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Victims of dog bite injuries may be eligible for compensation if they had a legal right to be on the premises at the time of the incident, and the attack happened without provocation. A Riverdale dog bite lawyer could help you understand your legal rights and obligations if you have been the victim of an animal attack. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn about your options to recover compensation for damages.

Proving a Dog Owner’s Liability in Riverdale

Illinois follows the doctrine of strict liability in dog bite claims. This means that a dog bite owner may be held liable for unprovoked incidents, regardless of whether or not the owner was aware that their animal had dangerous proclivities. The key emphasis here is that the dog bite must have been unprovoked.

To establish a viable case, it must be proven that the claimant did not instigate the dog’s aggression, the claimant was legally authorized to be at the location where the bite occurred, tried to bite, or otherwise inflicted physical harm on the claimant per 510 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 5/16. An attorney in Riverdale could help a dog bite victim determine whether it may be possible to seek compensation from the animal’s owner in the aftermath of an unprovoked attack.

The Legal Obligations of Riverdale Dog Owners

Illinois law clearly outlines the obligations of dog owners. A dog owner’s failure to observe these requirements could leave them vulnerable to a personal injury lawsuit if their animal attacks and injures someone. According to 510 ILCS § 5/2.05a a dog may be considered dangerous if they are unsupervised or without a leash or muzzle and are somewhere other than their owner’s property.

The law instructs animal owners to install a fence or similar construction a minimum of six feet tall on any privately-owned premises where dogs are kept. Owners must ensure their animal is confined on their property and may be liable for harm inflicted if their dog breaks free. Furthermore, the owner must keep their dog on a leash at all times, both on public and private premises.

Recoverable Compensation

Below are the common types of compensatory damages which a Riverdale dog bite attorney may be able to help injured victims recover:

  • Hospital bills
  • Ambulance bills
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Therapy expenses
  • Past and future lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring

Punitive Damages

In rare situations, a victim may also be able to recover punitive damages, if the dog owner’s actions were especially reckless or egregious. Unlike the other damages named above, punitive damages are designed to discipline a defendant for wanton wrongdoing and discourage similar behavior in the future.

Deadline to File a Dog Attack Lawsuit

A strict two-year time limit applies to dog bite cases. As such, injured victims have just two years from the date of the attack to commence a lawsuit. If someone attempts to file suit after the two-year deadline has run, the court may refuse to hear their claim, and the victim could lose out on their right to compensation.

Let a Riverdale Dog Bite Attorney Help

A Riverdale dog bite lawyer could be your legal voice and strongest advocate if you have been injured in a recent attack. You may be entitled to numerous types of compensation for your monetary, psychological, and bodily injuries. Call today to get started on your case.