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Naperville Dog Bite Injury Lawyers

Dog Bite Attorneys Serving Naperville and DuPage County, Illinois

John J. Malm & Associates is a top-rated personal injury law firm based in Naperville that holds dog owners and insurance companies accountable for the harm caused when a dog suddenly attacks and injures someone. Our dog bite lawyers have extensive experience in successfully handling serious animal attack injury cases.

Whether you live or work here in Naperville, you recognize that encounters with dogs are a regular part of our daily lives – whether we are attending local sporting or social events, shopping at the grocery store, or just taking a walk in our neighborhood. The fact is that there are a lot of dogs in Naperville. In fact, over one-third of Naperville households own at least one dog. Although most Naperville dog owners act responsibly, we know that a sudden and unprovoked animal attack can occur anytime, sometimes leading to severe and disfiguring injuries. For the past few years, dog bite and animal attack injury claims have been steadily rising here in Naperville and, like other suburban communities, now account for about one-third of all homeowner’s liability claims (premises liability & personal injury claims).

John J. Malm & Associates Personal Injury Lawyers is a team of trusted Naperville dog bite attorneys who help victims recover damages for the injuries, medical bills, pain & suffering, scarring and lost wages suffered after an animal attack. Our firm has recovered millions for our clients in dog bite injury settlements, and we know how to successfully handle your dog bite case in Naperville and DuPage County. We are the trusted personal injury law firm to call if you or someone close to you has suffered an injury from a dog bite incident.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Dog Bite Cases in DuPage County, Illinois:

In Naperville, Illinois, dog owners can be held liable for an attack pursuant to the Animal Control Act. The Act imposes strict liability on owners for injuries caused by their animals when an unprovoked attack suddenly occurs:

“Sec. 16. Animal attacks or injuries . If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.” (510 ILCS 5/16)(Source: P.A. 94-819, eff. 5-31-06.).

Are There Specific DuPage County Ordinances That Will Hold a Dog Owner Liable for an Animal Attack That Occurs in Naperville?

Owners of dogs residing in Naperville, IL (within the borders of DuPage County) are further liable for a dog bite, pursuant to the Municipal Code of DuPage County Chapter 5, Section 13 (VIOLATIONS; PUNISHMENTS). The Code states that owners will be liable for all the damages resulting from a bite injury:

“If any owned animal, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is peacefully conducting himself in any place where he may lawfully be, the owner of such animal is liable for damages to such person for the amount of the injury sustained.” (2005 Code; Ord. No. AS-O-0094-20, 11-24-2020)

Most dog bites and animal attacks in Naperville are preventable. Many serious injuries from dog attacks can be avoided by following local ordinances that govern the keeping of an animal. The local ordinances in Naperville that govern the lawful keeping and restraint of dogs and other animals are set forth in the Naperville Municipal Code, Title 10, Chapter 4 (Animal Control). A violation of any of the following Naperville rules will subject a dog owner to fines and penalties. 10-4-14:

  • Dogs in Naperville must be licensed: 10-4-3-2. “All persons who own or keep any dog and/or cat within the corporate limits of the City shall obtain a City dog and/or cat license for each such animal.”
  • Unconfined Dogs in Naperville will be impounded: 10-4-4-1. “Unrestrained animals, abandoned animals, animals running at large and animals maintained in violation of this Chapter shall be taken by the animal control officer or police officer to the pound and confined.”
  • Dogs in Naperville must be vaccinated: 10-4-5-1. “All persons who are the owners of any dog or cat over four (4) months of age within the City shall have such animal vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian so as to provide immunity from rabies for one to three (3) years.”
  • Running at large is prohibited in Naperville: 10-4-5-3. “No person shall cause or permit any dog, cat, or other animal owned or kept by them to run at large within the City. Dogs or cats which are on any street, alley or sidewalk, or any other public place, without being held securely on a leash shall be deemed to be running at large.”

What Happens if a Dog Bites Someone in Naperville, but the Owner Fails To Show Proof of Vaccination for Rabies?

The threat of rabies must be minimized right away. Police should be called to have the suspected animal captured and placed under observation by a veterinarian. The bite victim should immediately seek medical advice on whether anti-rabies injections (“rabies shots”) are needed. DuPage County Animal Control urges that “any break in the skin caused by an animal, which could present a risk of rabies, should not be regarded lightly.” (2005 Code; Ord. No. AS-O-0094-20, 11-24-2020).

By local ordinance, all dogs in Naperville must be vaccinated (Naperville 10-4-5-1, DuPage County Chapter 5-4), and a 10-day confinement is required for a biting dog without proof of a rabies vaccination. Municipal Code of DuPage County, Chapter 5-5 (“confine the biting animal under observation of a licensed veterinarian for a period of ten (10) days beginning within twenty-four (24) hours of the biting incident”).

Are Dogs Allowed in Food Establishments in Naperville?

The answer may depend on the location. Within the borders of DuPage County, dogs in Naperville are not allowed in any place where “food is processed for human consumption.” Chapter 5-8A of the Municipal Code for DuPage County prohibits dogs and other animals from entering a food establishment: “[D]ogs shall not be permitted to enter any place where food is processed for human consumption. Guide dogs and guard dogs used in food establishments are exempt from this restriction.” (2005 Code; Ord. No. AS-O-0094-20, 11-24-2020).

Are Dogs Allowed at Schools or Playgrounds in Naperville?

ere again, the answer depends on the location. In Naperville, within the borders of DuPage County, dogs are not allowed at schools or playgrounds, absent written permission from the local authority. Under Chapter 5-8B of the Municipal Code for DuPage County, dogs and other animals are not allowed in schools or on playgrounds: “Cats and dogs, except guide dogs, shall not be present at or upon any school premises, public playground or public swimming pool unless official written permission has been granted by the public agency or its agent owning the property. At no time shall cats and dogs be permitted in any sand box or sand piles in which children play.” (2005 Code; Ord. No. AS-O-0094-20, 11-24-2020).

Are There Local Laws That Apply to Dangerous or Vicious Animals in Naperville?

In Naperville, a “dangerous animal” includes any animal which, due to its vicious propensity or other manner, “would constitute a danger to human life, property or domestic animals if not restrained or kept in a safe manner.” 10-4-1.

No owner shall permit any dangerous animal to be on any private or public property, other than the owner’s property, unless such animal is securely muzzled or caged. Adequate safeguards shall be taken to prevent unauthorized access to a dangerous animal on the owner’s premises by persons lawfully on the premises.” 10-4-10.4.2.

The legal determination that a dog is a “dangerous animal” falls within the jurisdiction of the Naperville Police Department. Police will notify the owner of the dog or other animal that has been considered dangerous or vicious following a report of a dangerous dog attack. 10-4-10.4.1. Upon an appeal, Naperville Police will hold a hearing on whether the animal is dangerous. 10-4-10.4.

What Local Law Governs Liability When a Dog Attacks and Injures Another Dog?

Animal owners are responsible for attacks that injure another animal. In Naperville, within the borders of DuPage County, dog owners are strictly liable for an attack on another dog. The Municipal Code of DuPage County states that “[i]f any owned animal injures another animal which is under control, the owner of the attacking animal is liable for the full amount of the injuries sustained.” (2005 Code; Ord. No. AS-O-0094-20, 11-24-2020).

What Steps Should You Take After a Dog Attack in Naperville?

All bite injuries (a break in the skin) should be promptly reported to animal control and police. You may report the incident by calling both the Naperville Police (630-420-6666) and Naperville Animal Control (630-420-6178). The victim’s health should always be prioritized, so it’s best to call 911 in case that an injury presents an emergency, or otherwise seek medical attention in an emergency room as soon as possible. Following the first aid treatment of animal-caused wounds, medical advice will be needed to determine the most effective final treatment. Cooperation with law enforcement and animal control helps ensure public safety and allows authorities to obtain necessary evidence.

Naperville law requires that the Naperville Police Department investigate any report of an animal attack. The police can best ensure that a suspicious animal is taken to a veterinarian for evaluation and confinement, if necessary. 10-4-11.

What Kinds of Monetary Damages Can Be Recovered in a Naperville Dog Bite Case?

Victims may seek monetary compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and scarring & disfigurement and lost wages resulting from dog bite injuries. Consulting with an experienced dig bite lawyer is crucial to successfully navigating complicated insurance and legal issues, and helping you secure a meaningful recovery for the damages you have suffered.

Should You Speak With the Dog Owner’s Insurance Company About a Dog Bite Incident in Naperville?

Being able to identify insurance coverage (homeowner’s or renter’s insurance) for the dog owner or the premises owner or occupant is crucial. It is not, however, advisable for you to contact or speak with a dog owner’s insurance company before you have consulted with a knowledgeable lawyer. In order to avoid unforeseen pitfalls in establishing both liability for the claim and coverage for the incident, do not authorize or give a recorded statement to an adjuster from the dog owner’s insurance company without your own counsel. For example, there are specific facts that could inadvertently provide an arguable defense to the dog attack (i.e., a defense of “provocation”). There are also little-known insurance rules that could provide the carrier with an otherwise unavailing “no-coverage” defense, based on something volunteered or unartfully stated (i.e., coverage may be denied upon facts tending to show that someone other than the insured party was arguably “in control” at the time of the attack). Remember, you are never required to speak with the insurance company or sign a medical records authorization over to them directly. Rather it is best to communicate through your counsel and avoid making any remarks that could unwittingly cause your claim to be needlessly diminished or denied.

We Are the Naperville Dog Bite Injury Law Firm to Call – John J. Malm & Associates Personal Injury Lawyers

Our trusted team of Naperville personal injury attorneys have decades of experience, a proven track record, and a reputation for providing excellent service to our clients in Naperville and DuPage County dog bite litigation. When you call us, we will answer your questions and provide legal guidance to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your dog bite case.

Our Firm’s Recent Naperville Dog Bite Injury Settlements

Explore our recent settlements and case results on our Illinois Dog Bite Injuries page to see some of the settlements our attorneys have secured for clients in Naperville and DuPage County. Here are a few recent case settlements for your reference:

  • $500,000 dog attack settlement was reached for woman who suffered a vicious pit bull attack from a friend’s dog.
  • $400,000 dog bite settlement was reached for a woman who suffered a violent pit bull attack from a neighbor’s dog.
  • $300,000 pit bull attack settlement reached for a teenage girl who was violently attacked at a friend’s home.
  • $250,000 dog bite settlement obtained for a woman who suffered a violent pit bull attack while visiting a friend’s home.
  • $225,000 dog bite settlement reached for young girl who was bitten while visiting a friend’s home.
  • $171,000 pit bull attack settlement obtained for a woman attacked by a dog while visiting a friend’s home.
  • $112,000 dog bite settlement reached for a woman after two of her neighbor’s dogs bit her.
  • $60,000 dog bite settlement reached for a woman attacked by her neighbor’s dogs.

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