According to an article in the Illinois Bar Journal, State Farm Insurance ranked Illinois in second place among the 10 states with the most dog bite claims in 2016. State Farm paid out $14 million for 323 dog bite claims in Illinois alone, which came in just under California on the list.
While these statistics may raise alarm, state-specific laws enacted specifically to protect individuals and their pets from dog bites contribute to the continued increase in claims. Certain states and jurisdictions allow a victim to hold a pet owner liable only after the dog bites a second time, but Illinois holds pet owners to higher standards by allowing claims after the first attack.
If you, your child, or another loved one suffered a dog bite injury at Chicago’s River Park dog park in Chicago, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you seek compensation. Contact us today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case.
Dog Bites in Chicago
Pet owners in Chicago must abide by both state and local regulations regarding responsible ownership and conduct. The Illinois Animal Control Act outlines definitions of important terms related to pets and their behaviors. These include:
- Dangerous dog: a dog that, when not on its own property or restrained by any mechanism, poses an imminent threat to a person or other pet, as well as a dog that bites a person unprovoked but does not cause serious injury
- Vicious dog: a dog that unjustifiably causes serious injury or death to a person and has been deemed a dangerous dog on three separate occasions
Additionally, the Municipal Code of Chicago § 7-12 details the responsibilities of pet ownership and procedures for handling dog bite cases. If a pet owner’s dog bites another person or animal, the owner must report the incident within 24 hours. Authorities may then investigate the case to determine if the dog is dangerous and decide the appropriate steps that should follow. If a dog bit, attacked, or otherwise harmed you at the dog park, a Chicago River Park dog park dog bite lawyer can help you hold the owner accountable.
Dog Breeds That Bite
Contrary to popular belief, dogs of every breed can and have bitten. As the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) notes, singling out specific types of dogs as “dangerous” can compound the problem, as it gives the false illusion that avoiding those particular dogs would solve the dog bite problem. The United States does not require breed licensing, so even determining the exact breed of a dog presents a challenge. In summary, any dog can bite, and pet owners have the responsibility of taking reasonable safety measures regardless of breed.
Reasons Dogs Bite
Oklahoma State University says that, according to the AMVA, dogs bite as a reaction to many circumstances. Dogs may bite as a reaction to feeling:
- Sick or in pain
Regardless of the cause of the bite, victims can hold dog owners accountable for the dog’s behavior. If an owner suspects that their dog may have aggressive tendencies toward people or other dogs or does not feel well, they must take responsible courses of action to care for their pet and prevent injury.
Dog parks can be enjoyable for pets and their owners, but only if the dogs have the proper disposition for a community setting. Tell the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm about your dog bite incident online today, and we will call you to learn more about your case.
Dangers of Dog Bites
Dog bites can cause injuries that vary greatly in severity. While some bites may not even puncture the skin, they can cause lasting pain and trauma. In instances of attack, dog bites can cause deep punctures and lacerations, broken bones, and even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs can also carry diseases that they can transmit to humans, and bites increase a person’s risk of contraction.
- Campylobacteriosis and Cryptosporidiosis: Bacterial infections that can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms
- Capnocytophaga: Bacterial infection leading to blisters, swelling, redness, joint pain, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA): Dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection that can become life-threatening
- Rabies: Viral disease transmitted by unvaccinated animals that can cause serious neurological conditions and death
When you suffer illness or injury as the result of a dog bite, you have the legal right to hold its owner accountable and pursue financial compensation. A Chicago River Park dog park dog bite lawyer can help you get started on your case.
For a free legal consultation with a river park dog park lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
Types of Compensation for Dog Bite Claims
Unlike many other states, Illinois holds pet owners strictly liable for any instance in which their pet bites, attacks, or otherwise harms another person or pet with the exception of intentional provocation of the dog or trespassing on the owner’s property. Victims of dog bites can file a claim against the owner to seek financial awards. Compensation in dog bite cases may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and/or loss of future wages
- Property damage (if the attack caused damage to the victim’s personal effects)
- Pain and suffering
- Veterinary expenses (if the dog attacked another person’s pet and caused injury requiring veterinary care)
- Wrongful death (if the dog bite causes a fatality)
The court may also impose punitive damages, which the pet owner must pay in addition to your personal compensation as a form of punishment. A Chicago River Park dog park dog bite lawyer can represent you in court to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and seek justice on your behalf.
Chicago River Park Dog Park Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help You
We understand the traumatizing effects of dog bites and attacks, and your emotional, physical, and mental suffering can affect many aspects of your life. Victims may find it challenging to pursue dog bite claims on their own, as these cases require extensive processes to prove liability and achieve the results you deserve.
The attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will explore the details of your claim, collect evidence, build a case, and take it to court to pursue your compensation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not owe us any fees unless we achieve financial awards for you. If you suffered a dog bite at River Park Dog Park in Chicago, call us today at (800) 794-0444 to talk to our legal team about your free case evaluation.