If you were bitten by someone else’s dog and it caused an injury, you have the right to file a lawsuit against them to claim damages you need and deserve. If you do, chances are the owner and his/her insurance company may try to dispute your claim. They may argue you were partly to blame for the attack and thus do not deserve any form of compensation.
Illinois Comparative Negligence Law
The state of Illinois has a modified comparative negligence law stating that the amount of compensation a dog bite victim is eligible for can be reduced, depending on their actions at the time of the attack. In other words, the amount you receive in damages can be less than what you expect if it is found you were responsible for the attack.
For instance, if you were 20 percent at fault for the animal’s action because you ignored the ‘Beware of Dog’ sign or trespassed on the owner’s property or tried to pet the dog without asking the owner, you will receive 20 percent of the compensation. If you are 51 percent at fault for the attack on the other hand, you will not receive any compensation at all.
According to state law, you can actually be found more at fault than the dog that attacked you if it is discovered you provoked, attacked, abused or disturbed the dog while it was protecting its litter of puppies. If you cannot prove you were not at fault, your case can be thrown out completely. Plus, the owner and his/her lawyer will do everything possible to ensure this happens by twisting your words and bringing the liability of you claim under question.
You must understand that even if you accidentally stepped on a dog’s paw, it can still be provocation on your part. Having a lawyer who is familiar with such cases can ensure your side of the story is heard in court and you receive maximum compensation for your pain.
This is where the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens will prove invaluable. We have years of experience representing victims like you in dog bite cases and can help you hold the owner accountable. What happened to you can happen to someone else if the owner is not held liable for your pain and anguish. Get in touch with us for a consultation today. We offer our services in Chicago, Waukegan, Woodstock, Libertyville and Antioch, IL.