Snarling DogThis is the second post in a series discussing dog bite cases. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. Dogs of all breeds can bite humans or other animals. It is highly recommended that you contact an attorney immediately after such an incident. There are several important steps you can take to protect your health, property, and right to compensation. This article is intended to provide an overview of our state’s liability laws in dog bite cases. Illinois follows the “strict liability” approach. This means if the victim shows that the dog attacked them then they may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses and other damages. I stress the importance of retaining legal counsel immediately in order to protect your legal rights in these types of personal injury cases. My goal is to provide information to individuals and their families when selecting an attorney. If you need assistance, then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria dog bite lawyer.

Illinois is a strict liability state in regard to dog bite cases

Illinois follows the “strict liability” approach when assigning liability in dog bite cases. This means the animal’s owner is liable for the full amount of a victim’s injuries if it attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person. In order to allege strict liability for a dog bite, the victim must be peaceably conducting themselves, have a lawful right to be in the space where the incident occurred, and must not provoke the animal. An Illinois dog bite victim is not required under law to show that the owner was negligent. They are also not required to show that the dog’s owner knew or should have known about the animal’s propensity for violent conduct. They must still prove that the bite actually occurred in order to receive compensation for their injuries.

After a dog bite accident, you should seek medical care. This will protect not only your health, but a potential legal claim by helping establish damages and liability. If you delay or outright refuse medical care, then that may raise questions from insurance adjusters or opposing counsel about the extent of your injuries. Economic damages in these cases include the amount of medical bills or lost wages due to your inability to work. You may also be entitled to other damages such as emotional or non-economic injuries as a result of the attack.

Retain a Peoria attorney immediately if you are the victim of a dog bite

Dog bite cases follow a procedure similar to other personal injury cases. I cannot stress enough the importance of contacting an attorney as soon as possible if you or a family member have been a victim of such an accident. Through the discovery process, plaintiff’s counsel will gather evidence and facts about the attack. Next, the victim’s attorney may conduct an independent investigation of the incident. Identifying eyewitnesses, reviewing media accounts, or inspecting available security footage referencing the event may reveal evidence of the defendant’s responsibility. They will also file a claim against a homeowner’s policy for the amount of the damages. Furthermore, counsel will obtain relevant medical documentation and determine the appropriate amount of damages. These are just a few examples of how hiring an attorney can help ensure that your legal rights remain protected after an accident.

​​Retaining experienced counsel will give you the best chance of receiving the highest recovery for your damages after an animal attack. Each aspect of these types of cases can be complicated and require detailed knowledge of the law. I pride myself on providing you with quality representation and I look forward to speaking with you. Contact us today to speak with a Peoria dog bite lawyer. My office also serves the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.