Dogs are often loving and faithful companions, but even the most well-trained canine can be unpredictable. When dogs bite, the consequences can be severe and life changing. You may be dealing with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and costly medical bills. You not alone and you may be entitled to compensation.
In the State of Illinois, dog owners are held liable for any injuries their dogs cause, provided the victim was not provoking the dog and had a lawful right to be where the attack occurred. That means if you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Jacksonville, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
Each year in Jacksonville, many residents become victims of dog bites, and the injuries sustained can range from minor punctures to severe attacks resulting in significant physical trauma, permanent scarring, or even psychological distress. Unfortunately, many victims are not aware of their legal rights or the responsibility that dog owners bear in these incidents.
Jacksonville dog bite lawyers Daniel and Sarah Noll are the fifth generation of the family to serve Central Illinois. They treat every client like family, so why not let their family help yours? If a dog bit you or someone you love, call them today or visit the firm’s contact page for a free case review. Let the Noll Law Firm’s lawyers help you seek the full and fair compensation you deserve after a vicious dog attack.
Common Injuries from Dog Bites in Illinois
People often forget that domestic dogs are descended from wild wolves and could attack and cause severe injuries, even if unprovoked. Some of the most common injuries caused by dog bites include:
- Puncture Wounds: These deep injuries from a dog’s teeth can cause serious infections, scarring, and even damage to muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Prompt medical attention is essential to minimize long-term complications from puncture wounds.
- Lacerations and Abrasions: A dog’s sharp teeth and powerful jaws can leave you with severe cuts and scrapes that may need stitches. Scratches and abrasions from dog bites can also cause permanent scarring, disfigurement, or even loss of function in the affected area.
- Broken or Crushed Bones: A dog’s bite can exert tremendous force, leading to fractures or crushed bones that may require surgery, casts, or physical therapy. These injuries can cause lasting pain, mobility issues, and lengthy recovery times.
- Infections: Bacteria in a dog’s mouth can cause infections in bite wounds, which may lead to complications like cellulitis, abscesses, or even sepsis if not treated promptly and effectively.
- Nerve Damage: Dog bites can cause nerve damage, leading to numbness, tingling, or even paralysis in the affected area. This harm can be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the injury.
- Emotional Trauma: The psychological impact of a dog attack can be just as serious as physical injuries. Victims often experience anxiety, fear, depression, and even PTSD, which may require many years of counseling or therapy to overcome.
If you don’t see your injuries on this list, that does not mean you don’t have the right to compensation after a dog bites you. A dog bite lawyer from the Noll Law Office can evaluate your injuries and explain your legal rights.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
In the aftermath of a dog attack, protecting your legal rights is crucial. Here’s what to do after a dog bite in Jacksonville:
- Assess your injuries and prioritize your safety. If you’re still in danger, move to a safe distance from the dog and protect yourself from any further harm. Check for any visible wounds or injuries and evaluate their severity. If you’re unsure or if the injuries are severe, seek immediate medical attention.
- If possible, gather the dog owner’s contact details, including their name, address, and phone number. Once you contact the owner, it’s also a good idea to ask for information about the dog’s breed, vaccinations, and any history of aggressive behavior.
- Collect information from any witnesses if anyone else saw the attack. Gather their contact information and ask them what they saw. Take their statements. Their testimony may prove valuable in supporting your case.
- Take videos or photos of your injuries, the location where the attack occurred, and any damage to your clothing or belongings. These images could help establish your injury’s gravity and the circumstances of the incident.
- Even if your injuries appear minor, it’s crucial to seek professional medical care to properly assess and treat your wounds. Rapid treatment after a dog bite minimizes the risk of infection or other complications from your injuries.
- Notify your local animal control agency or the police about the dog bite. Make sure you provide any details you have about the dog, its owner, and the circumstances of the attack. This will help protect others from potential harm and contribute to the documentation of the incident.
- Preserve any evidence you can that will help to prove your injuries. Keep any torn or bloodstained clothing. Keep medical record copies, as well as any receipts for expenses related to your injuries or other losses from the incident. These may be crucial in building a strong case.
- Reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer who regularly handles dog bite cases in Illinois. They can help you understand your rights and how to seek the compensation and justice you deserve.
Proving Liability in Dog Bite Cases
Under the Illinois Animal Control Act, any dog owner is strictly liable for any injuries their dog inflicts when:
- The victim was legally on the property where the attack occurred
- The victim did not provoke the dog
- The victim was generally acting in a peaceful manner before the attack
If you were bitten by a dog and met these three conditions, you have the right to compensation for any injuries the dog inflicts. Illinois has no “one bite rule,” unlike some other states. That means you do not have to prove that the dog had a prior history of aggressive behavior or that the dog’s owner acted negligently to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Even so, it can still be difficult to prove a dog caused your injuries and make a compelling case for compensation. The dog bite injury attorneys at the Noll Law Office can find any available evidence to show the dog’s owner is liable and maximize your financial recovery.
Statute of Limitations in Illinois Dog Bite Cases
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims gives you two years from the date that a dog bites you to file a lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might have a case against the dog’s owner, the person who was watching the dog when the attack occurred, or another liable party.
However, no matter who is ultimately liable for your injuries, you need to act quickly to protect your right to secure fair compensation. The dog bite injury attorneys at the Noll Law Office can file your lawsuit on time to pursue the money you need in court if that becomes necessary.
How Can the Noll Law Office Help?
Winning a dog bite injury case and recovering the money you need requires considerable time, energy, and resources. However, you should focus on your medical treatment after a dog bite, not a lengthy legal battle. The Jacksonville dog bite injury lawyers at the Noll Law Office can take the burden of handling your case off your shoulders. They can pursue the compensation you need by:
- Assessing your case: The Noll Law Office lawyers can carefully evaluate your situation, considering the severity of your injuries, the circumstances of the attack, and the applicable Illinois laws, to determine the best course of action for your case.
- Gathering evidence: Clear evidence is the foundation of a successful personal injury case. The Noll Law Firm can collect your medical records, photographs from the incident, witness statements, reports from animal control or the police, and other evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: The dog bite injury lawyers at the Noll Law Office are skilled negotiators who can help you navigate the complex process of dealing with insurance companies. They’ll work tirelessly to secure a fair settlement that reflects the full extent of your damages.
- Calculating losses: The Noll Law Firm lawyers can assess the total value of your claim. As they add up your losses, they’ll consider factors like your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any long-term care or rehabilitation costs.
- Filing a lawsuit: If the liable party won’t agree to a fair settlement, they can file a lawsuit and fight for your rights in court. The Noll Law Office team has extensive litigation experience and can present a persuasive case to maximize your chances of success.
- Protecting your rights: Throughout the entire process, the lawyers of the Noll Law Office will advocate for your best interests, ensuring your rights are protected and that you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
- Offering emotional support: A compassionate dog bite injury lawyer understands the emotional toll of your experience and will provide both legal and emotional support, helping you get through this challenging time with confidence and peace of mind.
Contact the Jacksonville Dog Bite Lawyers of the Noll Law Office Today
The compassionate and dedicated dog bite injury attorneys at The Noll Law Office could help you seek the money you need to pay your medical bills and recoup what you’ve lost after a dog attack. Call the office today at (217) 414-8889 or visit the firm’s contact page for a 100% free and confidential consultation.