If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, our office is ready to help. Our office represents those who have been bitten by dogs throughout the State of Illinois. While most family pets are friendly, the canine mouth is structured for puncture wounds and tearing, which can cause extensive tissue damage in an extremely short period of time. Unfortunately, children often receive the most catastrophic injuries from dogs resulting in permanent scarring and nerve damage. If you have been bitten, make sure you obtain prompt medical treatment and obtain the appropriate referrals for treatment. Often, the full extent of scarring and other permanent or residual injuries cannot be determined for six months or more. Our office can assist you by:
Investigating the case to locate helpful witnesses and evidence. This can include obtaining police reports, 911 calls, and reports from animal control.
Keeping you up to date on your case. We value client communication and pride ourselves on ensuring that our clients are aware of what is going on in their case.
Obtaining your medical records and deposing your physician(s) to prove the nature and extent of your injuries.
Negotiating with the insurance company to obtain a fair settlement. Our office has obtained millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
Taking your case to trial. If we are unable to obtain a settlement to properly compensate you, we will file suit in the county courthouse and take the case to trial to attempt to obtain a verdict which will fairly compensate you. Our litigation experience means your case is in safe hands.
Negotiating down your medical bills. Unlike other law firms, our office will negotiate with medical providers and insurance companies to get bills paid at a discounted rate. On average, this process saves our clients thousands of dollars and puts more money in your pocket.
We Will Never Charge For An Initial Consultation Of Your Case
The Attorneys at the Noll Law Office would be happy to discuss the filing of a claim on your behalf. Our lawyers are experienced in filing dog bite claims. Dog bites, unfortunately, cause the most catastrophic injuries in children, often resulting in permanent scarring and nerve damage. While most family pets are friendly, the canine mouth is structured for puncture wounds and tearing, which can cause extensive tissue damage in an extremely short period of time. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, you should follow up with a physician as often as necessary in order to obtain the appropriate referrals for treatment. Oftentimes, the full extent of scarring and other permanent or residual injuries cannot be determined for six months or more.
At our free initial consultation, our personal injury attorneys will discuss the circumstances surrounding the injury as well as the potential value of your case. We will give you an honest, no strings attached assessment of your case. Please feel free to contact us at (217) 414-8889 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced Dog Bite Lawyers today.
Get The Answers You Need
In Illinois, the law is clear where dogs are concerned. A person who has been injured by a vicious animal can sue under theories of negligence, intentional tort, or other causes of action. However, Illinois law is extremely strict where dog bites are concerned. The basis of recovery typically rests under the Animal Control Act. Under Section 16 of this statute, persons who have been injured by a dog bite do not even have to prove negligence:
Sec. 16. Animal attacks or injuries. If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby. 510 ILCS 5/16. Source ILGA.Gov
The lawsuit will typically be filed in the county where the dog bite occurred. For example, a person injured by a vicious dog in Decatur, Illinois, would likely file suit in the Macon County Courthouse. The Illinois Code of Civil Procedure states:
§ 2-101. Generally. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, every action must be commenced (1) in the county of residence of any defendant who is joined in good faith and with probable cause for the purpose of obtaining a judgment against him or her and not solely for the purpose of fixing venue in that county, or (2) in the county in which the transaction or some part thereof occurred out of which the cause of action arose. 735 ILCS 5/2-101. Source: ILGA.Gov
The “Plaintiff” is usually the person who was injured, or, if the injured persons died as a result of their injuries, the administrator of the probate estate, who files the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person and living heirs. The lawyers will file a “Complaint at Law,” describing the negligent acts of the Defendant and describing the types of injuries sustained. For example, the Complaint may allege that a neighbor’s dog bit a child who was running to obtain an errant ball. The Complaint will request that monetary damages be paid for the associated medical bills and permanent loss to the child.
Most types of negligence lawsuits involve situations where the “tortfeasor” or “Defendant” (i.e., negligent person or entity) carries insurance. The insurance companies often “indemnify,” or pay monetary benefits, to the injured person on behalf of the Defendant in cases of negligence.
In dog bite cases, a claim is usually filed with the dog owner’s residential property’s insurance provider, requesting coverage of the injury. The insurance provider will then usually pay for the injured person’s medical bills, lost wages, and other reasonable damages. Recently, insurance companies have started to “exclude” certain types of dogs, such as Pitbulls, from coverage. Our attorneys will work with you to determine the best insurance provider to file a claim with to cover your medical bills, and to determine any “exclusions” of coverage that may exist.
Generally, the dog’s owner is sued as the Defendant. However, when the lawsuit is filed, the insurance company usually pays for the Defendant’s attorney and other costs of litigation. The insurance companies then typically will “indemnify” the Defendant and pay for any funds obtained through settlement or jury verdict.
Consider the earlier example of a child, chasing a ball into a neighbor’s unfenced yard. If the neighbor’s Labrador then ran up and bit the child without provocation, the neighbor would be sued as a Defendant. The parent of the injured child would file suit on behalf of the child, seeking coverage of the child’s medical injuries and any permanent disability or scarring sustained. The insurance company that provides residential insurance coverage would usually “indemnify” the home owner. If the case went to jury trial, the damages (i.e., money) awarded by the jury would be paid by the insurance company to the extent of policy coverage.
As discussed above, the Plaintiff or their legal representative will file suit against the Defendant. The process begins when the attorney files a “Complaint at Law,” seeking monetary damages for the Defendant’s negligent behavior.
After the Complaint is filed, the Defendant is served. Your attorney will arrange for “summons,” to be issued, and request local law enforcement or a private investigator to serve the legal paperwork on the Defendant. Once the Defendant is served, he or she typically has 30 days to enter an appearance and claim any possible legal defenses. Usually, an attorney enters an appearance on behalf of the Defendant.
After the Defendant’s attorney has entered an appearance, discovery will commence. This process usually involves exchanging copies of the evidence held by the Parties, and taking the depositions of witnesses. Depending on the complexity of the litigation, experts will may be retained for trial. Their depositions will also be taken.
Your attorney may also choose to file requests for admission and other legal documents in order to simplify the issues presented at trial. Following the close of discovery, summary judgment motions and other pre-trial motions will be heard. Trial preparation will then begin in earnest. Witnesses will be subpoenaed, trial exhibits prepared, and other pre-trial paperwork will be filed. Jury instructions will be prepared. Jury trial should follow shortly thereafter. When the jury awards a verdict, the sums are usually paid by the insurance company. If a person died as a result of their injuries, the probate judge will decide how the funds are distributed.
Costs of litigation vary wildly in dog bite claims, but are typically much less expensive than Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, or other complex cases. Costs in dog bite claims usually range from $3,000.00 to over $10,000.00. This is because there is a great variety in the complexity of litigation. Our Personal Injury Lawyers will be able to explain the differences in types of litigation, and how it will affect your litigation costs.
For this reason, our attorneys litigate these cases on a “contingency fee” basis, whereby we are only paid if successful in obtaining a settlement or jury verdict. The costs of litigation are paid from the settlement or jury verdict funds, together with the legal fees. Our lawyers will provide you with a frank analysis of whether the costs of litigation are outweighed by years of litigation and potential loss at trial.
To expedite legal review of your claim, you should bring a copy of the medical records, police investigations, photographs, videos, Facebook pages, text messages, correspondence, insurance information, and any other evidence in your possession to your claim. Usually, animal control will investigate the dog bite, and write a report summarizing their findings. The Noll Law Office will review the records, together with any other evidence in your possession, and provide you with a free legal opinion as to the merits of your claim.
All Of Our Attorneys Will Go to Trial
Our lawyers will handle your case so you can focus on getting better.View Page
Experienced and respected trial attorney throughout the State of Illinois.Attorney Profile
Vast knowledge of personal injury, workers compensation, and medical malpractice.Attorney Profile
We Will Always Work In Your Best Interest
I was very nervous about needing a lawyer and finding someone I could trust to handle my dog bite case. Everyone at Noll Law office made me feel comfortable and confident that I found the right professionals to help me. Mr. Noll and his staff communicated everything in a timely and clear manor and everything went just as we discussed. I appreciate their professionalism and tact in helping me through a difficult situation.
Noll Law Office has been one of the best decisions I've made. Sarah and Dan are very knowledgeable and treated my case with care and respect. They helped me during a very difficult time and I'm grateful they are my lawyers.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, emotional stress compounds the physical injury. We understand. Whether your trauma resulted from a car accident, dog bite, nursing home abuse or work injury, we take the stress of dealing with the insurance companies off your shoulders so you can focus on getting better.