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The state of Illinois has laws in place for the specific purpose of protecting your legal rights in the event of a dog attack. If you are bitten by a dog, or injured while being pursued by a threatening dog, Illinois law may consider that dog’s owner liable for your injuries. As it does in most states, it depends on the circumstances of the bite, so no matter how confident you are in your case, you should contact an Illinois dog bite attorney as soon as possible to get your case underway.
You are afforded certain rights and protections in the state of Illinois, particularly when it comes to dog attack vulnerability. According to the law, if you are acting peaceably in an area where you are entitled to be, and a dog attacks you or attempts to attack you unprovoked, that dog’s owner is civilly liable for personal injury damages. Though that may sound cut and dried, there is always room for complication in litigation, so you should entrust your case to an Illinois injury attorney as soon as you can.
If you and your injury attorneys pursue the case, you may have to be able to prove that you were acting and injured under the circumstances described in the Illinois law. For example, you may have to be able to prove that you did not provoke the dog to attack, or that you were not trespassing at the time of the attack. Depending on the circumstances of your bite and whether or not witnesses were present, this may or may not be particularly difficult—which is exactly why you need a good dog bite injury attorney. This type of injury attorney has worked with these types of cases before, and knows how to present your injury and your case in such a manner as to increase the likelihood of receiving compensation.
The “one bite rule,” applicable in many states, gives a dog owner a free pass from liability if the dog has never acted aggressively before. The “one bite rule” does NOT apply in Illinois. Illinois dog bite law holds a dog owner strictly liable for an attack, as long as certain preconditions are met (the victim was not trespassing, the victim did not provoke the dog, etc.).
You do not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent, which makes it much easier for you to win a lawsuit. Insurance companies, realizing this, are more likely to offer an adequate settlement offer than to allow that case to proceed to a lawsuit that they know they will probably lose.
Yes, you can sue the “keeper” of a dog, which might not be its owner. An employee of a dog kennel, for example, might be able to sue the kennel for injuries; a dog sitter might be liable under certain circumstances, and even the landlord of an apartment complex who allows a dog to roam freely through common areas could be held liable for a dog attack. Liability often depends on the specific facts of each case, however. In some cases, such as in the landlord example above, you might have to prove that the defendant was negligent.
Yes, dog bites are generally covered by homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance, although these policies might not provide full coverage. Since dog bites account for about one-third of all homeowner’s policy payouts, to the tune of nearly half a billion dollars every year, there is a trend for insurers to limit their coverage of dog bites. Some policies, for example, exclude certain breeds (such as pit bulls) from coverage.
If you find that the dog owner is not insured for dog bites, or if the homeowner’s insurance isn’t enough to cover your claim, you may have to file a lawsuit against the dog owner directly. This could be problematic, of course, if the dog owner lacks the resources to pay out a verdict or settlement. If you are bitten by a commercial dog such as a guard dog, however, you will be able to sue the company that owns the dog.
You do so at your own risk, unfortunately. The only laws that directly protect someone who shoots a dangerous dog is if the dog is in the process of attacking or preparing to attack livestock. If the dog is in the process of attacking a human, although you have the right to shoot it in self-defense or the defense of others, you may be required to prove your justification later or face cruelty to animal charges.
Shooting a dangerous dog that is not threatening anyone at the time you shoot it will almost certainly get you into trouble. Instead, you should contact the local animal control authorities and try to get the dog designated as a “dangerous dog.” Once a dog is designated “dangerous,” animal control authorities can order the dog to be spayed or neutered, microchipped, and/or muzzled. It is unlikely that a dog with an owner will be “put to sleep,” however, unless it has already caused serious physical injury to a human.
A good Chicago dog bite lawyer can help you secure full compensation for your injuries. Nationwide, only about one percent of dog bite victims received even a dime in compensation. Most of this one percent elite were represented by attorneys. Moreover, insurance companies typically offer unrepresented dog bite victims only one-fifth to one-tenth of what they are willing to offer a victim who is represented by an attorney. Obviously, then, a good dog bite lawyer can more than pay for his or her own fees by drastically increasing the amount of your recovery.
Assembling admissible evidence is tricky business, and a good Illinois dog bite lawyer will know how to document your medical expenses, including estimated future medical expenses, in order to ensure that you receive maximum compensation. He or she will also know when and how to claim non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Indeed, with a good lawyer on your side, you might end up collecting more for pain and suffering than you collect for medical bills and lost work time combined. In extreme cases, such as when a dog owner “sics” a dog on someone, punitive damages may even be available.
They area very helpful and when it come to getting things done with your case I had the pleasureof working with Jason Kellerman he was awesome I highly recommend them.
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I’m very pleased to recommend Malman Law to my friends and relatives! I have to mention how efficient and professional in dealing with my case has been with everyone that I’ve been in contact with at Malman Law. Mrs. Sabo is outstanding as well as her secretary and assistant in responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. This firm has gone above and beyond to keep me updated and get answers to my questions at any time, weekends included! Malman Law rules in my opinion!
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I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.
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I have had an amazing experiences with Malman law so far. From the start Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.
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Hi I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the Firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would Highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.
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Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me an my daughter.
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Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey, have been instrumental in helping me though many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, they have continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.
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Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, takes time to listens to his clients and gather facts accordingly.
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My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained next steps and got my case to resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.
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2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim