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Chicago Dog Bite Lawyers

If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a dog attack, our injury law firm can help you recover compensation to help pay for your medical bills, reimburse you for lost wages, and hold the responsible party accountable for your pain and suffering. The Chicago dog bite lawyers at Donald W. Fohrman & Associates, LTD. have secured millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of victims in Illinois.

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To find out more about your legal options after suffering a dog bite in Cook, DuPage, or Lake County, call our personal injury attorneys for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Illinois Has a Dog Bite Problem

Approximately 5 million people are bitten by dogs and other vicious animals every year in the United States. Nearly 800,000 of those victims suffer injuries so severe that they require medical attention. In about 6,000 of those cases, victims must be hospitalized. While dog bite fatalities are relatively rare, about 66% of deadly attacks involve pit bulls.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), Illinois is ranked 5th in the nation for dog attack claims that are paid out. In 2019 alone, approximately 854 dog bite claims were filed against homeowner’s insurance policies, paying out a whopping $41.1 million.

Types of Injuries Sustained from Dog Attacks

Although some dog bites only require first aid treatment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that approximately 20% of attacks require treatment in hospital emergency rooms. It is not uncommon for dog bite attorneys to see vicious attacks that result in:

Illinois Animal Control Act: The Evolution of Dog Bite Law in Illinois

Illinois is known as a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. Before establishing the Illinois Animal Control Act, the state followed the “one bite rule” that stated that the animal’s owner was generally shielded from liability for injuries as long as the dog had never bitten anyone before. Now, however, the law states that if an animal attacks a person without provocation, who is lawfully in a place that he or she should be, the dog’s (or other type of animal’s) owner is fully responsible for damages.

Victims may be able to recover compensation for:

Exceptions to the Illinois Dog Bite Rule

Animal owners may not be liable for damages if either of the following circumstances exist.

  • Trespassing: If the dog bite victim was trespassing when the attack occurred, the owner is generally not liable for injuries.
  • Provocation: If the victim intentionally provoked the dog and provocation caused the attack, the victim’s claim may be barred or limited.

Why Hire Our Dog Bite Attorneys?

If you were recently attacked by a dog or your loved one lost his or her life after getting mauled by an animal, you may be shocked by the callous treatment you have received from the dog’s owner and the insurance company. Chances are, they are more concerned about protecting their own bottom line than your interests, and they will likely take whatever steps they think are necessary to try to show your injuries are not severe, that they are not responsible, or even that you provoked the animal. 

Without help from our dog bite attorneys, you could end up shouldering the financial burdens that will follow your injury, have a difficult time accessing quality medical care, and getting forced to stand by quietly as you witness irresponsible pet owners jeopardize the safety of others in the community.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bites in Chicago

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Who pays damages in a dog bite case in Illinois?

Dog bite settlement payments may be paid by a variety of entities. For instance, if the dog’s owner owns his or her home, the injuries would generally be covered by the person’s homeowner’s insurance policy. If the dog was under the care of a pet sitting service when the attack happened, the company and the animal’s owner may both be held liable.

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Can I still recover compensation if a dog attacked me without biting?

Yes, you can still recover damages if you are injured by a dog without getting bitten. For example, if a dog knocks you down and you break your arm, you can sue the animal’s owner for damages.

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Does a dog have to be put down if it attacks someone?

It is unlikely that a dog will be put down after a single attack in Illinois. If the dog has attacked multiple people or been declared a vicious dog and it gets loose, however, euthenasia may be required.

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