Bloomington Dog Bite Lawyer
If you have been injured in a dog bite incident or an animal attack, it is vital to be aware of your legal rights to pursue compensation for your injuries. Owners must maintain control over their pets, and when they fail to do so, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. A Bloomington dog bite lawyer can review your case and explore all available legal options to achieve financial recovery.
Deadlines for Filing a Dog Attack Lawsuit
Every state establishes a time limit, known as a statute of limitations, by which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed. Under 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/13-202, the deadline provides an injury victim two years from the date of the bite incident to file a civil claim.
If the lawsuit is not filed by the two-year deadline, the case may be dismissed. An attorney in Bloomington who is well-versed in the laws governing dog attack cases could ensure that the plaintiff’s lawsuit gets filed before the statute of limitations runs out.
The Illinois Animal Control Act
The Illinois Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5) includes specific provisions concerning dog bite injuries. To prove that a pet owner is liable for a bite, a Bloomington lawyer would be required to establish the following elements on behalf of the injured victim:
- The animal attempted to or succeeded in attacking the plaintiff
- The plaintiff had a lawful right to be in the place where they were injured
- The animal was not provoked
It should be noted that the state’s dog bite laws apply to other kinds of animal attacks as well, such as scratching or clawing.
The Legal Responsibilities of Bloomington Pet Owners
Under 510 ILCS 5/2.05a, to be considered a dangerous dog, a canine must be anywhere other than upon the property of the owner and unleashed, unmuzzled, or unattended. It is the responsibility of a pet owner to ensure their animal remains secured on their property.
If an owner takes their animal for a walk on someone else’s private property or public property, the dog should remain on a leash.
If the animal escapes from an owner’s property, the owner may be liable for any damage caused by the dog. Per 510 ILCS 5/2.18b, a reckless dog owner is someone who permits their pet to leave the property and kill another dog.
The Doctrine of Strict Liability
Illinois is a strict liability state with regards to dog bites and other animal-inflicted injuries. This means that an animal owner cannot argue that they had no warning of the animal’s aggressive behavior. Therefore, if an animal injures an individual without being provoked, the owner may be liable, even if they had no prior knowledge that their dog was aggressive.
The state’s dog bite statute does not cover cases in which a dog is provoked. As such, if an owner can prove that the injury was because their pet was provoked, they may not be liable for the injury. If someone is illegally on private property and is attacked by a canine, the owner would not be liable for any resulting injuries. A diligent Bloomington dog bite lawyer could determine if a pet owner could be liable for damages.
Contact a Bloomington Dog Bite Attorney Today
If a dog bite has injured you, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and more. A Bloomington dog bite lawyer could help you with every step of the litigation process. Call now to schedule a consultation.