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What Are My Legal Options After a Fatal Dog Attack in Illinois?

Posted on in Dog Bite Injuries

Naperville dog bite injury attorneysAlthough the percentage of dog bites and attacks that result in fatal injuries is relatively small, an attack can be deadly, especially when the victim is a child or someone else who is unable to effectively defend themself. These cases can be especially devastating for the victim’s surviving family members, and while there is no way to bring the victim back, there are ways to hold the dog’s owner accountable.

Strict Liability for Illinois Dog Owners

According to Illinois law, a dog’s owner is strictly liable for all civil damages if someone is injured because the dog attacks without provocation and the attack occurs at a location where the victim is legally allowed to be. This means that a victim does not need to demonstrate that the owner’s negligence led to the attack, or that the dog had a history of violence that the owner was aware of. This strict liability applies not only to dog bites, but also any other unprovoked actions from the dog that cause an injury, including scratching and knocking a person to the ground.

A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Recover Damages

In most cases, an injury victim must be the one to initiate the process of pursuing compensation from the owner of the dog who caused the injuries. However, if the injuries are fatal, a personal representative of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf, with any resulting compensation usually being awarded to the victim’s spouse or next of kin. If the victim was a child, the parents will often be the ones to initiate the lawsuit. In any case, a wrongful death lawsuit must be initiated within two years of the victim’s death.

Illinois law states that a wrongful death claim can pursue compensation for the victim’s damages as well as damages suffered by the surviving family members. These damages include:

  • Any medical expenses for the victim’s treatment before their death
  • Non-economic damages for the victim’s pain and suffering before death
  • Expenses related to the victim’s funeral and burial
  • Loss of income and benefits that the family would have received from the victim
  • Non-economic damages for the grief, mental anguish, and loss of companionship suffered by the surviving parents, spouse, children, or other close family members

Contact a Naperville, IL Dog Bite Attorney

As you prepare to pursue compensation after the loss of your loved one, you should work with an experienced Illinois dog bite lawyer who can help you make the case for the full recovery of all economic and non-economic damages resulting from the attack. For a free consultation on your case, contact Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices today at 630-552-6860.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/dogs.html

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1704&ChapterID=41

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2059&ChapterID=57

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Contact an Illinois Dog Bite Attorney

If you have suffered a dog bite injury, our personal injury lawyers can help you determine the actual value of the damages you have suffered, and we will work to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at 630-552-6860 or fill out the form below to arrange a free consultation.

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