Dog bites are not uncommon; however, many of them are not severe and do not require medical care. Yet there are also cases where the person suffers a severe injury resulting in missing work, extensive medical bills, and physical pain and suffering. In those cases, a court could hold the pet owner responsible for any ensuing losses.

The consequences of these accidents are severe enough that you will likely require the help of a dependable personal injury attorney. If the attack occurred because of a negligent pet owner, you have the right to hold them accountable. For a more personalized discussion of what is possible in your case, contact a Cook County dog bite lawyer for more information.

When to Seek Medical Attention After a Dog Bite

Dog bites carry a high risk of infection. Many dogs have bacteria in their saliva, including staphylococcus, streptococcus, and Pasteurella. These bacteria are hazardous for humans, and a person must see a medical professional immediately if they see any signs of an infection. The person should also seek medical treatment in the following situations:

  • If they do not know the dog or its vaccination history
  • The wound will not stop bleeding
  • The bite is deep enough to expose muscle or bone
  • The injury is extremely painful
  • The animal appears sick or rabid

A Cook County dog bite injury attorney could help collect the evidence needed to prove negligence and recover damages.

Dog Bite Injury Claims and Strict Liability

In Illinois, the law places liability on the pet owner after their animal attacks or bites a person. The plaintiff will not have to prove the owner caused the dog to attack them. Furthermore, the dog’s history, or whether they were previously aggressive, does not matter. The legal term of strict liability means that a dog owner is automatically responsible for the damages their animal causes. To recover compensation, the injured party will need to establish three things.

Sustained Injuries

The plaintiff in a severe dog bite injury must seek medical attention immediately because it is not uncommon for complications to arise from wounds. A medical professional should see that it receives the proper care. The patient will also need the documentation to prove the severity of their injuries in their claim – and verification is the most integral part of a dog bite injury case.

The Animal’s Owner

Proving ownership can be relatively simple to establish. State law clearly states what animal ownership entails and a lawyer could help establish this fact.

The Plaintiff Did Not Provoke the Animal

The plaintiff will need to prove that they were not aggravating, taunting, or provoking the dog when the attack occurred. If they were agitating the dog before an attack, the court would likely dismiss a case for damages.

The Animal Control Act

The Illinois Code 510 ILCS 5/16 defines the dog’s owner as an individual who keeps and cares for the animal. Owning the dog can even mean something as simple as permitting the animal to stay on their property. If it attacks or injures another person who lawfully enters the property, and without provocation, the court could hold the owner liable for civil damages. A dog bite injury lawyer in Cook County could answer questions on state codes and statutes that might shed light on who is legally responsible.

Schedule a Meeting With a Cook County Dog Bite Attorney

If a dog attacked or injured you or someone you love, you might be eligible for financial compensation for the losses you endured. The award could include payment for medical bills, missing time from work, and your psychological suffering. A Cook County dog bite lawyer could help you through the complex injury claim process and advocate on your behalf. Give us a call to discuss further.