Under Illinois law, dog owners are held responsible for almost all dog bite injuries. Under the Animal Control Act, it does not matter than the animal has never bitten before. In order to prevail, an injured person must demonstrate prove that they sustained injuries, were in a place they were lawfully allowed to be, did not provoke the animal, and conducting themselves peaceably. This statute also applies to dog bites at dog parks in Springfield, Illinois. A dog’s owner can be held accountable and be forced to provide you with support in recovery. This is most commonly done through a homeowner’s insurance policy.
The Springfield dog bite lawyers at the Noll Law Office help dog bite victims obtain compensation for past and future medical care, pain and suffering as well as lost wages. They fight insurance companies to pay for needed medical care. Contact them today for a free consultation and case evaluation at (217) 414-8889. You’ll also learn how to make sure unhelpful insurance companies provide everything you and your family need in recovery.
The Dangers of Dog Bites at Dog Parks in Springfield
Springfield dog parks are spots where pet owners can turn their dogs loose for some playtime. Dogs love the freedom and owners love to watch them burn off some energy. However, that doesn’t mean that the laws change inside a dog park. Dog owners are still responsible for the behavior of their pets, even in a dog park enclosure.
Dog bites at dog parks can arise from many different situations. You might be watching your dog play at Stuart Park when you are bitten on the ankle by a confused pup. Your family member might suffer a painful bite on the hand while petting a dog at Centennial Park. They have seen cases where children were playing at the playground at Washington Park when the child was bitten by a dog.
If you or your loved one has been bitten, you will need medical care and possibly expensive physical therapy sessions. You will see medical bills arriving. You may also be missing work and losing paychecks as your wounds heal. When someone’s dog is to blame for those injuries and hospital bills, you don’t have to face these hardships alone.
Common Dog Bite Injuries Treated in Emergency Rooms
A serious bite will likely require an ambulance ride to an emergency room like the one over at St. John’s Hospital. Doctors there treat many different kinds of injuries resulting from dog bites each year.
These are just a few of the common injuries and complications suffered by dog bite victims:
- Cuts and Punctures: The longer and deeper a dog bite goes the more permanent damage it can do. The ankles and legs, and hands and arms are the most vulnerable spots for bites.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Muscles, blood vessels, nerves, tendons, and ligaments could be bruised or severed. Nerve damage can result in permanent numbness or a loss of control of parts of the body. Internal organs and the tissue that connects and supports them might suffer wounds from a deep dog bite.
- Facial Disfigurement: This is a real hazard with children who are often closer to the ground than adults. A child’s entire body is within range of a dog’s mouth. Permanent disfigurement may result after damage to the ears, nose, eyes, and mouth.
- Crushing Injuries: In bites caused by large dog breeds, the force of a bite might be devastating. Some dogs instinctively shake their heads after they’ve clamped down to cause more trauma. A dog latched onto a victim’s neck can damage the esophagus and the windpipe to cause a life-threatening injury.
- Infections: A dog’s mouth is home to many germs that the human body will have a hard time fighting off. Bite victims can contract rabies, tetanus, and other infections. The CDC instructs bite victims to get checked out by a doctor after any size bite when they don’t know whether the animal is vaccinated against rabies or if it’s been more than 5 years since the victim’s last tetanus shot.
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Dog Bite?
Dog bites vary in severity from minor scratches to fatal wounds. After any major injury, it is recommended you speak to an experienced attorney about your options. Insurance companies aren’t required to tell you about every benefit available to you and your family. Even in a clear-cut case under the Animal Control Act, insurance companies may try to shift blame to you and attempt to talk you into accepting a small settlement offer.
A dog bite lawyer fully investigates what happens to you and collects all available evidence, including witness testimony. This builds the strong case that insurance companies will have a hard time challenging or rejecting. If you were bitten, you should contact Sangamon County Animal Control or the Springfield Police Department immediately.
Your dog bite attorney fights to make sure you earn enough in compensation to pay every medical bill you have now and the bills you could receive in the future. A settlement might cover one night in an emergency room when you have months of physical therapy and even additional surgeries to pay for in the future. Your attorney sends these settlement offers back and demands more.
What Kind of Compensation Is Available for Springfield Dog Bite Victims?
Your attorney also makes sure every hardship you’ve suffered is listed and documented in an injury claim submitted to an insurer.
Anything left off won’t be eligible to increase the compensation you and your family receive in a dog bite injury settlement. Your attorney includes every damage you’ve endured, including some things you may not have known could earn you compensation:
- Support for every medical bill while you’ve been recovering from a dog bite and support for care expected to be necessary in the future.
- Complete injury compensation for young victims. Children are most at risk for dog bites and their injuries can affect their growth and development years down the road.
- Lifelong support for a permanent dog bite disfigurement or disability.
- Support for the pain you endure from a dog bite and during recovery.
- Support for the emotional pain you suffer. This can include the anxiety and PTSD symptoms suffered at the very memory of what happened. Your loss of enjoyment of life after a debilitating injury also factors into your settlement.
- Replacement of lost wages as you miss time at work.
- Wrongful Death Benefits. Families who have lost a loved one to a dog bite are encouraged to file a wrongful death claim. This civil claim asks for help with funeral costs and remaining medical bills. Families who have experienced a tragedy should also receive support for the care and financial support the victim can no longer provide.
Contact a Springfield Dog Bite Lawyer Today
It is in your best interest to contact a skilled Springfield dog bite attorney before talking with any insurance representative after an accident. An insurance company will try to deny or minimize of the support you need to recover physically, emotionally, and financially.
Schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with the Noll Law Office today. It’s an easy way to get your questions answered about how to proceed following dog bites at dog parks, what you should expect in an injury settlement, and how to hold an insurance company fully responsible. If they accept your dog bite injury claim, you won’t need any money to hire them. They don’t get paid unless they win your case for you.