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Know Your Legal Options After A Dog Bite Injury

Dogs are generally loving and friendly animals that make great pets. But some dogs are naturally aggressive, while others are not properly trained and socialized by their owners. When these dogs get loose or encounter a passerby, they are likely to bite, knock down or otherwise attack.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by another person’s dog, you have the right to pursue compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement, lost wages and other damages. At Unsell, Schattnik & Phillips, P.C., our attorneys will fight to hold the at-fault owners liable and to make sure that your award or settlement accurately reflects the full value of your claim.

How Dog Bite Liability Works In Illinois

In some states, victims of dog bites and attacks need to prove that the owner either knew or should have known the dog was dangerous in order to claim compensation. Thankfully, that is not the legal standard here.

Illinois imposes what’s known as “strict liability” on dog owners. This basically means that when a dog harms someone, the owner is liable for the injuries simply because he or she owns the dog. The only exceptions are if the victim provoked the dog prior to attack or if the victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property.

The Most Vulnerable Victims

Sadly, children are often the ones who suffer the worst injuries as a result of dog bites and attacks. Because they are smaller and shorter than adults, they are also more likely to suffer facial injuries and disfigurement (often requiring reconstructive surgery to fix).

Anyone attacked by a dog – especially a child – can easily suffer emotional trauma as well, including post-traumatic stress disorder. All of these damages must be carefully calculated when pursuing a claim to ensure that victims are not undercompensated.

Who Pays The Costs?

In most cases, dog bites and attacks are covered under homeowner insurance policies (held by the dog’s owner). But as with nearly any insurance matter, getting compensated is typically more difficult than it should be. Insurers will try to settle your claim for as little money as possible, which is why you need a strong advocate on your side.

Our attorneys will fight to ensure that you receive the full compensation necessary to cover your injuries and losses.

Talk To An Attorney Today

With an office in Wood River, Illinois, Unsell, Schattnik & Phillips, P.C., is proud to serve clients throughout Madison County. To learn more about how we can help you pursue justice and compensation after an injury, call us at 618-216-6792 or send us an email.