Decatur Dog Bite Lawyer

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Decatur Dog Bite Lawyer
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Decatur Dog Bite Lawyer

It’s no secret that dogs can make wonderful companions, but it’s important to remember that even our four-legged friends can be unpredictable.

Thousands of people are hospitalized daily due to dog attacks—a stark reminder that even our beloved pets can do serious damage if left unattended. Though fatalities are rare, animal attacks almost always result in terrible pain and suffering and can lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills and other expenses

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury due to an unprovoked attack, Illinois law has provisions that make the animal’s owner responsible for paying for all your damages. Don’t underestimate the magnitude of the damages suffered.

Consult a Decatur dog bite lawyer at Onward Injury Law to hold the owner responsible for their negligence and to recover fair and just compensation for your damages.

Dog Bite Facts

  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that dog bites result in about 1,000 ER visits per day, with about 25 hospital stays per day across the United States
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most dog bite injuries occur to the arms, hands, legs, feet, head, or neck
  • Sadly, most dog attack victims are children, with about 50% of dog attacks involving children less than 12 years old, and about 70% of fatalities occurring in children under ten years old
  • Most attacks occur in a familiar place, often on the pet owner’s property
  • According to (a website that compiles national statistics on dog attacks), there were 48 dog bite fatalities in the United States in 2019.
  • Unfortunately, according to the CDC, many of the breed and crossbreed mixes that are most popular in Illinois are listed as the most commonly involved in dog bite-related human fatalities.

How Do Dog Bite Cases Work in Illinois?

Here is an overview video on dog bite cases in Illinois.

Illinois Law on Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

The Illinois Animal Control Act makes a negligent owner liable for any injuries or damages resulting from an unprovoked attack by his dog or another animal. This applies to any injuries sustained, even if the animal only tries to attack, whether or not a bite wound occurs.

To recover for the damages, you must prove the following elements:

  • The owner’s (or whoever was in actual control of the animal at the time) animal attacked, attempted to attack, or otherwise injured you
  • You didn’t provoke the attack
  • You had a right to be where the attack occurred, and
  • You were acting peacefully

Here is an overview video on the Illinois Animal Control Act.

A knowledgeable and experienced Decatur dog bite attorney, working for you as early as possible, will help you determine the responsible party and get just compensation for the negligence.

Decatur Local Leash Laws

In Decatur, Illinois, dog owners must always keep their pets on a leash when in public places. Failing to do so violates the lease agreement and may result in fines. Furthermore, dogs are not allowed to be unattended or ‘loose’ in any street, alley, parkway, or place open to the public, including all sidewalks, regardless of the type of leash used.

Even on the owner’s property, dogs must be controlled and humanely confined by a fence, kennel, or similar enclosure.

Should I Hire an Attorney for a Dog Bite in Decatur?

If a dog has bitten you, it is important to consider hiring an attorney to help you seek the compensation you deserve. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system and maximize the compensation you receive.

Decatur dog bite lawyers help you:

  • Understand the laws. Dog bite laws in Decatur can be complicated to navigate. An experienced attorney can help you understand the laws and ensure you take the necessary steps to seek justice.
  • Maximize compensation. Dog bite attorneys can help you maximize your compensation by negotiating with the insurance company and filing a lawsuit against the negligent party.
  • Avoid mistakes. Mistakes in the legal process can be costly and time-consuming. An attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure your case is handled correctly.
  • With representation in court. If your case goes to court, an attorney can represent you and protect your rights.
  • By providing sound advice. Your attorney will be well-versed in Illinois dog bite law and can provide you with the best advice to help you with your case.

Get Help Now With Dog Bite Claims. Call Onward Injury Law.

Did a dog attack you in Decatur, IL? We’re here to help.

Call now for a no-obligation, free legal consultation. Our injury lawyers will be happy to answer any questions, advise you about the value of your dog bite case and strategies for identifying insurance coverage, and help develop a plan to maximize your compensation.

If you hire our team, we will do everything within our power to make the process as easy as possible for you, so you can focus on your physical recovery, your family, and returning to your normal life.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Dog Attack FAQs
What should I do after a dog bite?

Despite your reasonable efforts to be safe and avoid provoking a dog, it may attack anyway.

What comes next?

  • Get a medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible
  • Exchange personal information with the animal’s owner and any witnesses to the attack
  • Report the attack to the police or appropriate animal control agency, especially if the dog’s rabies status is unknown
  • Take pictures of any injuries you suffered
  • Preserve and don’t wash any evidence, like your clothing or personal property that might have been damaged in the attack
  • Keep copies of bills and receipts for any expenses, medical or otherwise
  • Write down anything you can remember about the attack
  • Avoid the temptation to settle quickly, without allowing time to see how your injuries heal or before getting knowledgeable legal advice from a dog bite attorney
  • Avoid direct contact or discussions with the owner, or with an insurance adjuster, until you have secured legal representation.
What kind of injuries to dog bites typically cause?

Animal attacks can result in many painful and traumatic injuries.

These include:

  • Bite puncture wounds, scratches, lacerations, or other soft tissue injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Other injuries resulting from trying to flee or avoid an attack
  • Wound or bone infections, sometimes with unusual bacteria
  • Scarring and disfigurement that may require reconstructive procedures
  • Life-changing emotional distress including the fear of dogs
What damages can you be compensated for in a dog bite case?

The severity and extent of your injuries will, of course, determine the damages.

These may include:

  • Costs of medical and surgical treatment
  • Expenses that you incurred as a result of the attack or in caring for it
  • Lost income or wages
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation expenses
  • Compensation for permanent scarring or disfigurement you suffered
  • Damages for pain and suffering or any emotional distress that resulted from the attack
  • Reimbursement for any psychological services or counseling necessitated by the attack
  • Wrongful death compensation
Why are children at higher risk of dog attacks and related injuries?

CDC studies point out that children between five and nine are the most common victim of dog bites, with the majority occurring at the pet owner’s home. There are several reasons for this.  

Kids have a natural curiosity, but a lack of experience makes them less likely to recognize the possible warning signs of an attack. 

Being smaller and more fragile, they may be less able to defend themselves and, therefore, more likely to suffer serious injury or a fatal outcome. Unfortunately, they are more likely to be at face level with the animal and, therefore, more likely to suffer disfiguring facial injuries. 

Finally, children are more susceptible to suffering long-term psychological consequences from a serious attack because they are earlier in their psychological development.

How long do I have to file a dog bite claim in Illinois?

The statute of limitations for dog bite cases in Illinois is typically two years. A longer statute of limitations may apply when the victim is a minor, as a minor would typically have two years from when they turn 18. A one-year statute of limitations may apply in rare cases, like when a government entity owns the animal.

The best way to determine what statute of limitations applies to your case is to take advantage of a free consultation with a Decatur dog bite lawyer.

What can a Decatur, Illinois, dog bite lawyer do for me?

You have the right to fair and just compensation if you or a loved one has suffered serious injury from an animal attack.

You should not bear the consequences of the owner’s negligence when an aggressive and dangerous animal attacks you. Owners are responsible and obligated to protect people from attacks by their pets.

The owner of a violent dog or animal should not be allowed to avoid paying for the effects of its harmful behavior. This is important not just for your recovery but to prevent future episodes. But the dog owner may be a friend, acquaintance, or even a family member. Dealing with them yourself may be uncomfortable.

However, it’s important to remember that the owner may not bear the expense of settling a claim—more often, there is coverage for animal attacks in homeowner or renters insurance policies. But insurance companies always try to minimize claim payments.

To receive fair compensation, you need to have a knowledgeable attorney in your corner.

How much will a Decatur dog bite attorney cost?

If you’re affected by a dog bite or animal attack, you owe it to yourself to obtain fair compensation for the harm you suffered.

We can help. Most of these cases are settled without going to court. Insurance companies usually settle to avoid the risk of adverse judgments and higher court costs.

At Onward Injury Law, we typically represent clients in these cases on a contingency fee basis. If we accept your case, we will get paid from the settlement only if we successfully recover your damages. And your initial consultation is always free


Our team regularly records videos to answer frequently asked questions and to provide free information and helpful tips to the public about issues that commonly arise in personal injury cases.

How much does it cost to hire an injury lawyer?
How much does it cost to hire an injury lawyer?
What can you do to maximize the value of your injury case?
What can you do to maximize the value of your injury case?
Should you try to settle your personal injury case on your own?
Should you try to settle your personal injury case on your own?
How long will it take to settle my personal injury case?
How long will it take to settle my personal injury case?

Areas Served

While we can help with any Illinois injury claim, we focus primarily on helping injured people in Central Illinois.

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Onward Injury Law BBB Business Review 2023 Winner Readers Choice Awards Decatur Top 100 Trial Lawyer Avvo Rating Top One Percent Million Dollar Advocates Forum  Best of Readers Choice Awards Bloomington American Association for Justice