Suffer a Serious Dog Bite? Consult a Cook County Dog Bite Lawyer Today.
Dogs are commonly known as man’s best friend for a reason. Often viewed as loving, loyal companions that are essential parts of many American families, as animals, they can sometimes attack others without warning. This is especially true of dogs that are improperly trained or cruelly treated.
No matter the reason a dog attacks, when a person is injured he or she is allowed by Illinois law to use a Cook County dog bite lawyer to seek compensation from the animal’s owner for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
The Illinois’s Dog Bite Statute
Illinois has a particular statute that covers dog bite injuries: [§ 510 ILCS 5/16]. It states that to prove a dog or other animal owner’s liability for a bite, a Cook County dog attack attorney must show all of the following.
- The animal attacked and injured the victim
- The victim was lawfully allowed to be on the premises when the attack/injury took place
- The animal was not provoked
Illinois’s dog bite law is not limited to animal bites alone. For example, a person walking down a public sidewalk and knocked down by a dog that leaves its yard and jumps on him or her – that suffers injury – can also seek compensation using a Cook County dog bite attorney under the statute despite the face that he or she was not bitten.
Illinois’ Dog Bite Laws are Based on Strict Liability
Most personal injury torts involve defendant negligence. But some are based on the theory of strict liability; which states that the conditions that caused the damage were so dangerous that negligence need not be present. Proving dangerous conditions is important because it is usually easier to prove and circumvents whether or not the dog’s owner knew that the animal was dangerous.
So even if the owner does everything possible to protect others, the very fact that he or she owned an animal that is capable of hurting others is often all that is necessary for injured victims to collect damages from the owner. The defendant has little – if any – defense.
Animal-related injuries fall under the general category of premises law; which states that an owner, manager or occupant of “property” (which qualifies to animals as they are legally viewed as property) is liable for the injuries caused by that property. Much of the time, premises law can boil down to a case of “I say/you say;” which can make them difficult to prove.
Injured victims of animal attacks can strengthen their positions thanks in no small part to the advent of technology such as cell phone video and picture taking capability. Injuries are easier to document immediately after they occur. Also, one can get a video record of the animal’s behavior in proximity to the alleged attack.
Taken in context, your neighbor’s cute little Chihuahua baring its teeth after mauling your hand can look more ferocious than a 100 pound sleeping Rottweiler. Of course, an experienced lawyer’s investigators can interview neighbors and other people who can attest to the fact that the animal “just isn’t right,” or cannot be trusted. Proving the inherent threat of a dog in an animal attack case requires compelling evidence – other than the apparent injuries – to prove a dog bite/premises liability injury case.
If you or a member of your family has been injured by a dog bite or any animal attack for which the owner is liable for your medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages, Buttafuoco and Associates’ seasoned injury attorneys can offer a free consultation, then investigate the case. Contact us anytime by calling or fill out our online case form.