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What Are My Legal Rights if My Child Was Injured by a Dog in Illinois? 

Posted on in Personal Injury

Cook County dog bite injury lawyerDogs are considered man's best friend. Unfortunately, not all dogs live up to this reputation. While many are lovable companions, dogs are also animals with sharp teeth and claws. Dog attacks can lead to severe injuries, both physically and emotionally. Nerve damage, lacerations, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and long-term disfigurement may all result from a serious dog attack.

Sadly, over half of the people bitten by dogs are children. If your child was bitten by a dog or otherwise injured by a dog, it is important to understand your legal rights and options.

Illinois Law Specifically Describes Liability for Dog Bites

State laws describing liability for dog-related injuries vary. Some states are called "one-bite rule" states because a dog owner is not liable for injuries the first time their dog injures someone. However, Illinois is a strict liability state. This means that, regardless of whether the dog had previously bitten or attacked someone, an owner is responsible for any injuries caused by their dog. There are a few notable exceptions to this rule: If the injured person was trespassing at the time of the attack or the dog was provoked, the dog owner is not liable for the person's injuries.

Monetary Damages to Which You May Be Entitled

A child who is seriously injured by a dog may need emergency medical treatment as well as ongoing medical care. He or she may need psychological counseling to deal with the trauma of the attack. Parents may need to miss work in order to care for their injured child. The financial losses can quickly add up.  

Fortunately, parents may be able to recover compensation for these damages through a personal injury claim. In Illinois, compensation may be available for

  • Past and future medical expenses 
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. These are designed to punish the dog owner for their negligence or recklessness and signal to other pet owners that dangerous behavior will not be tolerated.

Contact our Cook County Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

In general, if a person is bitten by a dog in Illinois, the dog's owner is liable for any damages associated with the attack. If your child was seriously hurt by a dog, you may be able to file an injury claim and recover financial compensation for medical bills and other damages. Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Charles Adler has practiced law for over four decades. He understands the severe physical, emotional, and financial impact a dog attack can have on a family and he can help you seek compensation. Call Adler Law Offices, LTD at 312-236-2700 and set up a free initial consultation to learn more.

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=051000050K16

https://www.chp.edu/injury-prevention/safety/home-and-yard/dog-bites/aftermath

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