Dog Bite Cases

Who should I sue after a Crystal Lake or McHenry County dog bite attack or injury?


Dog bites to both adults and children in Crystal Lake, Algonquin and McHenry, Illinois are fairly common. Since McHenry County is a fairly rural county, most family households have a dog and many have several dogs. A dog bite can have serious consequences for the victim including scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering and psychological trauma. In some cases a dog bite may result in death to a victim. Those cases usually involve Pitbull attacks. Even in McHenry County Pitbull dogs are fairly common. It is impossible to know what dog will bite in advance of an attack, unless, of course, the dog has a vicious propensity and has attached in the past.

National dog bit statistics reflects that nearly 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and for the dog bit fatalities that involve children, 50% of those involve children under 10 years of age. In the United States, approximately 100 children are bitten by dogs everyday and approximately 92 of those children will need medical attention. The national statistics hold true for Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills and Algonquin, Illinois.

Approximately 15-20 people are killed by dog attacks each year. Insurance companies report that one-third (1/3) of all injury claims against their homeowners liability policies are related to dog bites.

In 2006, McHenry County Animal Control conducted 393 animal bite investigations of which 235 were female victims and 158 were male victims. In 2007, there were 335 animal bite investigations; 187 females and 148 males were bitten.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a dog or animal bite, contact Attorney David N. Rechenberg, he has experience handling these types of claims and has recovered substantial money damages for dog bites and animal bite victims. He has recovered money for McHenry County dog bite victims including facial scarring, lacerations, requiring plastic surgery.

In Illinois, under the common law, a dog bite victim would only recover money damages from the owner of the dog if the dog had a previous history of biting or attacking individuals. This was commonly known as a “one free bite” law. The reason for the law was that the dog owner had no prior knowledge that his or her dog was dangerous, until the dog bit a person, that the dog owner was aware of the propensity of the dog to bite and the owner should protect the public from the dog.

The Illinois legislature has enacted the Animal Control Act 510 ILCS 5/16. The Illinois Animal Control Act, in pertinent part, states as follows: “if a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is peaceably conducting themselves in a place where he may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in damages to such person for the full amount of injuries sustained”.

The case law interpreting the Animal Control Act has held that not only are the owners of the dog liable to the injured party, but also any individual who controls an animal is liable for injuries resulting from the dog bite attack. In certain circumstances, landlords may also be legally liable for unprovoked dog and/or animal attacks.

While prosecuting a dog bite case is a complicated legal matter, the first thing you should do is hire David N. Rechenberg. Once retainer, he will file the common law cause of action along with the statutory Animal Control Act claim to make sure you recover all the money damages you or your loved one is entitled to recover. Not only can the injured person recover medical bills, disfigurement and money for scarring, he or she can also recover money damages for their psychological injuries that resulted from the animal attack.

If you suffered a dog bite attack in Crystal Lake, McHenry or Lake County, Illinois, call David N. Rechenberg to schedule a free audit of your case.

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