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Illinois Laws on Dog Bite Liability

DuPage County personal injury lawyer for dog bite liability

Personal Injury Lawyers for Animal Attacks in DuPage County and Kane County

Millions of families throughout the United States keep dogs as pets, and in many cases, these animals are loving companions that can be trusted around family members and friends. However, there are also many dogs that are dangerous, and even pets that have never exhibited any aggressive tendencies can act unexpectedly. When a person suffers an injury from a dog bite, they may be unsure of how the law addresses the situation and whether they will be able to recover compensation for their damages.

If you have been bitten by a dog, the personal injury attorneys at Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help you understand how Illinois law applies to you, and we will provide you with the legal representation you need. We will work with you to ensure that you receive compensation that fully addresses the damages you have suffered.

Strict Liability for Dog Bites

Some states have what are referred to as "one bite free" laws regarding dog bites, in which a dog's owner is not responsible for dog bite injuries if they had not previously known that their dog was dangerous or likely to bite someone. However, Illinois is not one of those states, and Illinois law uses the principle of "strict liability," in which a dog's owner is liable for injuries that occurred when their pet attacked someone, regardless of whether they were aware that their animal was likely to do so.

Specifically, 510 ILCS 5/16 states that if a dog or other animal "attacks, attempts to attack, or injures" a person, the dog's owner is "liable in civil damages...for the full amount of the injury." The law also notes that this liability applies if the dog acted without being provoked, and the victim was conducting themselves peaceably in a place where they were legally allowed to be. That is, if a person was bitten after striking or teasing a dog or while they were trespassing on private property, the dog's owner will not be liable.

Dangerous and Vicious Dogs

The Illinois Animal Control Act also identifies some situations in which additional considerations may apply to a dog that may be likely to bite someone and cause serious injuries. The law defines a "dangerous dog" as an unleashed, unmuzzled, or unattended dog that behaves in a way that would cause a reasonable person to believe that it would pose a threat of serious physical injury or death to a person or to another pet. A dog is also considered dangerous if it has previously bitten someone without causing a serious physical injury, as long as that incident occurred without justification.

A "vicious dog" is a dog that has previously bitten someone without justification and caused a serious physical injury or death. A dog may also be considered vicious if it has been found to be a dangerous dog three separate times.

The owner of a dangerous dog may be required to have their dog complete behavioral training or be supervised or muzzled when on public premises. The owner of a vicious dog is required to keep their dog in an enclosure at all times. While it is not necessary to show that a dog is dangerous or vicious in order to pursue compensation for dog bite injuries, if an owner of a dangerous or vicious dog did not take the proper measures to supervise their animal, this may be considered negligence, and a victim may be able to have the owner held responsible for damages that occurred as a result.

Contact a Naperville Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered an injury after being bitten by a dog, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices will help you understand your legal options. We will work with you to ensure that you are able to receive compensation that addresses the costs of medical care, the pain and suffering you have experienced, and any other damages to your person or property. Contact us today at 630-552-6860 to arrange a free consultation.

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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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