With summer in full swing, more people are out and about, and where there are more people, there are inevitably be more dogs. It is this increased time and exposure that makes summer a peak time for dog bites. Know what to do if you or your child suffer a dog bite injury this summer, and understand what your rights are as a victim under Illinois state law.
Illinois Dog Bite Injury Law
When it comes to dog bites, Illinois is a “strict liability” state. This essentially means that, if a dog bites, the owner is fully liable. The owner cannot use the argument that they had no prior knowledge of violent tendencies or warning signs that injury-causing behavior might occur. In fact, the only defense they may have is if the dog was intentionally provoked, or if the victim was trespassing on private property without the owner’s permission. Both defenses burden the owner with a submission of proof.
Fulfilling Your End of the Law
Obviously, it would make sense to avoid provoking a dog, but dogs can be a lot like people when they become overheated: hot, stressed, and irritable. Furthermore, children often struggle with recognizing the cues or warning signs of a stressed or irritable dog. This can exponentially increase their risk of a dog bite injury. To protect yourself, and your children, be mindful of pets while out and about, avoid strays or loose dogs, and teach kids to steer clear of any pets they do not know. But even if your child does know the dog, it is important to be extra cautious with dogs and children during the summer months. Stay nearby and monitor the animal for possible warning signs so that you can protect your child.
Your Rights as a Victim
If you were bitten by a dog that you did not provoke or approach on private property, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Likewise, if your child was bitten by a dog, you may be able to file a lawsuit to cover expenses related to their medical care, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, it is critical that you take immediate action in a dog bite injury case. Illinois has a two-year statute that, if not adhered to, could result in a complete loss for you and your family.
Skilled Legal Assistance for Your Dog Bite Injury Case
While the strict liability law makes it more difficult for owners to avoid accountability for the actions of their pets, the law is still be highly complex for dog bite victims to navigate on their own. This is especially true if the owner alleges that you or your child somehow provoked the dog or trespassed on their property. In addition, assistance with the technical side of your case can give you and your family the time you need to heal from your physical and/or emotional injuries.
At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we can advocate for you or your child and work toward the most favorable settlement possible in your dog bite injury case. Experienced and aggressive, we offer comprehensive personal injury representation for clients throughout Will county. To ask how our Joliet dog bite injury lawyers can help with your case, call 815-726-9200 and schedule a free initial consultation today.