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How Does Illinois Hold Negligent Pet Owners Liable for Dog Attacks?

Posted on in Dog Bite Injuries

How Does Illinois Hold Negligent Pet Owners Liable for Dog Attacks?According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than 4.5 million people each year are bitten by dogs in the United States. In addition, it is estimated that roughly 800,000 victims require medical attention after an attack. Loss of wages coinciding with treatment can lead to a significant financial strain for the victim. In order to hold the correct party responsible for a canine’s reckless actions, the state of Illinois has enacted several laws and regulations for dog attacks. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.  

Strict Liability

In Illinois, a canine owner can be responsible for any injuries that occur if their pet attacks another person. According to (510 ILCS 5/16), if a dog or other animal attacks, or attempts to attack, a person without provocation in any place where the victim may lawfully be, the owner can be liable for the full amount of the injuries. For example, if a dog attacked a house guest without a justifiable cause, the owner could be held accountable. It should be recognized that liability laws vary from state to state.   

Illinois Classifications

The Illinois Animal Control Act recognizes that certain situations and considerations may be the reason behind a canine attack. In Illinois, a “dangerous dog” is defined as an individual canine found anywhere other than its owner’s property that is unmuzzled, unleashed, or unattended by its owner, and is behaving in a threatening manner. In addition, a “vicious dog” is classified as a canine that attacks a person and causes serious physical injury or death without provocation. A dog can also be designated “vicious” if it has been classified as “dangerous” on three separate occasions.  

If a canine is found unattended in public, it may be impounded and scanned to help discover who the owner is. Illinois law requires that a microchip must be implanted to help determine the owner of a canine if it is captured.   

A person can be ruled a “reckless dog owner” if his or her canine kills another dog without provocation in any location other than their property and the owner allows the dog to roam unattended twice within 12 months of the incident. A new Illinois law, known as the “Justice for Buddy Act,” addresses situations with repeat “dangerous dogs.” A reckless dog owner will have to forfeit his or her canine to a licensed shelter, rescue or sanctuary and will not be able to own a canine for up to three years.

Contact a Naperville Personal Injury Attorney

Recovering compensation from a negligent dog owner can be difficult, especially if the dog was unleashed or unattended. Pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of freedom can leave a victim in need of financial restitution. At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, our knowledgeable Illinois dog bite injury lawyers can help you determine who is liable for your anguish. Call our office today at 630-552-6860 to schedule a free consultation.  

Sources:

https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/dog-bite-prevention

https://abc7chicago.com/pets-animals/new-law-holds-pet-owner-responsible-for-dangerous-dog-attacks/5001238/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1704&ChapterID=41

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Contact an Illinois Dog Bite Attorney

If you have suffered a dog bite injury, our personal injury lawyers can help you determine the actual value of the damages you have suffered, and we will work to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at 630-552-6860 or fill out the form below to arrange a free consultation.

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