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:...