Did you or a family member sustain dog bite injuries in DuPage County, IL? You may be entitled to hold the dog’s owner or another responsible party liable for your damages. An experienced DuPage County dog bite lawyer at the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid can help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
Since our law firm was founded back in 2005, our team of lawyers has recovered over $150 million in compensation for injured clients. Between us, we have over 74 years of experience fighting for clients struggling with serious injuries.
It’s never too early to take legal action and protect your legal rights. All you have to do is contact our law offices in DuPage County, Illinois, at (630) 428-4040 to schedule a free consultation today.
How the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid Can Help After a Dog Bite in DuPage County
After the trauma of a dog attack, you shouldn’t be left to fight a lengthy insurance battle. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what most dog bite victims experience. The insurance company may undervalue your claim or blame you for the attack and challenge your right to damages entirely.
An experienced DuPage County personal injury attorney can handle the insurance battle on your behalf. Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid have been recognized as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
When you trust our lawyers to represent you, you’ll have a team of attorneys who will:
- Provide sound legal advice and help you understand your legal options
- Determine the fair value of your damages claim
- Investigate to prove the dog owner was liable
- Defend you if the owner blames you for provoking the dog
- Hire experts who can strengthen your claim if needed
- Fight for fair compensation during the insurance negotiations process
- Build a strong case for compensation in court if necessary
Insurance companies don’t always play fair. If you’re struggling with painful injuries after a dog bite, our DuPage County personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly to help you fight back. Just give us a call to get started today.
How Common Are Dog Bites in DuPage County?
According to the CDC, about 4.5 million dog bites are reported in the U.S. each year. Most of these dog bites are minor. However, about 800,000 are serious enough to require medical care.
Illinois is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to dog bites. Insurance Information Institute research shows that Illinois ranks sixth in the nation in the number of dog bite insurance claims paid out in 2021. 844 dog bite insurance claims were filed in the state of Illinois in 2021. The average payout was $56,292.
What Is My DuPage County Dog Bite Case Worth?
If you were attacked by a dog, our lawyers will conduct a detailed investigation to determine how much your personal injury case is worth. Before we file a claim with insurance, we’ll evaluate the unique facts and circumstances of your case.
Some of the factors that we will evaluate include:
- The type and severity of the injuries you sustained
- The circumstances of the dog bite or animal attack
- The cost of your current medical treatment
- Whether you will require future medical care, surgeries, or rehabilitation
- How the dog bite or attack impacted your emotional health and wellbeing
- The pain and suffering you endured
- Whether you lost wages because you were forced to miss work due to the attack
Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover dog bite injuries. However, the amount of insurance coverage that is available can also impact your case value if the owner doesn’t have sufficient resources to cover your damages.
Do you have questions about your case value? Call our lawyers for a free case evaluation today.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims in DuPage County?
Dog bite settlements and verdicts typically include both economic damages and non-economic damages.
Your economic damages compensate for your financial costs associated with the dog bite injury, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Reconstructive surgeries
- Physical therapy
Non-economic damages are your non-financial losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Diminished quality of life
- Fear and anxiety
- Loss of consortium
If you were bitten by a dog, contact our DuPage County dog bite attorneys to discuss this practice area today. You can count on our lawyers to work tirelessly to recover every dollar you deserve.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Dog Bite Injury in Illinois?
A modified comparative negligence law with a 51% bar to recovery applies in Illinois personal injury cases. Generally speaking, you can recover compensation if you were less than 51% responsible for your own injuries.
Comparative negligence theories are built into the Illinois dog bite law, however. Victims can lose their right to compensation entirely if the owner can prove that their actions provoked the dog bite. In other words, if you threatened the animal or otherwise caused the attack, you cannot pursue compensation for your injuries.
We’ll Fight To Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries
Some of the most common dog bite injuries include:
- Puncture wounds
- Cuts and lacerations
- Crushing injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Nerve injuries
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Amputations caused by infection
- Wrongful death of a loved one
Dogs and other animals can cause serious injuries. It’s always important to seek medical care right away if you were injured as a result of a dog bite. We’re always available to discuss your case, so call our lawyers in DuPage County to schedule your free case evaluation today.
How Do I Prove Liability After a Dog Bite in Illinois?
In some states, animal owners can avoid liability if their dog has never bitten anyone before. Essentially, each dog has one free pass before the owner becomes liable for damages. This “one bite rule” does not apply in Illinois.
Illinois follows a strict liability dog bite law. Owners of dogs that bite and injure another person can be held liable for damages even if the dog has never displayed aggressive or vicious propensities in the past.
To recover compensation from the dog owner, you must show:
- You were behaving peaceably
- The bite occurred on public property or while you were lawfully on private property (you were not trespassing)
- You did not provoke the animal
- You sustained injuries
The Illinois strict liability law applies even if the dog did not actually bite you. The dog owner may be strictly liable if the dog attacks or attempts to attack you. For example, if you were injured after the dog pushed you to the ground, you may still be entitled to damages under the dog bite law.
Does the Dog Owner Have Any Defenses Under Illinois Law?
The dog’s owner has a number of defenses that can help the owner escape strict liability.
Common defenses in dog bite injury cases include:
- You were trespassing at the time of the attack
- You provoked the dog bite
- You assumed the risk of being bitten by a dog (for example, if the dog owner warned of a dangerous dog)
In these cases, the dog owner may still be liable for negligence. If the dog owner’s own careless or reckless acts caused your injuries, you may still be entitled to damages. However, you’ll have to prove that the owner was negligent.
- The owner owed you a legal duty of care
- A breach of duty occurred
- The breach caused the dog bite or animal attack
- You sustained damages
There are many different ways to prove negligence. For example, the dog owner may have violated DuPage County leash laws or allowed the dog to roam the neighborhood freely. Our lawyers will interview witnesses, search for surveillance videos, and determine whether any past complaints about the dog owner’s behavior exist.
While the Illinois Animal Control Act tends to favor dog bite victims, recovering fair compensation can be an uphill battle. To learn more about your legal options if you were bitten by a dog, call our law firm in DuPage County to schedule a free case review today.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite in Illinois?
The statute of limitations in Illinois is two years. In most cases, you have two years after the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois. Once two years pass, you forfeit your right to seek compensation for your injuries.
Contact a DuPage County Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a child were bitten by a dog, the dog owner may owe you compensation. An experienced DuPage County dog bite lawyer can help you understand the laws that apply in your case and fight for the fair compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid to learn more today.