Should You File a Police Report After a Dog Bite?

If you have been attacked by a dog, there is no question that you need to file a police report immediately after the attack occurs. In addition, you should call a Chicago dog bite lawyer as soon as you can.

Some states follow a one-bite-free rule. That is not the case in Illinois. Illinois is strict negligence state which means if a dog bites, the dog owner is on the hook for the damages.

A Police Report Can Document the Incident and Help You Obtain Information from the Dog Owner

Just because you’re bit does not mean you’ll recover. You still have to prove your damages. Take the steps necessary to document your injury and its cause so you can obtain financial compensation.

One of the first things that you should do after an accident that causes injuries is to call the police. Get the incident on the record.

The police are a ‘neutral and objective’ observer and their account of what happened will help the insurance company make a decision about responsibility for the bite.

Filing a police report is also an excellent way to obtain insurance information from the owner of the dog.

file a police report after a dog bite

Illinois Dog Bite Law

The Illinois Animal Control Act states that if you are attacked by a dog without any provocation on your part, the dog owner can be held liable for your injuries.

It does not matter whether the dog has a history of biting people or other aggressive behavior.

This law means that dog owners must keep their pets from biting other people, period. The only prerequisite for compensation under the law is that someone is “peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be.”

Put another way, whether the dog’s owner was negligent is not relevant in a Chicago dog bite case. It does not matter what the owner was doing, whether the dog was on a leash, or how closely the pet was being watched.

If you were out in public and did not provoke the dog, you can obtain compensation from the dog’s owner for any injuries you suffered.

What Is on a Police Report?

You may find the following on the police report:

  • The time and date of the incident
  • The names of the parties
  • What happened
  • Whether a citation was given
  • And most importantly, homeowners’ or renters’ insurance information

The insurance company will use the police report as an account of the incident to help them accept responsibility for the incident.

There is no reason why you should forgo obtaining a police report. It can only help your case. Contacting the police will also ensure that others are kept safe from the aggressive dog.

Even though Chicago Municipal Law requires an owner to self-report a dog bite to animal control, when the police are aware of the attack, they may call Animal Control for you.

Animal Control could then decide that the dog needs to be euthanized or classify the dog as a “dangerous animal,” which would require the owner to buy additional insurance.

Another reason why you need to call the police is that time is of the essence after a dog bite. If the dog is rabid or lacks a valid rabies vaccination, you need to take immediate action to protect yourself. The police can help you get to the bottom of this quickly for your own safety.

Contacting the police at the scene of the bite may help you get the information that you need to qualify for compensation from the dog owner’s insurance.

Contact a Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer Today

After a dog attack, the first call you should make after calling the police should be to a Chicago dog bite attorney. Dealing with an insurance company can be confusing and intimidating, and your attorney can guide you through the process. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 1-847-305-4105.

Need more info before calling? Download our FREE Top 7 Illinois Dog Bite Law Tips PDF document today.

Chicago Legal Group

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