If someone else’s dog bit you or someone you love, you could be entitled to compensation for the medical expenses, suffering, and other losses you experience as a result. However, due to the complex combination of liability disputes, insurance policies, and state laws, dog bite injury claims can be challenging to manage. Oftentimes, dog owners deny responsibility, and it can be difficult to prove negligence or establish the extent of your injuries without proper legal guidance. This is where an experienced lawyer can make all the difference.
The skilled attorneys at the Noll Law Office can meticulously investigate your case, gather valuable evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They will work tirelessly to pursue the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses resulting from your dog bite injury. Don’t let the complexity of the legal process deter you from seeking justice. Let The Noll Law Office fight for your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Common Injuries from Dog Bite Incidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly twenty percent of people bitten by dogs require medical attention. Dogs might be man’s best friend, but any dog can bite, and dog bites can be painful, infectious, or even fatal. Children are most susceptible to dog bites, and many childhood bite injuries occur during everyday activities with familiar dogs. These incidents are especially likely to happen when dogs are frightened, anxious, unwell, eating, playing, or protecting others.
When dogs bite or attack people, they can cause severe injuries, such as:
- Puncture wounds – Deep, penetrating injuries caused by dogs’ teeth or nails
- Lacerations – Cuts and tears to the skin from bites or scratches
- Bruises – Discoloration and swelling resulting from damage to blood vessels beneath the skin
- Abrasions – Scrapes or superficial damage to the skin’s surface
- Torn or crushed muscles, tendons, and ligaments – More severe injuries from the force of a bite
- Facial injuries – Bites or scratches to the face, which are more common in children due to their shorter statures and proximity to dogs’ mouths
- Nerve damage – Injuries from a dog’s teeth penetrating or compressing nerves
- Fractures – Broken bones caused by the force of a dog bite
Long-Term Consequences of Dog Bite Injuries
The long-term consequences of dog bite injuries can extend far beyond the initial pain and physical injury. When bite wounds are not properly treated, victims can suffer from infections like cellulitis, a type of bacterial skin infection, or even more severe conditions like sepsis.
Scarring and disfigurement can have a significant emotional and psychological impact on a victim’s life, leading to feelings of self-consciousness, depression, and anxiety. In many cases, dog bite victims also develop overwhelming fears of dogs or experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can hinder their ability to participate meaningfully in daily activities and social interactions.
What Should You Do After a Dog Bite?
If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, you should take the following steps to ensure your safety, health, and right to legal recourse:
- Seek medical attention – Even if your injury appears minor, it’s essential to seek medical treatment to prevent infection and ensure proper documentation of your injury.
- Document the incident – Take photographs of the injury, the location where the attack occurred, and, if possible, the dog involved. Request contact information from the dog’s owner and any witnesses who can corroborate your account of the incident.
- Report the bite – Notify your local animal control or law enforcement agency to report the bite. Formal documentation from an incident report can be valuable if you take legal action later.
- Preserve physical evidence – Keep physical evidence, like any torn or bloodstained clothing from the incident, as it may be helpful in supporting your claim.
- Contact an experienced dog bite attorney – Retaining the services of a skilled attorney is the best way to manage the complexities of your dog bite injury claim and get the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Laws That Apply to Taylorville Dog Bite Injury Cases
If you have a dog bite injury case in Taylorville, you should learn about the following local laws that could apply to your situation:
- Dangerous or vicious animal laws – Owners of dangerous or vicious animals may not allow them to run “at large.” Dogs must be leashed or under control when off their owners’ properties.
- The legal definition of a dangerous dog – A dog that behaves viciously or threateningly toward a person or domestic animal when not muzzled, leashed, or with its owner.
- The legal definition of a vicious dog – A dog that attacks people or other animals without being provoked or has a known history of being dangerous or vicious.
- The legal definition of a dog “at large” – A dog is considered “at large” if it is off its owner’s property and not on a leash controlled by a responsible individual.
- Diseased animal laws – Animals with contagious or infectious diseases cannot run freely or be in public places where they could make people or other animals sick.
- Laws specific to vicious dogs – It is illegal to own a vicious dog unless it is always in an enclosure or on a run line. Vicious dogs can only be let out for veterinary care or if a court orders it, and they must stay muzzled and on short leashes. It is also illegal to sell or give away a vicious dog.
- Laws specific to dangerous dogs – It is illegal to own a dangerous dog unless it is always in an enclosure or on a run line. It also must be muzzled and leashed when off the owner’s property.
If a dog owner violated any of the above local laws and you got hurt as a result, you could use the fact of the violation as evidence in your dog bite injury claim. Under Illinois law, dog owners are liable for dog bite injuries, meaning you can hold a dog’s owner responsible for your injuries even if the dog showed no dangerous or vicious tendencies before the incident, as long as:
- You were conducting yourself “peaceably” when the attack occurred
- You were lawfully in the location where the attack occurred
- You did nothing to provoke the dog that attacked and injured you.
How Do You Prove Liability in a Taylorville Dog Bite Case?
The Illinois Animal Control Act governs dog bite injury claims. Under that law, dog owners are liable for injuries caused by their dogs, whether they were aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies or not. However, proving liability in a dog bite claim can still be challenging and requires a thorough understanding of the legal system. It is always advisable to seek an experienced lawyer’s help if you believe you have a dog bite claim.
To establish liability in a dog bite case in Illinois, your attorney can identify, preserve, and present helpful evidence like:
- Photographs of your injuries and the dog involved
- Medical records documenting your injuries and the treatment you received
- Witness statements corroborating your account of the incident
- Contact information from the dog’s owner
- Copies of incident reports from animal control or law enforcement
- Documentation of any prior aggressive behavior or incidents involving the dog
- Surveillance footage or security camera recordings, if available
- Copies of any correspondence you have with the dog’s owner or their insurance company
The dog’s owner may raise certain defenses to limit their exposure, such as claiming that you provoked the dog or were trespassing when the incident happened. These defenses can complicate your case, so you need a skilled lawyer on your side.
An experienced attorney, like those at the Noll Law Office, can handle the claims process for you, gather crucial evidence, and establish liability. They can also anticipate and refute potential defenses and work tirelessly to demand the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
How Can The Noll Law Office Help?
Dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite can be painful, confusing, and overwhelming. At times like these, you need an experienced dog bite injury lawyer on your side. The Taylorville IL dog bite attorneys at the Noll Law Office can provide the compassionate and attentive representation you deserve.
As a small, family-owned firm with deep roots in Illinois, the Noll Law Office is uniquely positioned to provide personalized and effective service. The firm’s attorneys, Daniel and Sarah Noll, are the fifth generation of lawyers in the Noll-Herndon family, a legal powerhouse dating back to 1842.
When you choose the Noll Law Office to represent you, you can rest assured that you won’t be treated like just another case number. Unlike larger firms that might assign your case to a fresh out-of-school lawyer, you’ll be represented by seasoned attorneys who genuinely care about your well-being.
Let the Noll Law Office family help yours. If you need a Taylorville dog bite lawyer, call today for a free consultation at (217) 414-8889.