Dog bites are a serious public health problem in Illinois that could cause victims to suffer severe physical, emotional, and financial harm. The damage from these injuries could be life-altering, particularly when the injury affects the face and neck. If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dangerous dog, an Orland Park dog bite lawyer could help you obtain a suitable outcome, so you could focus on recovering from the incident.

When you or a loved one suffer a dog bite-related injury whether, at a park, another person’s home, or on the street, it is important to understand the law and your rights under it in order to seek compensation for the losses sustained. Contact a compassionate injury lawyer as soon as possible to help build your case.

The Animal Control Act

The range of injuries a victim could suffer from a dog bite range from disfiguring scars and infections to nerve damage and amputations. To help the public avoid these serious health consequences, the Animal Control Act outlines the responsibilities of dog owners.

Under the Act, an owner whose dog, without being provoked, injures a person who is peaceably conducting themselves where they are lawfully allowed to be is liable for damages for the full amount of the injury.

Within the Act, the definition of “owner” is broad, encompassing the following:

  • Anyone who has a right of property in the dog
  • Keeps and has it in their care
  • Knowingly allows the animal to stay on their premises

Defenses in Orland Park Dog Bite Cases

Under the Act, a plaintiff does not need to prove negligence but rather that the defendant owned the dog and the animal caused their injuries.

A defendant cannot claim they did not know the dog posed a danger as a defense. Instead, for the defendant owner in a dog bite case, commonly-raised defenses based on the specific language in the Act include:

  • The plaintiff was not peaceably behaving
  • The plaintiff was not lawfully on the property
  • The plaintiff provoked the dog either intentionally or unintentionally

The provocation defense, through judicial interpretation of the law, Orland Park follows the “reasonable dog” standard. Court guidance suggests that the cases should focus on how an average dog would react to the plaintiff’s presence. An adept Orland Park dog bite lawyer may be familiar with these defenses and could know how to combat them.

Timing for Dog Bite Lawsuits

Under Illinois’ statute of limitations for dog bite cases, a plaintiff has two years from the date of the dog bite that caused their injuries to file a lawsuit. After that time, the plaintiff may be unable to seek compensation.

Get Help from a Seasoned Orland Park Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog bite cases often involve friends, family, and neighbors compounding an already challenging situation. An experienced dog bite lawyer could support you every step of the way and fight aggressively to recover compensation for all of your medical costs. Call an Orland Park personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.