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Dog Bites Attorney in Elgin, Illinois

Dog Bites Can Have Long-Lasting Effects

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but a dog that is mistreated, sick or frightened for some reason can lash out in dangerous ways. If you or your child have suffered an attack from a dog or another pet, you know how frightening and damaging the attack can be. Dog bites can lead to infections, surgery, and scarring, not to mention the psychological effects that may result, especially for children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half of all dog bites involve children.

Contact me, James P. Leahy, to discuss your dog bite case today. I proudly serve the western suburbs of Chicago and the surrounding area from my office in Elgin. I have over 35 years of experience in personal injury law and offer personalized service to every client. I will explain each step of your case and work with you to achieve the results you are looking for.

When Is a Dog Owner Liable?

Dog bite laws vary from state to state, but in Illinois, a law passed in 2015 holds dog owners liable for their dog’s actions as long as the dog is in their care. The law covers any unprovoked attack, attempted attack, or injury to a person or even another dog. Exceptions may include times when the animal is in the care of another person and factors surrounding the situation, referred to as the reasonable dog standard are considered.

Injured from a Dog Bite?


Under the reasonable dog standard, the owner may use provocation as a defense. That means the injured person acted in some way to provoke the dog into an attack. On the other hand, the owner may use the excuse that the dog had never bitten anyone in the past, and they did not know the dog was violent. The victim only needs to show they had the right to be in the place where the attack occurred (they were not trespassing), and they did not provoke the dog.

Common Injuries from Dog Attacks

Dog bites are painful and may cause permanent scarring or injury. No matter the level of your injury, any animal attack is scary. Common injuries include:

  • Infections

  • Open wounds

  • Fractures

  • Scarring

  • Emotional effects

More serious, but less common injuries include:

  • Lost fingers

  • Disfigurement requiring surgery

  • Blindness or another eye damage

  • Nerve damage

  • Loss of mobility

  • Death

Damages for these injuries can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.

Call for A Free Consultation

To find out more about your legal options, contact me for a free consultation. Call my Elgin office or send me an email today.