Every year, many people in Rockford are bitten by animals — most often dogs. In many cases, a person bitten by another’s dog may have a right to recover damages from the dog’s owner. If you or are bitten by an animal or otherwise involved in one of many animal attacks that occur each year in Rockford, you should first seek medical attention. If not treated, animal bites can cause serious injury, infection or even death if the animal was diseased.
Once you have been evaluated by medical professionals, you may consider consulting a personal injury attorney who can tell you whether you have a potential claim and what damages you may be able to recover. An attorney will ask for details about the circumstances surrounding your animal bite. At a minimum, you should provide the name and phone number of the animal’s owner. If you don’t have this information, a neighbor or witness may be able to provide you with this information. Also, if there are any witnesses you should provide the name and phone number, as well.
Dog bite cases are generally governed by statute, meaning that the state legislatures have enacted laws that direct how the courts are supposed to treat liability and damages for such claims. Rockford animal attack cases follow Illinois’ “strict liability” rules as part of the Animal Control Act — if a dog bites somebody, the owner or keeper of the animal is conclusively responsible for the injured party’s damages unless they can prove that the injured party provoked the animal in some way. Also pursuant to statute, if the dog had a history of violence and the owner or keeper is aware, punitive damages may be available which can double or triple a recovery.
Dog bite injuries can be especially gruesome. The scarring, disfigurement and impairment that result can inflict emotional trauma long after the wounds have healed, particularly where small children are involved. If you or a loved one has suffered this kind of injury, hiring an attorney is the best way to ensure you receive fair value for these complex damages claims.
For a free consultation to discuss animal attacks questions or specifics about your animal attack case, call the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett at (815) 391-0089 to set an appointment, or contact us securely through our website. We are a Rockford, Illinois-based law firm, but can and will travel for clients outside of our immediate coverage area.