While many dogs are friendly, loveable creatures, some can become aggressive due to poor training, abuse, or something else. If a canine recently attacked you, contact a Joliet dog bite lawyer as soon as you can. You could receive significant compensation that helps you move forward with your life after the traumatizing incident.
A skilled personal injury attorney understands that it takes time to recover not only physically from a violent dog encounter, but mentally and emotionally. Regardless of where you are in the recovery process, the right legal professional provides much-needed stress relief by taking over all claim-related tasks.
Types of Injuries in Dog Bites
A serious dog attack can send someone to the hospital. While most attacks are not fatal, legal professionals often cite any of the following injuries in their claim:
- Puncture wounds
- Lacerations and scratches
- Nerve damage
- Bone fractures
Local dog bite attorneys typically request damages such as emergency and ongoing medical care, pain and suffering, counseling, mental anguish, and emotional distress in dog-related personal injury claims. Plaintiffs have two years starting from the date of the attack to file a viable legal claim against the dog’s owner.
Dog Attack Laws in Joliet
Dog bite laws differ by state, with some following the “one-bite rule,” which states that the owner is not strictly liable for an attack if the canine has no previous history of aggressive behavior. Illinois does not use the one-bite rule and considers all dog owners strictly liable for any injuries their pets inflict on others. According to 510 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 5/13, the owner is liable if the canine attacked or injured a person who was “peacefully conducting themselves” somewhere that they were legally allowed to be. In certain rare cases, the owner also becomes liable if the plaintiff sustained injuries or personal property damage because the dog chased, harmed, or killed their farm animals, such as cows, sheep, and goats.
When Might a Dog Attack Claim be Dismissed?
The state defines dangerous canines in 510 ILCS § 5/15. No dog that is professionally trained for guard or law enforcement duties is considered vicious. Illinois courts might dismiss dog violence charges if the individual who was threatened, injured, or killed by a canine was committing a crime at the time of the incident, or attacking the dog’s owner or custodian. Those who physically threaten or assault dogs generally do not have legal claim grounds either. Dogs who were protecting their owners, offspring, or kennel members are also not considered vicious.
If the dog is considered dangerous by the court, the owner pays a $100 safety fine to the county animal control fund. The dog must be neutered or spayed within 10 days of the fining, and microchipped if applicable. Owners who do not comply receive $500 fines plus dog impoundment fees. They also face the potential of paying damages requested by the Joliet animal attack lawyer, as well as the dog’s euthanization if the judge believes the animal is a community danger.
Contact a Joliet Dog Bite Attorney for Guidance
Experiencing a dog attack can have lasting physical, mental, and emotional scars. After a violent canine encounter, take action by contacting a Joliet dog bite lawyer today. You should not have to suffer because the dog’s owner was negligent or encouraged the animal to attack you. Make an appointment now to learn how a lawyer could help you potentially win a monetary award.