When a dog bites, who is responsible? When is it reasonable to assume blame for your own attack, and when do you need a dog bite lawyer? In Chicago, the owner can be held accountable, so long as the victim is “peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be.” Any dog bite attorney at our firm can tell you, though, that the matter can be more complicated than that.

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A Young Boy Attacked Outside His Home

Take a look at what happened in Las Vegas Valley last week. A seven-year-old boy just outside his home was attacked by a pit bull, which bit him on the leg. Fortunately, he was helped within a short time period—the dog was shot, and the boy was rushed to the hospital for surgery.

What happens next, though, depends on the circumstances. At the time of the attack, police reported that the dog did not seem like a stray, but they could not identify an owner, either. If and when they do, it could mean that a dog bite attorney will soon become involved.

If an attack like this took place in Chicago, a dog bite lawyer would have to address issues such as the missing owner—if this dog was left to wander the streets freely when it attacked the young boy, then the owner may be held accountable for negligence. The child was in an area where he was legally permitted to be, and though reports have yet to determine whether he provoked the dog, he may have been attacked with little to no warning.

When a Dog Has a History

Though officials in Las Vegas knew little about this dog at the time of the attack, any information could be useful for a dog bite attorney building a case. Last month, for example, a woman in the United Kingdom made headlines for refusing to have her bullmastiff euthanized, though he has attacked her three times—on one occasion, sending her to the hospital for more than 60 stitches.

In a situation like this, the owner is free to make that decision, because she is the only person who has been attacked. If that dog were to attack another person, however, her failure to control him—along with her knowledge of his history of attacking—could make her particularly liable for any damages he caused.

Have You Been Bitten?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog with an owner, you shouldn’t waste time in contacting a legal representative. Our dog bite lawyers in Chicago regularly represent people just like you who have faced serious physical injury and emotional distress as a direct result of a dog owner’s negligence. By holding the right people accountable, we can all take a big step toward making our streets safer and encouraging responsible dog ownership.