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Chicago Dog Bite Attorneys

Dog Bites — Illinois Law and Liability

Far too many dog owners assume their family pets would never bite, but the growing statistics suggest otherwise.

Due to anxiety, illness, aging, or unusual contact/agitation, even well trained dogs – large or small — can and do, bite.

Illinois law clearly defines the responsibilities of dog owners to control and restrain their dogs, and in most cases, the burden of liability is placed on the dog owner should a bite or attack occur.

The Chicago Injury Lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are experienced trial attorneys committed to seeking full justice for victims of a dog attack, including medical compensation and damages for lost wages, reconstructive surgery, emotional distress, or pain and suffering that may linger months, or even years following an attack.

Hidden Dangers of Dog Bites

What may first appear as a dog bite injury of limited size or location can quickly become more serious with swelling or bleeding beneath the skin, or the presence of the virus, Rabies, spread through the dog’s saliva.

Infection from punctures and/or laceration wounds, temporary or permanent nerve damage, loss of sight, disfigurement and scaring, and life-long emotional traumas are common tragedies of a dog attack.

Dogs without a documented current Rabies vaccination, or those not previously vaccinated against the virus are of utmost concern and must be tested immediately as a potential carrier.

While Rabies is treatable in humans, delayed treatment can become fatal once the virus reaches the central nervous system. For this reason, dog bite victims are urged to seek medical treatment immediately following a dog bite and be evaluated for preventative Rabies shots.

Dog Attacks On the Rise In Illinois

According to a 2013 report released by State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute regarding dog attacks, Illinois ranked second (309) only to California (449) in the number of claims paid for dog bites.

In a similar 2013 study done by the United States Postal Services of the top 30 rankings for dog attacks upon postal workers, Chicago ranked #5 out of 62 cities, with 47 attacks reported.

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control states that 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually, of which 50% of victims are children with the highest rate of injury between 5 and 9 years old.

Dog Bite Law In Illinois

The Illinois Animal Control Act (p510 ILCS 5/16:Sec. 16.p) clearly defines liability:

If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.

While many states allow for “first bite” relief of liability, the state of Illinois does not.

Dangerous Animal Laws

Owners of dogs deemed to be classified as “dangerous” may have additional, extensive requirements placed upon their ownership and maintenance of the animal, including, but not limited to: reinforced or confined quarters, muzzles, sterilization, added liability insurance, obedience training or other specific stipulations to care.

If you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by a dog resulting in serious injury, please contact our Chicago Injury Lawyers at (312) 372-8822, or TollFree at (800)-985-1819 or ‘Tell Us About Your Case”.