Dog Bite

There is an epidemic of dog bites in the US

  • There are approximately 5 million dog bites per year (nearly 2% of all Americans are bitten by a dog each year)
  • About 800,000 victims per year require medical attention.
  • 1,000 dog bite victims per day are seen in hospital emergency rooms with 6000 requiring hospitalization each year
  • Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year with $345 million paid by insurance companies.

Illinois Dog Bite Law

  • The law in Illinois states that the owner of a dog is fully responsible for all damages to the victim who was bitten by the dog.

Illinois law specifically states (510 ILCS 5/16 Sec16):

“If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks or injures another person who is peaceably conducting himself in any place where he may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in damages to such person for the full amount of the injury sustained.”

  • To secure compensation for a dog bite victim under Illinois law an attorney must prove the following:
    • The identity of the owner of the dog;
    • That the dog bit the victim;
    • That the victim was in a public place or; lawfully in a private place, which could be the property of the of owner of the dog;
    • That the bite caused injury, suffering, loss or harm;
    • That the attack was not excused because of any of the exceptions listed below.
  • Under the following circumstances, the owner of the dog could escape liability if:
    • The victim was a trespasser;
    • The victim was a veterinarian who was treating the dog at the time of the incident;
    • The victim was committing a felony;
    • The victim provoked the dog;
    • The dog was assisting the police or the military at the time of the incident.
  • Under Illinois law the dog bite victim can receive money for all of the following:
    • Medical treatment such as first aid, emergency room hospital and ambulance;
    • Future medical treatment for scar reduction;
    • Psychological counseling to overcome the emotional trauma of the attack; fear of dogs; fear of being outdoors and dealing with disfigurement;
    • Loss of earnings from work or the victim’s business;
    • Torn clothing and broken glasses;
    • Medications. What to do after a dog bite attack

What to do after a dog bite attack

  • Obtain immediate emergency room treatment giving the medical provider a detailed account of the attack.
  • Immediately notify the police of the dog bite attack and insist that a police report be completed
  • Take numerous, detailed photographs (close-ups) or a video, of your injuries
  • Do not discuss the dog bite attack with any representative of an insurance company until you have consulted with an experienced dog bite attorney.
  • Call 800-437-2571 anytime for a free, no obligation consultation with one of our experienced dog bite attorneys or use our convenient Free Case Evaluation submission form.

Do I need an attorney to handle my dog bite claim?

  • In order to maximize your settlement in a dog bite case it is essential that you retain, as soon as possible after an attack, an aggressive and experienced dog bite attorney who has the ability to:
  • Evaluate the credibility and get the testimony of the victim, dog owner, and witnesses in a form that can be used as evidence in a courtroom.
  • Measure the lifelong effects of physical injuries, the cost of future medical care, and the ability to prove such costs to the insurance company attorneys.
  • Measure the life long sociological impact of disfiguring injuries, and estimate the loss of income that a disfigured person will suffer and the ability to prove that loss of income to the insurance company attorney .
  • Determine what the insurance company’s position is relative to the dog bite attack;
    • Was the dog provoked?
    • Has the dog bitten anyone else?
    • Are there any loopholes in the specific dog owner’s insurance policy?
    • What are the policy limits and what is contained in the medical records of the dog bite victim?
  • Even if you could educate yourself about dog bite claims, you still would not be able to receive a fair settlement without an attorney. The insurance company might offer you some money, but nothing like the money that it would pay if there is the threat of a lawsuit. The bottom line is that insurance companies never pay maximum legal compensation to dog bites victims who do are not represented by attorney.

Why should you retain our firm to handle your dog bite claim?

  • Over the last 34 years, the personal injury attorneys at Donald W. Fohrman & Associates, Ltd., have represented several hundred dog bite victims, securing millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts.
  • We provide free, no obligation consultations by phone or in person at any one of our three Illinois offices. Simply call 800-437-2571 anytime or use our convenient Free Case Evaluation submission form to arrange a consultation.
  • We have consistently maintained a success rate of recovering settlements or verdicts for over 90% of our dog bite victim clients.
  • We represent all dog bite victims on a contingent fee basis. Simply stated, we receive no attorney’s fees, whatsoever, unless we recover money for you. (No recovery-no fee)
  • We provide dog bite victims residing outside of Illinois with a nationwide network of experienced personal injury attorneys.
  • Over the past 34 years we have developed close relationship with aggressive and experienced personal injury attorneys throughout the US that have proven track records for securing maximum legal recoveries for their dog bite victim clients.
  • Call 800-437-2571 anytime for a referral to a dog bite attorney in your area who will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation or use our convenient Find An attorney submission form.

More Practical Information for Victims of Dog Bites

Treatment for dog bite injures

Emotional Injuries in Children

Who pays dog bite damages?

What will happen to the dog?

Tips on how to avoid a dog attack

Dog bite News & Resources