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Will County premises liability attorneysWhile we usually think of dogs as adorable pets, they are also animals capable of causing serious injuries and even death. Dog bites can cause severe lacerations, puncture wounds, nerve damage, and broken bones. An individual pushed to the ground in a dog attack may also suffer a traumatic brain injury, back injury, or another type of bodily injury. Sadly, some dog attack victims do not survive these injuries. If you or a loved one were the victim of a dog bite, you may be curious to learn about dog bite-related laws in Illinois.

Dog Owner Liability

Owning a dog is a serious responsibility. Dog owners have a legal duty to protect others from their dogs. Many dog bites and dog attacks occur because a negligent owner let the dog run through the neighborhood or failed to keep the dog on lease on public property like a park. The laws describing dog owner liability vary from state to state. In some states, a dog owner is not legally responsible for a dog attack if the dog had no history of aggression. These so called “one free bite” laws allow a dog owner to evade liability if they did not know that the animal was capable of biting. Illinois is not a “one free bite” state. Dog owners are strictly liable for injures caused by their dog. If you or a loved one were injured by a dog, you will not need to prove that the dog has vicious tendencies.

Damages in a Dog Bite Injury Claim

A premises liability claim may allow you to hold a dog owner accountable for injuries caused by his or her dog. It may also allow you to recover financial compensation for your damages. Dog bites can cause considerable physical and mental injuries. You may be compensated for your hospital and doctor bills, medication, surgery, x-rays and other medical tests, mental health treatment, and more. You may also receive compensation for your lost wages from the time you spent off work while recovering. If the injuries have reduced your ability to earn a living, compensation for the impairment to your earning capacity may also be recoverable. Non-economic damages in a dog bite injury claim may include your pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and disfigurement.  

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Elmhurst dog bite injury attorneysIt is important to remember that dogs, while lovable and cute, are animals that may be capable of attacking someone. Dog bites can cause severe injuries that leave lasting physical and mental scars. These injuries can also incur considerable expenses. If you or a loved one were the victim of a dog attack, you may have questions about your legal options. You may wonder if the dog’s owner is responsible for your medical bills, lost income, or other costs caused by the attack.

Illinois Law Regarding Dog Bite Injuries

Some states follow a “one free bite” rule in dog attack cases. This means that an owner can avoid liability for injuries caused by his or her dog if he or she did not know that the dog was capable of biting someone. Once the dog has bitten someone, however, the owner may be held legally responsible if the dog bites again. Illinois is a “strict liability” state with regard to dog attacks which means that the “one free bite” rule does not apply. An Illinois owner is responsible for injuries caused in a dog attack when:

  • The injuries were caused by his or her dog’s behavior including biting or knocking someone down
  • The dog was not provoked
  • The injured person was on public property or lawfully on private property when the attack occurred

Damages in a Dog Attack Claim

Dog attacks can lead to severe injuries including puncture wounds, lacerations, nerve damage, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and more. Dog attack injuries, especially injuries to the face, may lead to life-changing disfiguration. Dog attack victims may also develop post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, anxiety, and other mental health issues because of the attack. If you or a loved one were hurt in a dog attack, a personal injury claim may enable you to recover financial compensation. You could be compensated for your:

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