Dog owners are legally obligated to protect the public from sustaining bodily harm from attacks. When dogs bite without provocation, civil laws give Plainfield residents the legal right to pursue legal action by filing a lawsuit and recovering damages from the negligent party.
While all animal attack incidents are frightening, most dog bites are minor and heal quickly with treatment at home. However, more serious attacks can leave victims with life-threatening or fatal injuries as well as lasting psychological consequences. This is especially true for attacks involving children. Fortunately, recovery options are available through the legal system. When a dog bites you or a loved one, schedule to meet with a Plainfield dog bite lawyer from our firm for more information. Our trusted personal injury attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and options.
The Dunbar Dog Bite and Attack Scale
Most healthcare professionals across the country use the Dunbar Bite Scale to evaluate and determine the severity of dog bite wounds. The scale consists of six levels, with level six being the most severe. The tool assesses the victim’s injuries using the following factors:
- Level one: aggressive behavior from the animal but no actual contact
- Level two: contact for warning purposes without damaging the first layer of skin
- Level three: A single bite leaving up to four shallow wounds on the victim’s skin
- Level four: lacerations are deep with damage to both layers of skin; seek medical treatment to avoid infection
- Levels five and six: multiple bites and deep puncture wounds that require emergency medical care
Wounds that fall at level four on the scale or above are severe, and those involved must take them seriously. While level-six attacks are rare, they are almost always fatal. A Plainfield attorney can help someone whom a dog has bitten ensure they receive the appropriate assessment and medical care.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries in severe attacks may include the following:
- Deep cuts and lacerations
- Nerve and tissue damage
- Broken bones and soft tissue injuries
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Severe trauma causing emotional and psychological harm
- Severe head, neck, and facial injuries, including the eyes and loss of vision
Do not suffer in silence when you are the victim of a dog bite. A Plainfield dog bite attorney can help collect the documents and other evidence needed to prove damages and collect the fair settlement amount.
The Illinois Animal Control Act
The civil dog bite legislation in Illinois protects residents from unwarranted attacks by aggressive dogs. The enactment of the Illinois Animal Control Act replaced the prior “one bite rule” statute.
According to the guidance of the Animal Control Act at 510 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 5, the state follows a strict liability ordinance for dog bites and animal attacks. This means a dog’s owner is 100 percent responsible for damages their pets cause during unprovoked attacks on people. While many states require the injured person to prove the animal has a history of aggression, that is unnecessary under Illinois civil laws. A dog bite attorney in Plainfield can answer questions about this regulation and help determine if there is cause to seek legal action against the pet owner.
Speak With a Plainfield Dog Bite Attorney for Legal Guidance
Owners are responsible for their pets and must ensure they do not attack or cause harm. When the animal has a history of aggression, the owner must take additional care to prevent attacks, and if they fail to meet the obligation, they must pay for the damages.
You could be eligible for compensation when you or someone you love sustains damages from a dog bite or attack. If you need help with a potential case, call a hard-working Plainfield dog bite lawyer from Costa Ivone, LLC.