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Understanding Dog Bite Lawsuits in Illinois

Posted on in Dog Bites

Rockford personal injury attorneysThe weather has been warming up in Northern Illinois, and that means that people are out picnicking, swimming, and walking their dogs. Although many consider dogs to be “man’s best friend,” the reality is that dogs are still animals, and their behavior is not always predictable. Sometimes, a dog who has never shown signs of belligerence suddenly becomes aggressive. If you have been bitten by a dog in Illinois, it is important to know that you might be able to receive financial compensation for your injuries.

Illinois Dog Bite Laws

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximate about 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. Illinois has traditionally been a state in which a higher-than-average number of dog bite lawsuits are filed. This is partially due to how the law is written. In some states, a dog owner is not responsible for damages caused by a dog bite if the dog had never bitten anyone before. For example, if someone owned a dog who was usually friendly and non-aggressive, but then one day the dog suddenly bit someone, the dog owner may not be held liable because he or she did not know the dog was capable of violence. However, Illinois does not have this law in place. Instead, a dog owner can be held liable for damages caused by his or her dog biting someone even if the dog has never shown signs of aggressiveness in the past.

The Illinois Animal Control Act dictates when a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by his or her dog. According to the act, “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.”

Circumstances in Which a Dog Owner is Not Liable

A dog owner is not always financially liable for the actions of his or her dog. If the individual who was bitten by the dog was on private property without permission, he or she could not sue the owner of the dog for damages. For example, if a man climbs a fence, walks through another person’s backyard, and is bitten by a dog, the dog owner will probably not be held liable. Also, if the person was bitten after purposefully provoking the dog, he or she may not be able to sue the dog owner successfully.

Let Us Help

If you or your child have been injured by a dog bite, you should know that you can receive financial compensation for your lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering. To speak with an experienced Rockford personal injury attorney from Mannarino & Brasfield, a Division of KJS, call 815-215-7561 today.

 

Sources:

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

https://www.isba.org/ibj/2017/06/lawpulse/illinoisleadsthepackindogbiteclaims

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