Chicago Animal Attacks Attorney

German shepherd dog biting man's arm

Pets are part and parcel of society. They provide joy and companionship but can also potentially pose a danger to people, even their owners. The personal injury team at Hale & Monico in Chicago holds pet owners responsible for the destructive acts of their pets and gets victims the damages they need to heal.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by another person’s animal, turn to Hale & Monico to get justice through compensation. We can fight to hold the animal’s owner liable for the losses they caused you. Call for a free consultation today. 

Illinois Law and Animal Attacks

Illinois law holds animal owners responsible when their animals attack others. However, not all instances of animal attacks result in liability. If an animal has attacked you, it is important to know whether you have a case.

Elements of an Animal Attack Case

Generally, your animal attack attorney must be able to prove each of the following elements to be successful in an animal attack lawsuit:

  • You were legally at the location of the animal attack and not a trespasser
  • The animal attacked or attempted to attack you
  • You did not provoke the animal

Your attorney must also prove that the animal attack was the cause of your injuries. In some animal attack cases, the actual cause of the victim’s injury may be in dispute. For example, if a dog chases a visitor to a home who then trips on a negligently installed stairway, who is responsible for the injuries? The dog owner, or the carpenter? 

Your animal attack attorney can identify every liable party and seek damages on your behalf. You should not have to bear the burden of your injuries alone, and Hale & Monico work tirelessly to get you the payment you deserve. 

The Severity of Your Injuries

In every animal attack case, there must be some harm that occurred. In general, the more severe the harm, the more damages you will receive. Additionally, the more severe the physical injury, the higher your emotional distress and psychological trauma may be. 

Keep in mind that many minor injuries may actually be serious or may develop to become serious if left untreated. Victims of most animal attacks, no matter how small, should strongly consider seeking medical attention after the incident. Infections can develop even from the smallest of bites. 

Damages

The damages we pursue in an animal attack case can provide compensation for both economic and non-economic losses, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

We also pursue punitive damages when the animal owner’s actions were willful, wanton, or intentional. Punitive damages can total up to triple the amount of economic damages. 

Consequences of Animal Attacks

At Hale & Monico, we fight hard to get you the highest compensation value available because we understand the impact animal attacks have on our clients’ lives. Animal attacks can lead to all manner of serious injuries that can debilitate a healthy person. Common injuries incurred in animal attacks include:

  • Bite wounds
  • Skin tears
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains and dislocations
  • Infection and disease
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Psychological and emotional injuries

Animals can cause property damage as well, which is also the responsibility of the owner. 

When to Pursue Compensation for an Animal Attack

If you have been harmed by an animal, it is vital that you meet with an attorney after seeking medical attention. An attorney will review your case to determine whether you have an actionable claim. The consultation is free and is an essential first step in recovering a just compensation payout. 

In many cases, it is obvious that a valid claim exists. For example, Chicago has a dog leash law requiring that dogs be on leashes when outside of the home. If an unleashed dog attacks and seriously injures you, you likely have a claim.

In other cases, it may not be as clear as to whether a valid case exists. A small scratch from a cat’s paw may indeed be painful but may not be enough to warrant a damages claim.

Taking Swift Action

Quick action is required in these matters. A short statute of limitations of two years exists for animal attacks. But more importantly, the evidence your Chicago animal attack attorney needs to prove your case may become more difficult to acquire the longer you wait. 

For example, it is usually much easier to find witnesses soon after an incident. Furthermore, the sooner you memorialize witness testimony, the more reliable it is and the more reliably it will be perceived. 

Contact an Animal Attack Lawyer in Chicago Today

Having an animal comes with great responsibility. When someone fails to properly handle their animal and harm occurs, a personal injury lawyer from Hale & Monico in Chicago can fight to get victims of animal attack justice. Call us today for a free consultation to learn of the damages you may be entitled to!