Over 62 million dogs are owned as pets in the United States.
Properly trained, dogs can be loving companions providing years of friendship to a family. However, when a dog becomes violent, it is capable of inflicting serious injury and harm to its victim. Dog owners have a duty to control their pet, and make sure their dog does not attack an innocent victim.
The attorneys of Stone & Maya, P.C. have prosecuted numerous dogbite cases throughout their careers. Facts about dogbite cases include:
- Illinois has a law known as the Animal Control Act, which provides a specific cause of action for those injured by a dog;
- If you were attacked, you may be able to pursue 2 causes of action: one under the Animal Control law and the other for negligence;
- Both a dog owner, and a dog caretaker, also known as a harborer, can be held responsible if you are attacked;
- An attack is not limited to only being bitten; if you were injured in any way by the dog, you may have a case;
- Claims for dogbite attacks are directed to the homeowner’s insurance policy for the defendant; however, some policies exclude certain breeds of dogs due to their violent reputations;
- Your actions, and whether you provoked the dog to attack you, will be strongly considered by the insurance company when evaluating your claim.
Dogbite cases are commonly contested and adversarial making it essential that you hire an experienced attorney immediately. Do not give a recorded statement without first speaking to an attorney representing your interests. If you believe you have a case, contact our attorneys immediately.
ANATOMY OF A DOG BITE CASE
At Stone & Maya, P.C., we bring years of experience in handling dogbite cases. Although the individual facts and circumstances of every case is unique, most cases share a general anatomy and timeline.
- Attack occurs. Call the police and report the accident. Obtain immediate medical treatment.
- Photograph your injuries and the scene.
- You should hire an attorney as soon as possible.
- Once hired, your attorney will speak to the insurance company on your behalf and establish the claim. Your attorney will also perform his investigation, including interviewing witnesses on your behalf.
- Follow the instructions and advice of your medical providers and complete your medical treatment.
- Once your treatment is completed, settlement negotiations can occur. If successful, your case will settle and litigation will not be necessary.
- If your case cannot be settled, your attorneys will file your Complaint at Law against the defendant. Our attorneys will provide you with a copy of your Complaint for your records.
- Once the defendant has been served and answered the Complaint, discovery will take place on your case.
- Discovery consists of two parts, first being written questions and documents. These documents include of the evidence that you collected right after your accident occurred.
- The second half of discovery involves your deposition. A deposition is the defendant’s opportunity to ask you questions about the case and determine your credibility. It can also be used at trial, if the case proceeds to that point.
- Following the conclusion of depositions, it is not uncommon for the defense to file a Motion to Dismiss, or similar motion. The grounds for this type of motion can differ, but the goal of the defendant in bringing is always the same: to dismiss your case before trial. Our firm has successfully defended against and defeated numerous Motions to Dismiss over the years.
- After the defendant’s motion is defeated, many cases become eligible for settlement negotiations. If your case can be settled at this point, no trial is necessary.
- If settlement negotiations are not successful, our attorneys continue to prepare your case for trial. This includes obtaining the trial testimony of experts, witnesses and your doctors.
- Your case proceeds to trial.
- Following trial, there may be post-trial motions and appeals.
Contact the attorneys of Stone & Maya, P.C., for a free consultation to discuss your car accident case today.