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My Neighbor’s Dog Bit Me. Can I Sue?

Posted on in Premises Liability

IL injury lawyerMost dogs are lovable, furry companions. Unfortunately, not all dogs live up to this reputation. Dog attacks can leave victims with horrible injuries including facial lacerations, damage to the hands and fingers, and deep puncture wounds. Because dogs’ saliva is teeming with bacteria and other pathogens, dog bites injuries can also become dangerously infected. Sometimes, dog attacks are even fatal – especially when the victim is a child. If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, you may wonder if you can sue the dog’s owner. The answer to that question varies, but in most cases, it is possible to sue a negligent dog owner for dog attack injuries.

Illinois Law Regarding Dog Attacks

States handle dog bite liability differently. In some states, a dog owner is not responsible for dog-related injuries unless he or she knew that the dog was aggressive. These are sometimes called “one-bite” states because the owner often avoids liability for a first-time dog attack. Illinois is not a one-bite state. In Illinois, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs if:

  • The victim was on public property such as a park or public sidewalk or lawfully on private property at the time of the attack
  • The injuries were caused by the dog
  • The victim did not provoke the dog

Put another way, as long as you were not intentionally provoking the dog or trespassing, the dog owner is most likely liable for dog bite injuries. In Illinois, dog owners are also liable for non-bite injuries caused by a dog. For example, if a dog knocks you to the ground and you sustain a traumatic brain injury, the dog owner may be liable.

Damages to Which You May Be Entitled

If you were hurt by a dog, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. Dog bit injury cases often include compensation for:

  • Medical bills including ambulance fees, hospital care, surgery, stitches, medications, and ongoing care like physical therapy and mental health care
  • Lost income from the time you had to take off of work while you were recovering
  • Harm to your earning capacity caused by your injuries
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement and scarring

Contact a Waukegan Personal Injury Lawyer

Dog attacks can leave victims with painful, expensive injuries. If you or your family member were hurt by a dog, contact the Lake County dog bite injury attorneys at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. for help. Call 847-662-3303 for a free, confidential consultation to learn more.





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