What is Dog Bite Law in Illinois?

If you are the owner of a dog, or considering becoming a dog owner in the near future, there are many responsibilities you need to be prepared for. Beyond just meeting the basic needs of the animal, selecting a breed and other steps, you need to be aware of the dog bite law in Illinois to protect yourself and others in the event of a dog bite.

Each state has a different set of laws on dog bites to determine liability and subsequent compensation. According to Chicago dog bite attorneys, in most cases the owner is financially responsible for medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by their dog. In some cases, this compensation is covered by homeowners insurance; if the dog’s owner does not have the appropriate insurance coverage they are still liable for the compensation amount.

In Illinois specifically, “If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.” The word “owner” is defined as “any person having a right of property in an animal, or who keeps or harbors an animal, or who has it in his care, or acts as its custodian, or who knowingly permits a dog to remain on any premises occupied by him or her.” (510 Illinois Complied Statutes 5/2.16)

While a Chicago dog bite attorney is your best resource for dog bite law in Illinois, an individual is most likely entitled to compensation for a dog bite attack if they or their attorney can provide proof that:

– the defendant is the owner of the dog
– the dog caused the dog bite injury
– the dog was unprovoked by the injured party and/or the injured party was acting peaceably at the time of the attack
– the injured party was legally permitted to be on the premises at the time of the injury (i.e., not trespassing)

While there are significant benefits to dog ownership, people need to carefully consider all the factors that go into owning an animal. Perhaps the most important factor to be aware of, which many people overlook, is the dog bite law in Illinois and how to protect themselves and their animals. For more information, or to determine liability based on the law on dog bites contact a Chicago dog bite attorney.