Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer

Aggressive Chicago Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Every year, millions of people fall victim to dog attacks.

These attacks can be horrifying, leaving the victim with physical scars and, oftentimes, emotional damage. Most dog bite victims are children, and many have to seek reconstructive and reparative surgery to heal fully. Even a small dog can cause serious injuries such as finger amputation, scarring, infection, or blindness. The potential for injury greatly increases when larger dogs attack. Large dogs can cause nerve damage, amputations, major scarring, pain disorders, emotional trauma, and even death.

If you or a family member has suffered a dog attack, a dog bite lawyer from Malman Law will give you the necessary assistance and deserved legal guidance. We are adept at rallying our resources and knowledge to see that you get justice and fair compensation.

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What can I do to protect my rights after being attacked by a dog?

The more information you have regarding the dog, the owner, and the circumstances of the attack, the better prepared your injury attorney will be in determining whether you have a case and what your damages may be. Some steps you will want to take include:

  • Obtaining the names and phone numbers of the dog’s owner and witnesses.
  • Seeking medical attention if you need it.
  • Reporting the incident to animal control authorities.

It is also possible to impose liability

It is also possible to impose liability on animal control departments and other public entities that have failed to take action against dangerous dogs. Liability can sometimes fall on landlords and homeowners associations, if the proper elements are proven.

Depending on the situation, there may be an exception to liability for the dog bite. These exceptions might apply if the victim:

  • was trespassing
  • was a veterinarian or canine professional who was treating the dog at the time of the incident
  • was committing a felony or other crime against the owner of the dog
  • provoked the dog by physically abusing it
  • assumed the risk of being bitten

If you sustain an injury while escaping an aggressive, ferocious dog, the law protects you. Illinois is a “first bite” state, which implies that even if a dog bites somebody for the very first time, the victim has the right to seek damages.


Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, premises liability, construction and workers’ compensation cases.

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What are my legal rights?

In addition to damage awards based on actual dog bites, Illinois law provides for emotional distress damages. Emotional distress refers to the mental pain and suffering brought about by actually being attacked by a dog, being in the “zone of danger” where you fear for your own safety, or even witnessing a loved one being attacked by a dog.

Determining the amount of compensation for a dog attack victim is a complicated task that requires the knowledge and experience of a Chicago dog bite attorney. We have a proven track record of success in estimating damages that include a multitude of categories including:

  • Current and future medical treatment
  • Psychological counseling
  • Loss of earnings from work or loss of profits at the victim’s business
  • Loss of future earning capacity as a result of disfigurement or disability
  • Torn clothing and broken glasses
  • Medications Pain and suffering
  • Future disability

In spite of the clarity of the law concerning dog bites in Illinois, an efficient case demands the assistance of a competent Chicago dog bite personal injury lawyer. Over the years, our dog bite and attack attorneys at Malman Law have handled thousands of cases of differing degrees of complexity.

A dog attacked me – how do I know if I have a case?

In Illinois, a person attacked by a dog can recover damages against the dog’s owner, or those acting as the dog’s custodian, if the following is proven:

  • The dog caused the injury
  • The defendant owned the dog
  • The injured person did not provoke the attack
  • The injured person was acting in a peaceful manner at the time of the injury
  • The injured person was in a place where he or she had a legal right to be at the time of the injury

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the law for dog bites in Chicago?

Dog bites that occur in Chicago fall under Illinois state law. The law for dog bites in Illinois is that any person who owns, harbors, or otherwise keeps a dog is liable for injuries that are caused by the dog. However, there are some exceptions to liability. If you’re bitten, you must not have provoked the dog in any way. You must be in a lawful area. For instance, if you were walking on a public sidewalk and you were bitten by a dog, you were in a lawful area. If, however, you were trespassing into someone’s yard and went through a closed gate with a sign that warned about a dog, the dog owner may not be held liable because you were trespassing. Other exceptions include:

A veterinarian or canine professional who was treating the dog at the time of the incident. Someone committing a felony or other crime against the owner of the dog. Someone who provokes a dog by physically abusing it. Someone who otherwise assumes the risk of being bitten.

If you are a dog bite victim in Chicago, call Malman Law to discuss your potential case. Initial consultations are free.

I was bitten by a dog in Chicago. Can I sue?

Dog bites in Chicago are serious matters that are governed by Illinois state law. Illinois is what is commonly known as a “first bite” state. This means that if you’re bitten by an aggressive dog while you are trying to get away from it, you may have a right to sue even if it was the first time the dog has bitten someone.

Remember that there are some exceptions to liability and dog bites. You must have been in a lawful area. If, for instance, you’re on public property and someone’s aggressive dog bites you and you did not provoke the animal, you may have a right to recover. If you provoke a dog or if you are attempting to do something illegal to the owner of the animal, then you may not be able to recover for damages.

If you suffered a dog bite in Chicago, call Malman Law to discuss your legal rights. Initial consultations are free.

A dog bit my child. What are our legal rights in Chicago?

Dog bites in Chicago can be particularly damaging to children. In Chicago, victims of dog bites may receive a damage award that is equal to the actual expenses associated with the incident and they may also be entitled to receive damages emotional distress, pain, and suffering. If you witnessed your child get bit by the dog, you may also be eligible to receive compensation because of the trauma that it put you through.

The amount of compensation is different from case to case. It takes an experienced Chicago dog bite attorney to help determine what you are entitled to recover. Damages may include:

  • Current and future medical treatment.
  • Psychological counseling.
  • Loss of future earning capacity as a result of disability or disfigurement.
  • Loss of earnings from work.
  • Torn clothing and broken glasses.
  • Cost of medications.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Future disability.

To have your potential case evaluated on behalf of your child, call Malman Law today. Initial consultations are free and confidential.

A dog bit me in Chicago. How do I know if I have a valid case?

Like all lawsuits in Chicago, a dog bite case must meet certain elements in order to be eligible to be filed in court. The defendant may be the dog’s owner or the person in charge of taking care of the dog. You may be able to receive compensation if:

  • The dog actually caused the injury. This is known as causation. For instance, if you had a broken wrist before the dog bite incident, then the dog bite did not cause the broken wrist. The injury that you have must have been caused directly by the dog bite in Chicago.
  • The defendant owned the dog. The defendant either owned the dog or they were in charge of the dog. In some instances, animal control may be named as a defendant. To learn more, make sure that you contact Malman Law.
  • You did not provoke the dog. One of the legal exceptions to being eligible to receive compensation through the court system is provocation. The dog bite cannot be the result of the dog being provoked or abused.
  • You must have been acting in a peaceful manner. This is similar to provocation. Additionally, to collect compensation, you cannot be committing a felony or other crime against the owner of the dog.
  • You must have been in a lawful location. This means that you weren’t trespassing. It means that you had the right to be at that specific location. This could also include having permission of the homeowner to be on their property.

If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, call the Chicago dog bite attorneys at Malman Law right away. We’re ready to evaluate your case and help you get the compensation that you deserve. Initial consultations are free.