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Severe Facial Injuries Caused by a Dog Bite: Your Legal Rights

 Posted on May 08, 2023 in Personal Injury

Barrington Personal Injury LawyerDogs can be loving companions, but they are also animals with sharp teeth and powerful jaws. When a dog attacks somebody, it often goes for the person's face and neck. The tissues on our face are fragile and can be easily cut and torn, leading to nerve damage, loss of functioning, and disfigurement.

If you, your child, or another family member suffered facial injuries because of a dog bite, you should be aware of your legal rights in this situation. Injuries caused in a dog attack fall under the legal doctrine of strict liability in the state of Illinois. This means that the dog's owner may be liable for your injuries. The owner may be required to reimburse you for financial losses such as medical bills as well as compensate you for the non-financial suffering resulting from the attack.

Illinois Dog Bite Laws

In some states, a dog owner may be able to avoid legal responsibility for a dog attack if the owner had no reason to believe the dog was dangerous. This is sometimes referred to as a “one-bite rule” because the owner is not typically liable the first time their dog bites someone.

However, Illinois dog owners are held to a higher standard. According to Illinois law, a dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their dog if the person who was injured was on public property or lawfully on private property at the time of the attack. For example, if a dog bites somebody in a public park, the owner will likely be held liable for the attack victim’s injuries. However, if the attack victim was trespassing on private property at the time of the attack, the owner is not liable for damages.

The other situation in which a dog owner may avoid liability for his dog's actions is if the attack victim was provoking the dog. Aside from instances of provocation and trespassing, dog owners are typically liable for injuries caused by their dogs in Illinois.

Financial Compensation for Damages

Being bitten in the face by a dog is an extremely traumatic thing to go through and will likely require extensive medical intervention. Severe face injuries often require reconstructive surgery, antibiotics and other medications, hospital care, and ongoing medical treatment. A dog attack victim may be entitled to compensation for emergency room and hospital bills, medication costs, expenses related to therapy and mental health treatment, and other medical expenses. If the person had to miss work because of the attack, compensation for lost income may be available.

Any dog bite injury can cause deep psychological turmoil and emotional distress, but facial trauma has an especially high psychological impact on the victim. When we communicate with each other, we look at people's faces. It is the very first thing you notice when you meet a new person. Most of us consider our face an extension of our personality and identity. Consequently, lacerations, puncture wounds, and tissue damage to the face have a deep emotional and psychological impact on a dog bite victim. Studies show that facial trauma can cause depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, body image issues, and difficulty socializing.

Compensation may be available for the emotional distress, mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, and disfigurement caused by the dog attack.

Let Our Barrington Dog Bite Injury Lawyers Help You

If you or a loved one suffered face injuries during a dog attack, contact our Barrington personal injury attorneys. Our lawyers know the significant personal, financial, and emotional toll a dog bite can take on a person. We will fight to hold the dog owner accountable for this tragedy and pursue the maximum amount of compensation possible for your damages. Call 224-900-HURT for a free consultation.



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Barrington Injury Attorneys

224 West Main Street, Suite 100, Barrington, IL 60010

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