Chicago Lawyer Reviews Illinois Dram Shop Act

Drinking too many alcoholic beverages at a bar or restaurant can lead to chicago dram shop lawyeralcohol-related injuries, accidents or worse. As a dram shop attorney in Chicago, I want to provide you a brief overview on the dram shop liability law in Illinois.

If you or a loved one has suffered an alcohol-related injury, contact me today at 847-305-4105 for a free consultation or read below to learn more about what you can do to recover.

Dram Shop Laws in General

Dram shop laws are a body of laws that provide a legal cause of action against the owner of a tavern, pub, restaurant or other establishment that provided alcohol to someone who caused an injury or damages.

This does not necessarily apply to social hosts who provided alcohol to guests at a social function. Check the laws of your state to determine whether social hosts are on the hook as well.

Illinois Dram Shop Act Definition

The Illinois dram shop law ensures that those who sell or dispense alcoholic beverages to obviously intoxicated individuals or minors are held responsible for any damages or injuries that those individuals cause. This can include motor vehicle accidents, physical altercations, harassment, slip and falls, property damage, and more.

Statute of limitations

Per Illinois statute, there is a one-year time limit in which to file a lawsuit under the Dram Shop Act.

Important: Note that the one-year time limit is significantly shorter than the amount of time in which you have to file a lawsuit for your injuries against the defendant. If you suspect that a pub or other establishment may be at fault for your injuries, do not delay. Contact a Chicago attorney immediately at 847-305-4105.

Elements of the cause of action

To establish a cause of action under the Illinois Dram Shop Act, a plaintiff must prove the following:

  • The alcohol was sold or dispensed by the defendant
  • The defendant could foresee that this alcohol would cause the plaintiff or perpetrator to become intoxicated
  • There are damages (medical, property, emotional, etc.)
  • These damages were caused by the patron’s or the plaintiff’s intoxication

Defenses

Illinois’ stricter laws mean that anyone who sold or gave the patron alcohol throughout the evening leading up to the incident can be held comparatively negligent.

Bars, restaurants, and vendors often use the following defenses:

  • Extraterritoriality: the alcohol was consumed outside of the state of Illinois
  • Provocation: the injuries suffered by the plaintiff are due to a provocation on their part
  • Complicity: that the plaintiff is one of the people actively contributing to the intoxication of the patron or themselves

Damages

The amount a victim can recover under the Illinois Dram Shop Act is limited. The amount changes every year. In 2018, the dram shop liability limits for alcohol-related injuries are:

  • For causes of action involving persons injured, killed, or incurring property damage on or after January 20, 2018, the judgment or recovery cannot exceed $68,777.44
  • For causes of action for loss of means of support or loss of society resulting from the death or injury of any person on or after January 20, 2018, the judgment or recovery cannot exceed $84,061.32

Note that this money is on top of the money you can recover from the defendant who caused your accident.

For a free evaluation of the viability of your Illinois Dram Shop Act case, contact our office today at 847-305-4105 for a free consultation.

Glenview Attorney – highlights of Glenview Summerfest

My name is Barry Zlotowicz and I am a Glenview attorney. On June 30, 2018, I participated as a “vendor” at the Glenview Summerfest which took place Glenview Lawyerin downtown Glenview, Illinois. I wanted to reflect on the experience and say thank you to a few people.

Briefly, I have lived in Glenview since 2001 just before my first daughter was born. My other 2 daughters were born and raised here as well. We have loved our schools, the Park District, the Glenview Dance and Music Academy and a wide variety of other Glenview institutions for the past 17 years. My office is in Glenview and I’m a member of the Glenview Chamber of Commerce.

Glenview is a sleepy kind of community with just over 40,000 residents. We Glenview Lawyerhave some nice restaurants but night life is not booming so to speak.  But we have a good mix of old and young, enough Starbucks for me never to go without and a growing and vibrant business community.

My favorite places to go in Glenview include The Glen (where former President George H.W. Bush trained), Abt Electronics and the Grove. We also have Kohl’s Children’s museum which my kids loved when they were young and we’ve been to countless times.

Glenview has 2 Metra train stations with easy access to downtown Chicago in 35 minutes. It also has good bus service. My administrative assistant takes a bus from Evanston and gets dropped off right in front of my office.

Glenview Attorney

My goal as a Glenview attorney is to serve the village of Glenview andGlenview Attorney surrounding areas. If you look at my website, you’ll find articles and references to several cities including Northbrook, Niles and Mount Prospect among others.

There are not a lot of lawyers in the village of Glenview. On the Glenview Chamber website, there are only 8 firms/members who are lawyers actually based in Glenview. As such, I’m interested in being a resource for Glenview residents on a variety of legal topics.

My primary practice is in personal injury but as a Glenview attorney I have found that the vast majority of calls to my office are for other practice areas including estate planning, criminal law/traffic tickets and employment law. Fortunately, I have a network of attorneys I work with daily who practice in a wide variety of practice areas and as such, I am a good referral source for Glenview residents who need a referral to another attorney.

Glenview Summerfest

Last weekend with the Glenview Summerfest which was organized by the Glenview Chamber. I purchased a booth at the event and set up shop. You can see from the photos that it was a great event despite the heat which was almost unbearable. I heard it got to 103 on the heat index and it felt like it.

As part of my efforts to encourage pride in our village, I gave

Glenview Summerfestout stickers that say “GLV” on them – for Glenview of course. There’s not much else a Glenview attorney can hand out that wouldn’t bore people.

A special thank you to our Glenview Police Department and Glenview Fire and EMS as well. When I say I overheated I’m not kidding. I needed some help and the GPD and GFD provided great assistance.

I enjoy being a Glenview attorney and want to offer the best service I can to our residents. If you have any legal issues, please feel free to use me as a resource. Call me today at 847-305-4105.

Glenview Attorney

Glenview Attorney
Glenview Lawyer

My name is Barry Zlotowicz and I’m a Glenview lawyer. I often hear jokes about lawyers. I’m a personal injury lawyer and as such, have often been called an “ambulance chaser.” I take no offense to these jokes. But what I do object to are outrageous claims made by attorneys to convince an accident victim to hire them. This gives all lawyers a bad name. If you want a fair assessment of your case, call us at 312-848-9783.

The Million Dollar Case

A couple months ago I received a call from a woman who was injured in an auto accident. She was climbing into the back seat of a co-worker’s car when suddenly the co-worker started to drive away. The victim was dragged behind the car for approximately twenty feet. In the process, she re-aggravated a pre-existing knee condition.

She started calling lawyers to obtain information. One lawyer she spoke to immediately told her that she had a “million-dollar case.” Most people when they hear that would get pretty excited. Who doesn’t want a million dollars? But she was a bit suspicious and called our office for another opinion.

“A million dollars” she told me. “Really,” I said. I asked her about her injuries and determined that there might be a case, depending on the severity of her injury. I asked her how much insurance the driver of the vehicle had and how much underinsured (UIM) insurance she had. She didn’t know.

Politely I told her, “if the defendant only has a $25,000.00 insurance policy, where is the other $975,000.00 coming from?”

Illinois Insurance Policy Requirements

In the State of Illinois, all drivers are required to have a minimum of $25,000.00 in liability coverage. Very often, that is all the money there is to recover for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

As such, it is critical that you have enough uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – a minimum of $100,000.00, if you can afford it. You cannot control how much insurance the other guy has but you can take steps to protect yourself.

Personal Injury Settlements

The reason so many people fall for exaggerated evaluations – like the million-dollar case – is that huge verdicts are the only verdicts we hear about in the news media. It’s not sexy to report on the simple auto accident which resulted in a fractured arm and settled for $50,000.00. The media would rather tell you about the million-dollar Liebeck vs. McDonalds Restaurants hot coffee case.

Yet $25,000.00 and $50,000.00 recoveries are far more common and represent what most personal injury settlements look like. Sure, there occasionally are multi-million-dollar cases, but they are few and far between.

Fair and Honest Assessment

When attempting to determine how much your case is worth, you have to take into account a variety of factors. This includes the amount of your medical bills, the severity of your injury, what insurance company you are dealing with, and more.

If you contact our office, one thing we can guarantee is that we will give you fair and honest assessment of your case. We will help you establish reasonable expectations so that there are no surprises when the insurance company makes its’ first offer. We believe this is a good policy all around. It helps us meet our obligation to be honest with our clients and also gives our clients accurate information upon which to make decisions about how to proceed.

Small Claims Court

For many cases, you may not even need a Glenview lawyer. If your case is worth less than $10,000.00, which many soft tissue cases are (often those cases involving minor contusions, sprains and strains), you can even represent yourself by filing a lawsuit in small claims court. If we feel this is your best option, we will tell you.

Don’t fall for exaggerated claims. Call our office for a free consultation. We will take the time to discuss your case with you. You will talk to a Glenview lawyer, not just an admin person. Call us today at 312-848-9783

Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?

Most auto accidents result in minor injuries, but they all, by definition result in at least some property damage. Many people contact me about their accident and ask, “Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?”

Automobile Insurance
Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?

Most people don’t pay much attention when they’re buying automobile insurance online or from an insurance broker. The majority of drivers are looking for the cheapest insurance possible to meet the mandatory minimum requirements set forth by the State of Illinois. As such, they accept high deductibles and purchase inadequate amounts of uninsured and underinsured coverage. Unfortunately, if you commoditize the insurance, you may get left paying a high deductible if you are involved in an accident.

What is a deductible?

In short, a deductible is a specific amount of money an insured has to pay before the insurance company pitches in to pay for the damage to a damaged vehicle.

For example, if you contracted with Allstate Insurance for a $500.00 deductible and your car has $750.00 in damage to it, you will have to pay the first $500.00 before the insurance company pitches in the extra $250.00.

Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?

If the accident is not your fault AND you want to use your own insurance to pay for the repairs, you will have to pay the deductible before your insurance company pitches in to get your car fixed. Your insurance company will then file a claim against the defendant’s auto insurance policy for reimbursement. When your insurance company gets reimbursed for the money they put out on your behalf, you should be reimbursed your deductible.

Unfortunately, this can take some time and the defendant’s insurance company may dispute who is at fault for the accident. This could result in a significant delay in getting reimbursed.

Why would I use my insurance then?

It is often quicker to use your own insurance to get your car repaired. It often takes time for the third party (the defendant’s insurance) insurance to “accept liability” or responsibility for the accident. If you have collision coverage, your insurance will often step in to get your car repaired immediately.

Some defendants always take longer to investigate the facts of an accident. For example, we’ve worked on several cases where the defendant is a governmental entity/employee. The government is always slow in offering compensation for damaged property. In these cases, it’s almost always better to go through your own insurance.

You may be involved in a case where the facts of the accident are in question or even in dispute. If that’s the case, the defendant’s insurance company is not going to pay for your property damage until liability is allocated and agreed upon. In this case, it’s also best to use your own insurance company to pay for the property damage.

Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault and we both have the same insurance company?

There are situations that we have been involved in where a client did not have to pay their deductible even though they used their own insurance. For example, if both parties to the accident have the same insurance company, I’ve had cases where the deductible issue was handled “in-house” and my client did not have to put out the money to pay the deductible.

I’ve also had situations where liability for the accident was so obvious that the defendant’s insurance company accepted liability immediately. In that case, my client’s insurance knew they were going to get reimbursed for the deductible and as such, waived the deductible.

These cases are the exception more than the rule, however. And consequently, when I’m asked the question: “Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?” The answer is usually “yes.”

If you are faced with this situation, we are more than happy to provide you a free consultation to discuss your options. Call us at 312-848-9783 now.

Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer in Chicago

If you were involved in an accident involving Uber or Lyft, you should call a Chicago rideshare accident attorney.

chicago uber accident lawyer
Uber and Rideshare Accident Lawyer

Dealing with Uber or Lyft can be challenging – even for a lawyer let alone an accident victim representing him or herself.

In general, rideshare is a great idea. It has provided a reasonably priced means for people to get around Chicago and other cities. Statistics also tend to support the idea that rideshare reduces the number of DUI accidents as inebriated drivers have an efficient alternative to driving home from a bar or restaurant. Some studies have shown that Uber has caused a dramatic reduction in the number of DUI related deaths.

However, Uber comes with risks as well. Often, Uber and Lyft drivers do not have a lot of driving experience. I speak from personal experience when I say that I’ve had more than one Uber driver who didn’t have a clue what he was doing or where he was going. I’ve seen others talking on their phones while driving or playing with the Uber app when they should be watching the road. Many cities like Chicago have enacted rideshare ordinances to assert some minimum requirements on the rideshare industry. Chicago exerts significant control over the taxi industry as well.

Our office has represented victims in several different Uber & rideshare accidents, including:

  • Our client was driving for Uber when she was hit behind in Park Ridge, Illinois thereby causing her to slam into the car in front of her. She suffered a concussion and whiplash injuries. She also developed fibromyalgia immediately after the collision and also suffered from significant PTSD that required psychological counseling.
  • Another client was a passenger in the back of an Uber. The Uber driver ran a red light and smashed into a car in an intersection. The collision left our client with significant back injuries. Our client’s statement about fault resulted in Uber’s insurance company accepting 100% responsibility for the accident.

We’ve received countless other calls from victims of rideshare accidents, many with minor injuries who proceeded to represent themselves in filing a claim with James River Insurance – the insurance company Uber uses (for the collisions I’ve handled at least).

It is unknown how many Uber & rideshare accidents there are in Illinois. This is mainly because, in Chicago at least, police reports do not have a place to notate whether the accident involved a rideshare service or not.

Who do you pursue if you are involved in an Uber & rideshare accident?

Uber and Lyft both provide coverage for accidents involving its drivers. When a rideshare driver turns on the app coverage begins. Uber/Lyft provide $50,000 in liability insurance if an Uber driver causes an accident while the app is on, but before he/she accepts a ride request. Once a ride request is accepted the insurance increases to $1,000,000 per incident AND the rideshare driver is protected if he/she is hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. The insurance coverage returns to $50,000 once the passenger exits the vehicle.

The state of Illinois mandates that rideshare drivers carry insurance. Often, your typical personal insurance policy will not provide coverage as it was not anticipated in your insurance contract that you would utilize your vehicle for commercial activities. As such, many Uber and Lyft drivers purchase additional or commercial insurance. The cost of adding these policies to an existing personal insurance policy is often minimal and can be as low as an additional $15.00 per month.

One insurance is established, your case will face the same challenges that all auto accident cases face:

  • Establishing liability
  • Obtaining sufficient value for the property damage
  • Getting the appropriate medical treatment
  • Avoiding gaps in medical treatment
  • Negotiating with a stingy insurance company
  • Negotiating medical bills and liens upon settlement

You can also recover for your lost wages if you are injured in an Uber & rideshare accident. For passengers, the same process is used including verifying your wages through the use of a lost wages verification form. For rideshare drivers, establishing lost wages is often simple. The Uber app documents how much a driver makes on a weekly basis. To establish the lost wages claim, we can download the data and present it to an insurance company to document how much money you made on a weekly basis in the months prior to the accident.

If you would like to speak with an Uber & Rideshare Accident Lawyer, feel free to contact my office at 312-848-9783 My consultations are always free and I am more than happy to discuss your options with you.

 

Show a little love to truckers and give them the space they need

Truck AccidentsTruck drivers often must mitigate unique safety issues while operating their vehicles. Large trucks can outweigh smaller vehicles by 30 times, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Due to this weight, trucks require more stopping distance than other vehicles, as any Chicago truck accident lawyer knows. Large trucks also can ride over other vehicles because of their high clearance.

Continue reading “Show a little love to truckers and give them the space they need”

Glenview Dog Bite Attorney

Experienced Glenview dog bite attorneys have an understanding of the price a dog attack can take on Glenview victims.  In addition to physical harm, dog attacks could potentially cause a considerable amount of emotional distress for their victims.  If a dog has hurt you, a dog bite attorney can assist you with obtaining fair compensation for your injuries.Glenview dog bite lawyer

Personal injury dog bite attorney, Barry Zlotowicz of the Chicago Legal Group can take care of legal actions relevant to dog bite cases.  Our expert Glenview attorneys are competent in dog bite incidents and can assist you with making the most of your particular case.  Our team has effectively represented numerous clients in lawsuits relating to dog attacks, and we can handle your case successfully, too.

The laws pertaining to dog and animal bites in Illinois are continually changing, and tend to be perplexing for the victim of a dog bite.  The initial step in knowing your rights is to understand where those rights come from and the laws that have an impact on you.  If you decide to pursue a legal claim, you need to contact an Illinois dog bite attorney who not only knows about those laws, but also how to navigate your case through complex insurance policies and exclusions to make certain someone is held liable for your injuries.

The Illinois Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/) describes the legal rights and solutions available to people all over the State of Illinois that have been injured by an animal.

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.

The language of the law is equivalent to strict liability requirements, which implies there is pretty much no excuse to permit your dog to bite someone.  Under the Act, you can recover damages against the owner of the dog if:

the person actually owned the animal;

you did not provoke the dog;

you were acting “peaceably”; and

you were standing in a place where you are legally entitled to be.

If you can prove all four of these things, then you may be eligible to recover money from the dog’s owner for your medical bills, any future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering and disfigurement for any scars you may have after the dog attack.

Let’s dive deeper and answer important F.A.Q.’s that you will find helpful:

As an experienced Glenview dog bite lawyer, I know better than most how devastating and traumatic a dog bite injury can be for the victim. Despite the prevalence of the dog-bite epidemic, I am often surprised how little the public knows about dog bite law.

Dog bite law is not something most people think about until they or someone they love become victims. I have previously written a post on some of the more frequently asked questions concerning Illinois dog bite law. In this article, I discuss some of the more practical aspects of dog bite cases, including, important safety precautions, first aid and procedures following an attack.

How Many Dog Bites are there Per Year?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are more than 4.5 million people bitten by dogs each year in the United States. Of these victims, more than 800,000 require medical attention. Worse, at least half of all dog bite victims are children. In fact, Between 2003 and 2012, dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injuries to children ages 1 to 4, 9th for children ages 5 to 9 and 10th for children ages 10 to 14. The American Humane Association reports that 66 percent of dog bites to children occur on the neck and head.

The annual amount paid out by insurance companies to dog bite victims is staggering.  The Insurance Information Institute estimates that in 2013 U.S. insurers paid out approximately $500 million in dog bite claims. Moreover, the average cost per claim increased by 5.3 percent in 2018 to $39,017. Between 2003 and 2018, the average cost per claim has risen by more than 103 percent.

Why Dogs Bite Humans

As the American Veterinary Medical Association points out, “Big or small, male or female, young or old, any dog can bite.” While it is true that some breeds are more prone to aggression than others, any dog is capable of biting at any time. Dogs typically bite in reaction to fear or surprise. It is for this reason that children are the most common dog bite victims. Children are more likely than adults to do something to provoke or frighten dogs (e.g., hugging the dog or trying to take away its toy). To be sure, there are many reasons why dogs attack humans without being provoked. Some of these reasons include:

  • The dog is protecting a possession, food or even a puppy
  • The dog is protecting its territory
  • The dog is protecting its owner
  • The dog is injured or ill
  • The dog perceives you as a threat

It is helpful to be aware of the reasons why dogs bite humans so that we can attempt to avoid certain high-risk situations. More importantly, however, are telltale signs that a dog is preparing to attack. If we can recognize warning signs, we can act appropriately to protect both ourselves and our loved ones.

How Dogs Warn Us

I am often asked why dogs bite without warning. This is a common perception, that we have no way of knowing when a dog will attack. While this may be true in some limited circumstances, more commonly a dog will exhibit telltale warning signs that they are about to attack. Some of the more easily read warning signs include:

  • Barking or Growling
  • Raising a lip to show its teeth
  • Raised fur on the dog’s back and neck
  • A curved tongue (curved means tension while flat means relaxed)
  • The dog’s ears are flat or suddenly prick up
  • Salivating at the mouth (for some dogs this is a sign they are stressed)
  • Staring
  • Lifting a paw (a sign that the dog believes something negative is about to happen)

There are some other warning signs that are not as easily read. It is helpful to be aware of these less obvious warning signs and to proceed with caution. One of the least understood is when a dog is wagging its tail. We commonly associate tail wagging with excitement. This is true most of the time. However, where the tail is up and wagging stiffly it can be a warning sign that a dog is feeling threatened and/or is about to exhibit aggression.

Another difficult to read warning sign is the placement of a dog’s paws and posture. If a dog is standing with its legs spread wider than normal and is puffing its chest out, this can be a sign of aggression. Moreover, if the dog appears tense it could be a sign that it feels threatened and is preparing to attack.

Precautions to Take to Avoid a Dog Bite

If you encounter a dog exhibiting any of the above behaviors, there are several precautions you can take to minimize the risk of an attack. These precautions include:

  • Avoid making direct eye contact. If a dog is staring at you gradually avert your gaze to avoid startling it
  • Remain calm. Avoid yelling or making loud noises. Rather, say “No” or “Go Home” in a deep voice. Do not hit the dog. If the dog sees you are calm it could cause it to back down
  • Protect your neck by slowly raising your hands and keeping your elbows in
  • If the dog does not leave, then slowly back away. Avoid turning around or running. If you run the dog will likely chase you

Sometimes, regardless of the precautions that you take an attack cannot be avoided. If you are attacked it is important to act defensively and to seek proper medical care as soon as possible following the incident.

What to Do if You are Bitten by a Dog

If you are attacked by a dog the most important thing is to defend yourself. While it is understandable that you do not want to hurt the dog, it is more important that you protect yourself. If the dog starts to bite you then hit or kick it in the throat, nose, ribs and/or back of the head.

Dogs have very thick skulls so hitting it on the top of the head will likely only make it angrier.

The goal is to temporarily stun the dog to allow you time to get away. If you carry mace or pepper spray use it. Both are very effective in defending against a dog attack.

Another effective method is to place an object between you and the dog. For instance, if you are carrying a bag use it to shield yourself and/or push the dog away. If you have a jacket or shirt use it to cover the dog’s eyes. When dogs cannot see they will panic and open their mouths. This could cause the dog to release its grip allowing you to escape. If the dog knocks you onto the ground, curl up into a ball with your head tucked in. Make fists to protect your fingers. Protect your ears and neck with your forearms and fists.

If you are coming to the aid of someone being attacked by a dog avoid pulling the dog off. Pulling the dog off can cause a wound to become deeper and larger. Rather, try one of the above techniques of striking the dog or covering its eyes.

Eventually the dog will lose interest in you or hopefully someone will come to your aid. Slowly leave the scene of the attack when safe to do so.

When a Dog Bites What is the Treatment?

As soon as you are safe, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Tend to any wounds until you can receive professional medical assistance. Perform the following basic first aid procedures:

  • Apply gentle pressure to stop bleeding. Use a clean cloth or a gauze pad
  • Wash the wound with warm water and soap
  • Apply an antibiotic cream
  • Once you have stopped bleeding apply a band-aid or bandages for larger cuts

If you are unable to stop the bleeding or feel faint call 911. If you successfully treat the wound at home but notice signs of infection (e.g., redness, warmth or pus) seek immediate medical attention.

Typical Dog Bite Injuries

The most common injuries are abrasions, punctures or lacerations resulting from the bite itself. It is also possible to suffer internal injuries such as nerve damage, muscle or ligament damage, or even broken bones. Infection following a dog bite is fairly common. According to the CDC, approximately 18% of dog bites become infected. Experts have found over 60 different types of bacteria can live in a dog’s mouth. The following diseases can be caused by dog bites:

  • Rabies – one of the most serious diseases people can get from dog bites. Rabies can be fatal.
  • Capnocytophaga – can result in heart attack, kidney failure or even gangrene
  • Pasteurella – typically results in a painful, red infection at the site of the bite
  • MRSA – a form of staph infection that can cause skin, lung and urinary tract infections
  • Tetanus – can result in paralysis

Should You Get Stitches After a Dog Bite?

Whether or not you should get stitches after a dog bite primarily depends on two factors:

  • The size and location of the bite
  • Time amount of time that has passed since the bite occurred

Bite marks located on the hands or feet are generally not stitched unless absolutely necessary. The hands and feet are more prone to infection than other areas of the body. Closing the wounds with stitches substantially increases the likelihood of infection.

Wounds should generally be stitched within 6 to 8 hours following the bite. If you are unable to stop the bleeding on your own or you are not sure whether you require stitches seek treatment from a health professional.

Should You Report a Dog Bite?

If you can it is important to use your smartphone to take photos of the dog. If the dog is with its owner take his or her photo as well. The owner will often attempt to flee the scene to avoid liability. Finally, take photographs of the surrounding area, including, but not limited to, street signs, houses, cars and any important landmarks. These photos will be important in demonstrating where the attack occurred.

If you are not severely injured it is often a good idea to take the photos before contacting the police. If the dog or owner run off you may lose your only opportunity to identify them. It is a good idea to contact the police following any dog bite. Not only can the officer help you to receive medical attention and to obtain the owner’s information, but he or she will file a report about the attack. The police report will be essential for insurance purposes, as well as animal control.

Much like you would following a car accident, if the dog’s owner has not disappeared, obtain his or her information. You should attempt to collect:

  • The owner’s name, address, phone number and email address
  • The dog’s name, age, breed and veterinarian info (to obtain the vaccination record)
  • The owner’s homeowner or renter’s insurance information

In addition to contacting the police, be sure to contact animal control to report the attack. Animal control serves many important functions, including verifying the dog’s vaccination records and biting history, as well as preventing the dog from attacking other victims in the future.

Dog Bite Law Illinois

Dog bite law in Illinois is covered by 510 ILCS 5/16. That statute provides that in order to prove a dog owner is liable for an attack, the victim must show that:

  • The dog attacked, attempted to attack or injured the victim;
  • The victim had the lawful right to be in the place where he or she was attacked; and
  • The victim did not provoke the dog

Note that the statute also applies to situations other than dog bites. For instance, if you are hurt when a dog excitedly jumps on you, the owner can be liable for the resulting injuries. The second and third of these elements highlight the two most common owner defenses: that the dog was provoked, and that the victim was trespassing. In addition to the Illinois dog bite statute, an owner may be found liable under theories of negligence, landlord liability and even for emotional distress.

Strict Liability Dog Bite Law in Illinois

The Illinois dog bite statute is based on a theory of strict liability. In the U.S., there are typically two legal theories under which a dog owner may be found liable for a dog bite. Under a theory of strict liability, an Illinois dog owner cannot argue that he or she was unaware of a dog’s aggressive tendencies. If a dog injures another person (and the victim was not trespassing and did not provoke the dog) the owner is liable. This theory may seem overly harsh. However, the Illinois legislature has identified the serious public threat of dog attacks and has placed the burden on owners to ensure that adequate precautions are taken.

Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer

As an experienced Glenview dog bite lawyer, I have witnessed firsthand how truly devastating dog bites are for victims and their families. I have assisted countless Illinois dog bite victims to recover damages for their injuries. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite in Illinois, please contact us today for a free consultation.

Prospect Heights Bus Accident Attorney

Illinois is one of the most significant locations for passenger bus transportation.  Whether or not children take the school bus, public bus riders or passengers taking a long-distance bus trip, there are a large number of people in Prospect Heights that count on bus transportation every single day.

Bus accidents occur all too often on America’s streets and highways.  Roughly 300 fatal bus crashes take place each year, in accordance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Bus accidents without any fatalities, the damage to property and the price of serious injury is much higher.

As soon as stepping foot on a bus, the passenger has faith that the driver is licensed, rested and prepared to operate the bus in the safest possible way to protect the safety of all passengers.  A passenger also trusts that the bus has been properly inspected and all parts of the bus are fully functional.  Even so, bus accidents do take place, and in many cases it is the consequence of negligence on the part of the bus driver, the bus company or the bus manufacturer.  When passengers are severely injured in a bus accident, they might be able to take action and hold everyone who is responsible accountable.

Our Prospect Heights bus accident lawyers take care of all sorts of bus accident cases.  A number of these types of accidents include the following types of buses:

  • School buses
  • CTA buses
  • Shuttle buses
  • Chartered bus tour buses
  • Sight-seeing buses
  • Interstate passenger buses – including Greyhound

Because of the size of most buses, the injuries can be quite serious and even life-threatening for some.  Passengers located from Prospect Heights, Illinois that are involved in accidents can possibly suffer from some serious physical injuries requiring hospitalizations and continuous medical care, plus many injured victims may even lose the capability of being able to work and earn an income.  The long-term repercussions of an accident of this nature can be very devastating, so it is vital to take action very early if involved in a bus accident to guarantee your rights will be protected.

If ever in a bus accident whether or not physically injured, help dealing with stress and anxiety may very well be needed aside from any physical injuries.  With that said, you might just be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills and any lost wages resulting from the bus accident.  If death occurs, the liable driver can also face criminal charges for wrongful death.

We represent all kinds of Prospect Heights bus accidents, whether you have been injured or not, you will be pleased to know that our office is well equipped to assist you with recouping from any damages. If you have been in a bus accident or car crash, don’t delay in getting touch with a qualified Prospect Heights auto accident lawyer.  Contact us today for a free consultation with Barry Zlotowicz, a Prospect Heights personal injury attorney at 312-848-9783 or 877-LAW-4312.