According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million people in the United States suffer injuries from dog bites. Some of these dog bite injuries can be severe, as the Agency for Health Research and Quality research shows that more than 300,000 visits to the emergency room occur due to severe dog bites in the United States. If you suffered injuries due to a dog bite in a dog park, consider visiting with a Chicago Lakeshore East dog park dog bite lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 816-0755 to find out how you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
Chicago Leash Laws
As an owner of a dog in Chicago, Illinois, you must always have your dog on a leash or some sort of restraint when outside your own personal property line. According to the Chicago Municipal Code Chapter 7-12, unless an animal is a law enforcement service animal or a rescue dog, they must remain on a leash or lead, or may also remain confined to a crate, cage, or vehicle. These laws apply to private property as well, when a dog is on a property without fencing where they could move past the private property boundaries and harm or injure a person walking nearby.
Chicago Dog Parks
Chicago has strict regulations and laws related to the requirement of leashes on dogs when in public. However, there are specific dog-friendly areas that allow animals to be off-leash, such as dog parks. These are areas that allow dogs to roam free and get some much-needed exercise. It is important to note that any dog owner that takes their animal to any dog park or off-leash area must have a specific permit and tag for each off-leash animal. These permits are often available through veterinarians or from the city for a $5 fee per permit.
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Risks of Chicago Dog Parks
Although Chicago dog parks are places where dogs can roam free and enjoy their independence, there is still a responsibility that a dog owner has regarding the actions of their animal. If a dog bites another person, even in a dog park, the owner will remain liable for any subsequent damages as a result of that dog bite. In fact, the Chicago Park District website clearly indicates that all dog owners are legally responsible for any injuries resulting from their dog biting another dog or person.
In the best-case scenario, following a dog bite attack, owners will exchange contact information and the dog owner whose dog bit someone else will pay for any resulting damages or injuries. However, if the other dog owner resists providing contact information or becomes adversarial in any way, you have the legal right to call the police department and report the dog bite incident.
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Illinois Dog Bite Law
The Illinois Animal Control Act used to allow dog bite owners “one free bite” for their animals as a warning without much consequence. However, now, Illinois law is much more strict and states that if any dog (or another animal) bites, injuries or attacks another person without any provocation, in a place where the person has a legal right to exist, then the owner of the dog is legally liable to that person for the full amount of any damages or injuries suffered.
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Victims of Dog Bites
While dog bites can happen to any person, some of the typical types of victims may include elderly people, children aged 5 to 9, and postal letter carriers. In many cases, children and the elderly are not strong enough to fend off serious dog attacks, and therefore may suffer more severe injuries as a result of their dog bite attack.
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Types of Injuries
Dog bites and dog attacks can result in catastrophic injuries including traumatic brain injuries, puncture wounds, dislocations, broken or fractured bones, amputations, cuts, bruises, scratches, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, and more. In some cases, these injuries are so severe they require skin grafting, scar diminishment, reconstructive surgery or tissue expansion. In severe circumstances, a victim may undergo multiple procedures over many years due to their dog bite attack.
Types of Compensation
While every Chicago Lakeshore East dog park dog bite case will have different sets of facts and circumstances, some of the types of compensation that a victim may receive could include medical expenses, future expected medical expenses, loss of income, diminished earning capacity, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and other losses. If you suffered injuries as a result of dog bite in a Chicago dog park, contact a Chicago Lakeshore East dog park dog bite lawyer at Pintas & Mullins to see how they may help you understand your legal rights.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite
If you suffered injuries due to a dog bite in a dog park, you should seek medical attention and evaluation as soon as possible. Any dog bite should receive medical evaluation and treatment from a healthcare professional to ensure that there are no infections or serious injuries that require any surgery or medical procedure. Additionally, if it is possible for you to take photographs of the injury (or of the dog that attacked and bit you), that can assist you if you decide to make a claim at a later time. Save your clothing if possible, as it may prove valuable for evidence later.
Consider a Chicago Lakeshore East Dog Park Dog Bite Lawyer
If you suffered injuries due to a dog bite in a dog park, you may have substantial medical bills, the inability to return to work due to lost wages, and extensive time you need to recover that involves pain and suffering. Contact our legal team at Pintas & Mullins at (800) 816-0755 to learn how a Chicago Lakeshore East dog park dog bite lawyer can help you determine your next steps and understand your legal rights.