Animal attacks can range in severity from a simple scratch to potentially life-threatening injuries. And when your injuries are severe, personal injury law attempts to make the injured party “whole” in as much as it is possible to do so. Oftentimes, that comes by way of monetary compensation when damages can be represented in terms of financial “loss” (i.e. medical costs, lost wages, etc.).. But these cases are not always cut-and-dry. Many things can affect the ultimate determination of damages and what party is liable for them. Sussing out these factors can be key to resolving any personal injury animal attack claim.
(Take These Steps After a Dog Bite Attack)
Let’s say, for instance, you were attacked by a dog in a dog park and suffered injuries as a result. The fact is there can be many moving parts to a resulting claim for such a circumstance. You would want to determine if the pet owner was indeed the party responsible for the dog in question at the moment of the attack (anyone from dog walkers, friends or even family might have been the dog’s hander’s on the day of the incident at the part). This may have an impact on who might be held responsible. You’ll also want to determine if the park authority might have been negligent in their management of a potentially volatile environment with multiple dogs (potentially off-leash) creating an unpredictable situation for park visitors.
Perhaps you were injured on private property. What were the circumstances of your visit? Were you a guest? Did you have implicit permission to be on the premises? What level of responsibility (or duty of care) did the homeowner or tenant have to prevent their pet from attacking you. These are some of the kinds of questions you’ll want to answer before contacting the responsible party’s insurer or filing any personal injury claim.
Still, a third complication could add another wrinkle into the mix. What if you were at work or on the clock when the animal attack occurred? Perhaps you were at your employer’s facility and were attacked by an animal on the premises, like, for instance, a pet kennel. Who bears responsibility in that case? The pet owners? The business owner(s)? These are questions you will need to answer to adequately pursue personal injury damages.
If you were attacked on the job, workers compensation might also become an appropriate avenue to pursue to cover medical costs. Still, depending upon the circumstances, your employer may be liable for personal injury damages.
So, you see, dog bite and other animal attack claims can grow to be quite complex in nature. The above conditions, among others, can compound responsibility in these cases. Settling for the first offer an insurer makes can limit recovery of the compensation you are entitled to in your claim. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney like those at Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago often gives you the best chance at securing the highest damages available in your case.
Bizzieri Law Offices thoroughly investigates your claim, and our attorneys understand Illinois personal injury law and all of the factors that play into liability in animal attack claims. Whether there is more than one party liable or if the damages should include lost wages, or even punitive damages, our attorneys will investigate your claim and determine the best course to pursue the highest level of damages to which your claim entitles you.
If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim, contact our offices at 773.881.9000. We will work hard to win your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
(Read our Dog Bite F.A.Q. to learn more about personal injury and dog bite claims.)