How We Can Help

How Our Chicago Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help

You’ll struggle because your insurance company simply won’t have your back. And without the experience, you could unintentionally take the blame for the bite, waiving your right to sue.

Staver can help remove the financial burden that’s resulted from your accident.

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

1. We Won’t add to Your Financial Stress

At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., your confidential personal injury case evaluation is free. This gives you a no-obligation way to find out if you have a valid claim and discover if we are a good fit for you.

If you choose to hire us, rest easy knowing that we work based on a contingency fee. Put simply, if you don’t receive compensation, you won’t owe us anything. We know that many victims are concerned about finances after an accident, and we don’t want those concerns to keep you from getting the legal representation you deserve.

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. We’ll Pursue a Fair and Fast Settlement

Our years of experience mean we can get you more money, in the quickest time. It all boils down to efficiency. And we’ve been honing that for years. With legal representation, the average payout is $77,600, while the average is $17,600 without.

If the first offer is not enough, your Staver lawyer will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to reach a fair and equitable solution. And if this is not reached, your lawyer won’t hesitate to fight for your case in court.

Building Your Case

Building Your Chicago Dog Bite Case

Every type of personal injury case is different. And although we have the legal side covered, it can be helpful to have a general understanding of some of the unique laws and guidelines, the obstacles and opportunities we may face along the way, and some of the additional details that may impact the outcome of your case.

Building your case


Defenses in Chicago Dog Bite Lawsuits

There are two primary defenses that could help the owner escape liability in a dog bite lawsuit – ‘Provocation’ and ‘Trespassing.’


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.


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.


Issues may arise when your bite is reported to the insurance company. 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, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers, from their policies. If this is the case, the owner might be personally liable for paying for your damages. This could greatly impact the amount of compensation you can get.

Dog Bite Insurance Claims in Illinois

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

Premises Liability

The victim of a dog bite and the victim’s legal team can seek compensation from the owner and the owner’s agents. An attack falls into the area of premises liability if it occurs on a homeowner’s or business owner’s property, as the property owner has an obligation to make sure that visitors are reasonably safe from harm. Even if a bite does not occur on the owner’s property, their insurance could still be responsible for paying out for your claim.

Insurance Issues in Dog Bite Cases

Issues may arise when your bite is reported to the insurance company. 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, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers, from their policies. If this is the case, the owner might be personally liable for paying for your damages. This could greatly impact the amount of compensation you can get.

Illinois Dog Bite Laws

Dog bite injuries and other attacks are governed by the Illinois Animal Control Act. Under this Illinois law, 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.

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

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 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 Bite Laws

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 Bite Laws

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 Bite Laws

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 Bite Laws

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 Bite Laws

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 Bite Laws

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.

Statutes of Limitations in Dog Bite Claims

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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Where is There an Office Near Me?

We cover the whole of the Chicagoland area:

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

Our Process

Our Proven Dog Bite Case Process is All About YOU

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

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How we can help




Case Value





If Needed


It Starts with a Free Consultation

The initial consultation is a chance to discuss your case with one of our attorneys and figure out what your next step is. Use this time to figure out if an attorney is a good fit for your case and how you want to handle it.

When you meet with a personal injury lawyer, you should bring several things to help tell the story of your dog bite. These will essentially be used as evidence to determine the value of your case.

What We’ll Need from You

  • Records of your injury and medical attention
  • A copy of the police report if one was filed
  • Any photos or videos taken by either yourself or a witness
  • Copies of any written communication with the owner of the dog
  • A log of verbal communication with the dog owner and their insurance company
  • Details about the incident such as the type of dog involved, the part of your body that was bitten, where the bite occurred, and your relationship to the dog’s owner
| Next Step: Determine the Value of Your Case

We’ll Determine the Value of Your Dog Bite Case

When you decide to work with us, we won’t waste time.

Staver will get straight to work. We’ll help with medical bills and insurance claims so you can rest easy and focus on healing.

We look to the long-term, assessing all types of damages to determine the value of your case. There are four types of damages that you may be entitled to, depending on the circumstances you’ve experienced after the dog bite: special damages, punitive damages, general damages, and lastly, survival damages.

General damages are particularly important for dog bite victims, as they are often left with a serious fear or phobia of dogs and emotional distress. This can impact their ability to be in public spaces where dogs may be present.

It’s worth noting that it can be very difficult to get punitive damages in a dog bite case. The victim’s side must prove that the dog owner acted maliciously or with reckless indifference to the rights and safety of other people.

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

| Next Step: Collect Evidence

We’ll Collect Evidence and Provide Proof of Your Damages

Typically, dog bite claims are handled by the owner’s renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy. But you can back up damages with a variety of evidence, including bills, photographs, or expert testimony asserting expected future damages.

This stage is vital. It’s simple really, the better your proof, the more compensation you could get.

For example, to prove that you’ve experienced pain and suffering, a testimony from your doctor explaining that you appeared to be in pain during office visits will be helpful. Keeping a diary or a ‘day in the life’ video recording showing how much your pain has affected your life could come in handy too.

It’s also crucial to learn more about the dog responsible for the bite and whether or not they have injured others before.

| Next Step: Settlement

We’ll Settle, But Only if the Price is Right

After we’ve looked over the damages, we’ll put our research system into action and pursue a settlement. Reason being? Taking a dog bite case to court poses a risk for all involved parties – The victim risks getting nothing if the court finds the owner not liable or believes that the victim provoked the dog in some way. The owner and their insurance company risk having to pay out a massive sum if the court finds in the victim’s favor.

Because of this, most insurance companies are willing to negotiate a settlement. And your Staver lawyer will never settle for an amount that will shortchange you. We’re relentless in the pursuit of the highest compensation possible. We’ll be going back and forth at the negotiation table for as long as it takes.

| Next Step: Trial

If Necessary, We’ll Take Your Case to Trial

If a settlement can’t be reached, we won’t hesitate to take your case to trial. We’ll leave no stone unturned so we can get the most out of your case for you. Every piece of evidence we gather will have one goal: to support the damages suffered.

| Next Step: Consultation
Ready to get started?

It all starts with a free consultation.

Why Staver?

Why Our Dog Bite Attorneys Are For You.

Every dog bite is different. But all 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, straight-talking, answers, and guidance from a lawyer they can trust.

We understand that.

And 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. We keep you informed so you’ll always know where your case stands. And most importantly, we act fast so you can recover what was lost and turn your accident into a distant memory.

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Clients Helped
Why Staver?

We’re Your Advocates

When you hire Staver, you’re not getting a lawyer who picks up your case with no care. In fact, you’re getting an advocate. A passionate lawyer who will speak on your behalf, with insurance companies, and in court. We’ve done it for thousands of clients who were once in your shoes, and we’ll do it for you.

We’ve Earned the Support from Our Clients

We dedicate ourselves to client success and satisfaction. This shows in our 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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Our Dog Bite Snapshot is Proof of Our Success

At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we fight hard for our clients. And our case history shows this. Over the years, we’ve seen just about every type of dog bite there is.

Sure, it feels like unfamiliar territory to you, but it’s all too familiar to us.

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.

Read more results

Our Industry Recognition Helps Us Serve YOU

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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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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