are excited, and they are not always acting in an aggressive manner.
Contact a Dog Attack Lawyer in Decatur
Dog bites can be very serious. It is not like a teething puppy biting on your hand. These attacks can cause deep lacerations, scarring, disfigurement, amputation and other serious injuries.
If you or a loved one was a dog bite victim, seek legal help from lawyers for dog bites in Decatur. Patel Law understands Illinois dog bite laws and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling (217) 384-1111.