How We Can Help

Our Lawyers Fight for Max Compensation after a Chicago Dog Bite

We know the financial toll and trauma of a dog bite to animal attack. To recover, you’ll need as much money as possible to cover medical bills, your lost income, and your pain and suffering.

Dog bite incidents can be sensitive issues, especially if you know those involved. But handling things yourself is a mistake. Chicago insurance companies are only interested in profits, not your relationships or well-being. That’s where Staver steps in. Let us maximize your car accident settlement and pursue ALL of it.

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Jared Staver
Ally. Advocate. Advisor.
How we can help

1. We Eliminate Risk for Cook County Dog Bite Victims

Being seriously injured because someone failed to control a dangerous animal is enough to deal with. When you work with Staver, there’s no up-front cost for our services.

Our contingency fee policy also means you won’t owe us anything unless you receive compensation.

Free case evaluation
$0.00 out of pocket expenses
No fee unless you win

Average Payout Amount*

w/attorney $1,600 on your own $1,600
Difference of $1,000.00

*According to the 2017 Martindale-Nolo Research.

2. Our Dog Bite Experience Equals More Money; Faster.

Our years of experience with dog bites and animal attacks typically result in more money in less time. A dog bite injury case usually comes down to efficiency, documenting your injuries, and clarifying liability.

We make every effort to negotiate a fair and reasonable resolution. But if an insurance company doesn’t offer enough compensation for your injuries, Staver won’t hesitate to fight for you in court.

Building Your Case

Chicago Dog Bite Cases: Laws & Info

Although we have the legal side covered if you’re hurt by a dangerous or aggressive animal, it can be helpful to have a general understanding of the unique laws and possible obstacles that may apply after a dog bite.

Building your case

Chicago Area Dog Laws, Injuries & Damages

A dog bite can happen for many reasons and often result in severe injuries. Sometimes establishing responsibility is obvious. Other times, it takes an investigation to determine if an owner was negligent.

Illinois Dog Bite Laws

The Illinois Animal Control Act governs dog bite injuries and other attacks. It states if a dangerous dog attacks an individual who is peaceably conducting themselves in a place where they are permitted to be without provocation, the owner is liable for civil damages. This law protects mail carriers and others who are permitted to be on a person’s private property but does not necessarily those who do not have express permission to be on private property.

For example, parents of children who wander into a neighbor’s yard and are bitten by a neighbor’s dog may not be entitled to damages. Much depends on the specifics of the case.


Chicago Municipal Dog Bite Laws

In addition to state laws governing civil liability, many municipalities throughout the Chicagoland area have their own laws covering dog bites and animal attacks. Chicago and some of the area’s largest suburbs have laws in place. Many of these laws address criminal sanctions and impose fines. However, those fines are not indicative of how much money you can win in a civil lawsuit.

Chicago Dog Bite Laws

It is an automatic offense if a bite occurs when the dog is not on the owner’s property, it is an automatic offense. If an unrestrained dog causes damage, fines may be as high as $1,000 to $10,000. Even if these fines are imposed, you can obtain much more than that in damages through a personal injury claim. You should contact a Chicago dog bite lawyer near you to find out how much you can get.

The Chicago Animal Care and Control department should be called if there is a dog attack within the City of Chicago. They are located at 2741 S. Western Avenue, and their phone number is (312) 744-1406.

Aurora Dog Bites

An unprovoked dog bite could cause an animal to be impounded and declared a nuisance. Before an animal is returned to its owner, the court may be able to place restrictions on where the dog can be and steps the owner must take to ensure the public’s safety.

The Aurora department of Animal Care & Control may be called to investigate a dangerous dog. They are located at 600 S. River St., and their phone number is (630) 256-3630.

Naperville Dog Bites

After a dog bite, a dog must go through a mandatory rabies observation period. An official bite form must be filled out and submitted. Damages are a civil matter.

The City of Naperville Animal Care & Control should be contacted if there is an attack in Naperville. They are located at 1340 Aurora Avenue, and their phone number is (630) 420-6178.

Joliet Dog Bites

The dog responsible for the bite must undergo a vet exam within 24 hours of the bite and 10 days after the bite. The county must be notified of the attack.

Joliet Township Animal Control should be notified of any attacks. They are located at 2807 McDonough Street, and their phone number is (815) 725-0333.

Elgin Dog Bites

Police must be notified of the attack. If the dog is declared dangerous, the owner must have liability insurance of at least $100,000 to maintain ownership.
The Elgin Police Department employs an Animal Control Officer who will investigate dangerous dogs.

The Elgin Animal Control department is located at 151 Douglas Avenue, and animal control dispatch can be reached at (847) 289-2700.

Waukegan Dog Bites

A dog responsible for a bite must be contained, and the bite must be reported to the Waukegan City Animal Control. They are located at 100 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, and their phone number is (847) 599-2500.

Arlington Heights Dog Bites

After a dog bite, the owner may receive a village ordinance citation for having an uncontrolled animal. The court may require the dog to be euthanized after just one bite if it is capable of causing great bodily harm or death.

The Village of Arlington Heights Animal Control can be contacted at (847) 368-5300. They are located at 33 S. Arlington Heights Road.


Chicago Dog Bite Injuries

The severity of your injuries following a serious dog attack significantly impacts the value of your claim. It’s important to keep up with medical treatment and document your recovery. This includes medical bills, treatment documents, and insurance info.

Here are some of the most common injuries we see after dog bites:

  • Abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Scarring
  • Nerve Damage
  • Crushing Injuries
  • Punctures
  • Infections
  • Broken Bones
  • PTSD
  • Death

Dog Bite Compensation

When someone else is responsible for your or a loved one’s dog bite-related injuries, you have the right to be compensated. A full and fair insurance settlement should consider how your life has been affected, including both your economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages after a dog bite can be proven with documentation such as pay stubs, bank statements, and other financial records. Economic damages include:

  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Childcare expenses
  • Household maintenance fees
  • Medical expenses

The non-economic damages associated with dog bite injuries are harder to value but should be considered.

  • Loss of consortium
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Reputational damage
  • Disfigurement and scarring

Owner Negligence & Liability after a Dog Bite

Most Chicago dog bite insurance claims and lawsuits are based on negligence. This means that the dog’s owner or some other party acted unreasonably or failed to act and caused you else harm.

Strict Liability & The One Bite Law

Some states operate under what is known as a “one bite law.” In these states, owners are not responsible for damages caused by their dog when they bite for the first time. After the first bite, they are expected to be aware of their dog’s potential to cause harm and are responsible for damage caused by subsequent bites.

Illinois is not a one-bite state. Illinois has strict liability statutes in place. An owner cannot avoid civil damages by arguing that they did not know of their dog’s aggressive tendencies or that they had no warning of the dog’s ability to cause harm. Regardless of the owner’s knowledge or the dog’s previous behavior, the owner is entirely responsible for the harm caused by a dog bite.


Time Limits, Insurance & Defenses to Dog Bite Claims

A dog bite case can get complicated fast. Insurance companies, pet owners, and other businesses will quickly diminish your injuries, suggest that you’re to blame, and use stall tactics so you give up and accept less for your dog bite injury.

The Statute of Limitations for a Dog Bite in Chicago

Under Illinois state law, the victim of a dog bite has two years from the date of the bite to bring a case against the responsible party. It’s highly recommended that you move forward with a case as soon as possible after the bite, as evidence may degrade or get lost over time and weaken your case.


What Insurance Policy Covers a Dog Bite?

While the owner is liable for damage caused by their dog, the insurance company often ends up covering the damages associated with an attack.

In some cases, homeowners or renters do not inform their insurance provider that they own a dog. This is often the case when having a dog would lead to an increase in insurance rates. As a result, the insurance company may refuse to pay for damage caused by the dog.

Additionally, many insurance companies exclude certain breeds from their policies, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers. If this is the case, the owner might be personally liable for paying for your damages. This could significantly impact the amount of compensation you can get.

Common Defenses Used in Chicago Dog Bite Cases

These are the two primary defenses that could help a dog owner escape liability in a dog bite lawsuit.

Provocation

Per Illinois state law, an owner is liable for their dog’s attack if the dog attacks without being provoked. If you irritated or otherwise provoked the dog prior to the bite, you could be responsible. This can include teasing, poking, taunting, or hurting the dog.

Trespassing

The other primary defense against a dog bite lawsuit is trespassing. The law notes that the owner is liable if the victim is in a place that they are legally permitted to be. If someone is bitten while trespassing on someone else’s property, the dog owner may not be liable for the damage caused by the bite.


Chicago Dog Bite FAQs

If you were bitten or attacked by a dog, you may be able to get money for medical expenses, mental suffering, physical pain, disfigurement, disability, lost wages, property damage, and more. If your own dog was injured at the time, you may even be able to get payment for their vet bills. Contact a Chicago dog bite lawyer to find out exactly what can be covered.

Many people who are bitten by dogs suffer severe lacerations and soft tissue damage. If you were knocked to the ground, you could even experience traumatic brain injury or a concussion. Broken bones are also common. These injuries often do not heal well and infections can lead to disfigurement that lasts a lifetime. The more severe your injuries, the more compensation you can obtain.

There have been many studies regarding dangerous dog breeds. Although people are often the most afraid of pit bulls, German shepherds, and Rottweilers, small dogs are just as liable to attack. However, it is easier to defend against a Chihuahua attack than it is when a large dog attacks. That’s why large dog bites often cause more damage. Despite what breed attacked you, an attorney can help you get money to cover your losses.


Is There a Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me?

We cover the whole of the Chicagoland area:

Chicago, Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Naperville, Joliet, Waukegan

Our Process

After Suffering a Dog Bite, We Focus on YOU

Our process is people-focused. It’s designed not only to win but to reduce stress levels and make the whole process easier.

Contact us Today

Or learn more about our process...

Share Your Story with Us
We'll do the rest
How we can help

01

Consultation

02

Case Value

03

Evidence

04

Settlement

If Needed

Trial

It Starts with a Free Consultation

This is your chance to discuss your case with an experienced Chicago attorney. We’ll talk about what led to the attack, your injuries, and what you might expect from a dog bite insurance claim or lawsuit.

Here are some things you may want to have or be ready to discuss

  • Your Story– We’ll want to know how you or your loved one came to be bitten, the type of dog involved, and what you experienced.
  • Documents & Photos– Make sure to get a copy of the police report if applicable and take photos of where you were bitten. This can help show the severity of your pain and the damage done by the animal.
  • Receipts for Expenses: A significant dog bite will result in various out-of-pocket costs. These costs add up and should be accounted for.
  • Witness & Property Info: Any information you have about the dog’s owner or handler at the time will be helpful. Also, try to keep any witnesses’ names and contact details.
  • Insurance Communication: You’ll be surprised by how quickly the owner’s insurance company reaches out for a statement, release form, or settlement offer. Avoid agreeing to anything until you’ve consulted a lawyer, and keep a record of any communications you have with the insurer.
| Next Step:Determine the Value of Your Case

We’ll Determine the Value of Your Dog Bite Case

We won’t waste time.

Staver gets to work fast to assess the full financial effect of being injured by a dangerous dog or another animal. These claims often go well beyond simple medical bills and hours of missed work. A serious incident could result in tremendous pain and suffering, disfigurement, PTSD – even fatalities.

Staver looks long-term and considers the harm you suffered and will have to endure after a dog bite. You may be entitled to special damages, punitive damages, general damages, and, in some cases, survival damages.

For a full run-down of types of damages, take a look here.

| Next Step:Collect Evidence

We’ll Collect Dog Bite Evidence and Provide Proof

To make your case, you’ll need various evidence that the dog owner acted recklessly, knew their dog was a danger, and you were injured because of it. This usually includes medical records, photographs, or witness testimony.

For example, in a Chicago dog bite injury case, we may provide testimony that the dog owner failed to keep their dog on a leash in a public place and is aware of the animal’s aggressive tendencies.

| Next Step:Settlement

We’ll Settle You Dog Bite Claim If the Price is Right

An insurance settlement offer may come quickly after a dog bite. But first, offers are usually way too low to cover everything.

Insurance companies want to make dog bite insurance claims go away fast. But Staver takes the time to ensure all your damages are covered. We won’t let you be pressured or settle for less than what’s fair. We’re also relentless in identifying who to hold accountable so no one else gets hurt.

| Next Step:Trial

If Necessary, We’ll Take Your Case to Trial

No one wants to sue over a dog bite, and most cases settle before court. However, sometimes sides don’t agree, or a trial is the best way to get the outcome you need. Whatever the case, we’ll explain the process and advise when the best option is in court.

| Next Step:Consultation
Ready to get started?

It all starts with a free consultation.

Why Staver?

Chicago Dog Bites Are Different. So Is Staver.

Despite having legal and ethical obligations regarding their pets, many owners and insurance companies push lowball settlements and dispute liability altogether. Dog bite victims share the same problems: they need money for medical bills, not to mention compensation for any pain and suffering. They also need time off work to recover properly. And first and foremost, answers, and guidance from a lawyer they can trust.

We understand that.

Our lawyers have handled enough dog bite claims to know the ins and outs of the entire process. We take care of all the heavy lifting so you can focus on the most important thing, healing. Most importantly, we act fast so you can recover what was lost and turn a dog bite into a distant memory.

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Or learn how...

3500+
Clients Helped
Why Staver?

We’re Advocates for Dog Bite Victims

When you or a loved one are hurt because someone failed to keep control of a pet, you shouldn’t be made to feel your pain doesn’t matter. Or held financially responsible for it. At Staver, we’ve seen the pain and bills that come with severe animal attacks. It makes us passionate advocates for dog bite victims – in and out of court.

We’ve made thousands heard. We’ll do it for you.

We Earned Client Trust

Insurance companies are not worried about your physical or financial health after a dog bite. But Staver puts you first. It's why we have a 4.95 star Google rating 185+ reviews left by clients on Google.

I was delivering medical supplies to a patient's home, when their dog bit my hand, taking most of the skin from the back of my hand and leaving puncture marks in the muscles and nerves of my hand. Staver was very prompt and professional, and I would definitely recommend them to family and friends.

Lori R.

★★★★★

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We Get Results in Chicago Dog Bite Cases

Staver fights hard, and it shows. Over the years, our lawyers have helped recover millions so people can move on after dangerous animals caused them harm or resulted in a tragic loss.

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.

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Award-Winning Injury Lawyers on YOUR Side

We’ve won awards for over 3,500 clients. And with every award we get, the more it proves our quality. Years of credibility, glowing ratings from the BBB and a place on the top 100 trial lawyers of America.

The recognition we’ve accumulated speaks for itself.

Awards Memberships
Better Business Bureau A+ Rating
American Association of Personal Injury Attorneys
The AV Peer Rating
Top 100 Trial Lawyers of America
The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates
National Association of Distinguished Counsel
The Chicago Bar Association
The Illinois State Bar Association
The American Bar Association
Brain Injury Association of America ‘Preferred Attorney’

Visit our Awards Page  

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Dog Bites in Illinois: Related Reading

Here are some additional resources that may be of help.

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