Filing a Dog Bite Claim If Trespassing

Filing a dog bite claim against an owner when the victim was trespassing comes with major challenges. A dog bite attorney in Lake in the Hills may work to establish the victim’s implied invitation to be on the property in a certain capacity.

How Implied Invitation and Trespassing May Affect a Dog Bite Claim 

According to Illinois law, an owner of a dog that attacks an individual “who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be” may be liable for injuries in a dog bite claim.

Trespassing, meanwhile, is defined as someone who knowingly enters a property without permission. Since a trespasser generally isn’t considered to be in a “place where he or she may lawfully be,” a trespasser usually cannot file a dog bite claim if injured while trespassing. However, in certain cases, a dog attack victim may argue that he or she had implied invitation to be on the property.

There are a number of scenarios in which implied invitation can occur. An example may be a neighbor returning mail that was mistakenly put into his or her mailbox. If there weren’t any signs or other warnings against stepping onto the property, there may be an implied invitation to approach the front door. Even someone stopping to ask for directions or to use a telephone because his or her car broke down may argue that he or she had implied invitation to approach the house.

Further, an invitee or licensee on the property may become a trespasser if entering areas not covered by the express or implied invitation. For example, if a carpenter is allowed on the property to fix an outdoor deck, but enters the home without express invitation from the homeowner, he or she may then become a trespasser. If the victim of a dog attack inside the home, the carpenter may not be able to pursue a claim.

These cases may prove to be very complex and may require assistance from an Illinois dog bite attorney in Lake of the Hills who can present evidence and legal arguments that the individual has a right to file the claim following a dog attack.

Damages in a Dog Bite Claim

In addition to a victim having to prove that he or she was lawfully on another’s property, the severity and extent of injuries will need to be established in a dog bite claim. Minor injuries that require no medical attention may not be worth the time and effort to file a claim, but serious injuries and those requiring medical attention may necessitate filing a claim.

Some of the types of injuries that may warrant filing a claim include fractures, loss of a body part (limb, eye, nose, etc.), infection, scarring, disfigurement or the loss of life. Victims who are facing substantial medical costs stemming from emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, medication, and other forms of treatment will want to ensure these damages are covered.

Medical records, discharge papers and other documentation that clearly show the financial and physical impact of the dog bite will be necessary. But in some cases, victims may suffer emotional harm as well.

If counseling or therapy is required, records of these services should be kept as compensation to cover the costs could be recoverable. Further damages might include pain and suffering, mental anguish or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lost wages stemming from missing work during recovery from a dog attack may be recoverable as well. An Illinois dog bite attorney in Lake in the Hills may use previous pay stubs or proof of lost wages to establish these damages.

Help Filing a Claim in Illinois: Call a Dog Bite Attorney for a Lake in the Hills Dog Attack Case

Talking with an attorney at Franks & Rechenberg can help victims clear up issues pertaining to legal rights to pursue compensation after a serious dog attack in Illinois. A dog bite attorney can help Lake in the Hills dog bite victims handle complex legal issues if accused of trespassing in a dog bite claim.