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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Panio Law Offices

What To Do If You Suffer a Dog Bite Attack

In many cases, when a dog bite attack occurs, the dog’s owner is likely held responsible. But it is not always the case. It is always important to get the circumstances of the incident documented to establish the facts of the case. Establishing the facts surrounding the incident, however, is not always top of mind when it occurs.

Typically, emotions are heightened. Many of the steps you should take to support a strong claim for personal injury damages are neglected, and it becomes increasingly more difficult to prove your case. Here are some essential steps individuals should take when suffering a dog bite:

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Dog Bite Statute of Limitations in Illinois

In every state there are laws governing the length of time a claimant has to file a personal injury case. The “Statute of Limitations,” as it is called, essentially puts a time limit on your personal injury law suit. In some cases, depending upon the kind of claim in question, time limits on filing a claim differ.

In the State of Illinois, where this statute applies to dog bite attacks, the time limit is the same as those for any other personal injury case. Statute 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202 states:

"Actions for damages for an injury to the person…shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of action accrued”

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Animal Attacks

Unlike other states, Illinois law provides for damages in animal attack cases that do not necessarily involve an actual animal bite. The Illinois Animal Control Act ensures that an  animal’s owner (or other responsible party) may be held liable if the animal under their care attacks an individual, leading to injury whether or not the victim is bitten.

There are, of course, many scenarios in which an aggressive animal may cause injuries that do not include an actual dog bite.
 

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Dog Bite Damages

When someone suffers a dog bite, the owner may bear the responsibility of covering the damages for that act and the cost can be hefty. A person injured by a dog attack can be entitled to medical damages, loss of income, and in some cases, pain and suffering and damage to property.

And in some cases where the owner's actions were particularly egregious, punitive damages may be applied.

Medical expenses are the most common damages an injured party can expect to receive as a result of a dog bite. These may range from simple visits with your physician to plastic surgery, hospital services, medication and even therapy. And because the law basically mandates that a person is responsible for any injuries that flow from their actions, pre-existing conditions that are aggravated by dog bite attacks are fair game also.

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Personal Injury: How to Handle a Dog Bite Attack

As we've seen in the news, dog bite attacks can be a painful and debilitating experience. And they can seemingly spring out of nowhere. Oftentimes, those bitten in a dog attack don't have the presence of mind to get all of the information at the scene they will need to recover damages should injuries be severe.  A simple dog bite can lead to more serious medical conditions ( i.e. rabies or infection) and what was first a puncture wound is now requiring hundreds or thousands of dollars in medical treatment and a considerable amount of pain and discomfort on your part.

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