When a dog suddenly attacks you or someone you love, it’s a scary situation that often leaves behind serious wounds. The owner may act surprised and apologize, saying their dog has never behaved in such a way before.
Thankfully, you can bite back with knowledge by understanding Illinois dog bite laws.
What to know about the Animal Control Act
Illinois’ Animal Control Act states that dog owners can be held liable for the actions of their pets when they cause injuries to someone else. The injured party must be lawfully permitted on the property, such as in a public area or as a guest on private property.
Additionally, the injured party must be “peaceably” conducting themselves. In other words, they are not provoking the dog in question.
If you were minding your own business walking in a public park and a dog came up and attacked you, then the dog’s owner would be responsible for the total amount for your injuries.
Negligence and dog bite laws
Negligence unites all personal injury cases and is the factor that must be proven to receive compensation for injuries. With dog bite cases, you must prove you have legitimate injuries from the attack.
If a dog merely scared you by jumping up on you and knocking you over, causing some minor injuries, you would still want to document this with medical attention.
Even those minor scrapes can show that the attack did happen and can be the basis for your claim of psychological impacts.
Many people who once loved dogs become terrified of them after such encounters. You would want to hold the dog owner liable for causing you physical or emotional injuries.
Who is liable when a dog attacks or bites?
In most cases, the dog owner would be liable for the attack and your injuries. However, landlords and other individuals responsible for the dog could be liable under Illinois’ dog laws.
This may include a dog walker or dog sitter who has been trusted with caring for the dog in the owner’s absence.
What makes dog bite cases in Illinois different from other personal injury lawsuits is that you don’t need to prove anything beyond that the attack occurred and that you sustained injuries.
When it comes to dog bites, Illinois has a strict liability law in place.
Dog bite injuries can leave you permanently disfigured and leave you fearful of dogs for the rest of your life.
Sometimes, they can require emergency surgery, leading to significant medical expenses. You may miss work because of your injuries and start feeling the financial pressure caused by a negligent dog owner.
Discuss your dog bite case with a personal injury lawyer to learn about your legal options. You should not be stuck footing the bill when a dog owner should have taken better precautions to ensure their animal was completely controlled.