Illinois dog bite laws define the liability of owners and others who are responsible for dogs. The law is made up of two separate statutes: a strict liability statute and a negligence law. There are nuances to these laws, so you will want a personal injury lawyer Wheaton IL to help you with your lawsuit. You are entitled to compensation for your dog bite injury. Contact Sethna & Cook today at (630) 574 – 3600 and our personal injury lawyer Wheaton IL will help you.
The first statute, which applies to unprovoked attacks by dogs, states that an owner is strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dog when it bites without provocation. This means that if you are bitten by someone else’s dog or animal and it was not provoked in any way then you may be able to recover damages from the owner under certain conditions.
Dog Bite Statute
Under Illinois law, a dog owner may be able to defend a dog bite case under certain conditions. In order to do so, the dog owner must prove by preponderance of evidence that: the injury was due to provocation or self defense and the person injured knew or had reason to know that the animal was dangerous.
Provocation can include that: the injured person was trespassing on private property, the injured person was acting in an aggressive manner towards another animal, or that the injured person intentionally engaged in conduct likely to cause harm.
Even when an owner tries to claim self defense, you are still within your rights to pursue a personal injury claim. If you have been injured it is important to keep records related to the cost of the attack. For example, you want to save receipts for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses.
Avoid speaking to the owners of the dog, their lawyers, their insurance companies, or any other representatives. You run the risk of revealing too much information that they may use to try and avoid paying for your costs. It is important to hire a personal injury lawyer Wheaton IL who can look out for you best interests. Contact the attorneys at Sethna & Cook today.
Contributory Negligence Law as Applied in Dog Bite Cases
The contributory negligence law as applied in dog bite cases bars recovery if it was proven that you were partly or mostly responsible for what happened to you by your own actions or failure to act appropriately.
The Illinois Supreme Court held that the contributory negligence defense can be used against a victim who “has failed to exercise due care for his own safety” when injured by a dog. In other words, if you weren’t careful enough around the dog or didn’t do anything at all to protect yourself from being bitten (e.g., backing away slowly), then your injuries may not be compensable under this defense.
When a dog owner is going to try and prove contributory negligence, a personal injury lawyer Wheaton IL can help you. You are entitled to compensation for the medical expenses and other monetary damages.
Contact our personal injury lawyer Wheaton IL today
Whether you have a complex case or not, our lawyers work tirelessly to see them through to the end and go after notable and record-setting settlements or verdicts. There will be no need for you to worry about how you will move forward from a serious personal injury. With more than 20 years of experience in personal injury law, we have successfully handled numerous types of personal injury cases.
If you have been bitten by a dog, it is important to understand your legal rights. Dog bite laws vary from state-to-state and can be complicated. If you or someone you know has been bitten by an animal in Illinois, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer Wheaton IL as soon as possible. Sethna & Cook is here to help.