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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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How Can I Get Compensation For Medical Bills Caused by a Dog Bite?There are more than 76 million dogs living in homes across the United States. While the majority of these animals will never harm a human, dog attacks do happen. Dog bites can cause considerable damage, both physically and mentally. A person who is bitten by a dog may suffer deep puncture wounds and lacerations, torn ligaments, broken bones, and more. Because of the high level of bacteria in dogs’ mouths, these wounds may also become infected. Medical bills can quickly add up after a dog bite, but a personal injury lawsuit may help a dog bite victim recover compensation for these and other expenses.

When Is an Owner Responsible for a Dog Attack?

If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, you may wonder whether or not the owner is legally responsible for the damage caused by the attack. According to Illinois law, a dog owner is liable for bite-related injuries if the injured person was in a public place or lawfully on private property when the bite occurred and the dog was not provoked. If you were bitten while you were walking on a public sidewalk, for example, the owner would most likely be considered liable for the injury. However, if you were bitten while taking a shortcut through someone else’s backyard and you did not have permission to be on the property, the dog owner would likely avoid liability.

Illinois Is a Strict Liability State

In some states, a dog owner is not responsible for injuries caused by a dog attack if the owner had no reason to believe that the dog was aggressive. However, Illinois follows “strict liability” when it comes to injuries caused by a dog. This means that even if a dog has never bitten someone before, the owner may still be liable. The theory of strict liability applies to injuries caused by a dog bite as well as non-bite injuries. For example, if you were knocked to the pavement by a dog and suffered a concussion, the owner may still be legally responsible. You may be entitled to damages including but not limited to:

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