When is a Dog Owner Liable for Injuries Caused in a Dog Attack?
It 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:
- Medical bills including the costs associated with ER treatment, hospitalization, wound care, surgery, physical therapy, prescription medication, and more
- Ongoing medical costs such as mental health counseling
- Lost income from time off of work
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Contact an Elmhurst Dog Attack Lawyer
If you or a loved one were injured by a dog bite or dog attack, contact Schwartz Injury Law to discuss your legal options. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Call our office at 630-415-0500 today and schedule a free, confidential consultation with an Illinois personal injury attorney.