Dog Bites

Waukegan Dog Bite Injuries Lawyer in Lake County, IL

Even though dogs are “man’s best friend,” they are still animals. That means they remain prone to sudden, uncharacteristic, and sometimes violent behaviors that can cause serious injury. That includes attacking people. Dogs can and do bite, scratch, and jump on people with alarming frequency, leaving millions of Americans with serious injuries and disfigurement every year. If the dog is particularly strong, large, or aggressive, or if the victim is young, elderly, or otherwise vulnerable, an attack can prove fatal.

If someone is hurt or killed in a car accident, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. If someone is hurt or killed by a defective or dangerous product, they can file a product liability suit seeking compensation from the manufacturer. And if a dog attacks and injures someone, the victim can sue and seek compensation from the dog’s owner under certain circumstances.

That is because dog attack victims should not have to bear the costs and burdens that follow, such as medical bills, rehabilitation, reconstructive surgery, lost wages, psychological trauma, and pain and suffering.

Individuals who get injured when a dog turns on them can turn to Lake County dog bite attorney Kirk Moyer to get them compensation for their injuries and losses. For over a quarter of a century, Kirk has worked tirelessly to help individuals and their families recover, rebuild, and move forward after a catastrophic injury or the sudden and tragic loss of a loved one turns their lives upside-down.

What You Need To Know About Dog Bites in Waukegan and Lake County, IL

Dogs bite an estimated 4.5 million Americans each year, leading to thousands of hospital stays and hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits. Other dog bite statistics reveal how frequent, and how costly, these attacks are:

  • According to State Farm statistics, Illinois had the second-highest number of dog bite claims in 2013.
  • Dogs killed 433 Americans between 2005 and 2017
  • 9,500 Americans are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries each year
  • 316,200 emergency department visits in one recent year were due to dog bites
  • In 2015, more than 28,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.
  • Dog bites (and other dog-related injuries) accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2015, costing more than $570 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Illinois had the second-highest number of dog bite claims in the nation.

As dog attacks are actually increasing in frequency, more individuals are winding up as victims of unprovoked and unexpected bites and other incidents. And while you may associate certain breeds like pit bulls and rottweilers with vicious attacks, all dogs have sharp teeth, no breed is immune from violent behavior, and even the best, most well-trained dogs can have a bad day. Similarly, even the most responsible pet owner may not be able to predict or prevent an attack. If you were attacked, you should reach out and contact a Waukegan, IL personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

Types of Dog Attack Injuries

The clench of a dog’s jaw is a powerful force, and many dogs have the strength to knock a person off their feet, causing them to fall and crash to the ground. Victims of unprovoked dog attacks can accordingly suffer a wide range of severe and permanent injuries. Seek medical attention immediately if you are a victim. Injuries may include:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Infection
  • Rabies
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye Injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Facial scars
  • Emotional and psychological trauma including PTSD

Illinois Law Provides Remedies For Dog Attack Victims

Do you need a lawyer for a dog bite? While every state has laws that govern liability for pet owners whose dogs attack others, Illinois has strict liability statutes in place. While dog bite victims in many states must prove that an owner was negligent in restraining their dog, owners in Illinois can be held liable for injuries and losses regardless of the dog’s prior history or the owner’s conduct.

The Illinois Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/1, et seq.) provides that:

“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.”

Can you sue for dog attacks? Simply put, you can recover damages in Illinois for your dog bite injuries if you can prove that:

  • A dog attacked, attempted to attack, or hurt you;
  • You were not trespassing and had a lawful right to be where you were when the dog attacked you; and
  • You did not provoke the dog.

Some claims can be settled by negotiating with the dog owner’s insurance company. Do not communicate with the dog owner or their insurance company before speaking to a personal injury lawyer.

Kirk Moyer: Lake County Dog Bite Lawyer

When a dog hurts you or someone you love, it can be just as serious as any car accident, slip and fall, or another injury case. You should not have to bear the costs and challenges alone. Kirk can investigate your dog bite case or animal attack. We will determine whether the dog’s owner is liable or not. If so, he’ll calculate the compensation you may be due for your dog bite injuries.

Driven by a commitment to help people who are struggling with physical, emotional, practical, and financial challenges through no fault of their own, Kirk Moyer is an ally and advocate that injury victims can rely on to help them through difficult times. Please give Kirk a call at (847) 244-3444 to arrange for your FREE initial consultation. We serve Waukegan, Gurnee, all of Lake County, and Chicago, IL.