Each year, around 4.7 million people suffer dog bite injuries in the United States. One in six dog bite cases is serious enough to require medical attention.
When a dog attack or dog bite occurs, it is the owner of the dog, not the dog itself, who is responsible for it. In this post, Chicago dog bite lawyer will discuss the legal rights of dog bite victims.
Dog Bite Laws in Illinois
Illinois law makes the owners or dogs or other animals liable for any injuries caused by their pets. Under Illinois law, “owner” is a broad term that includes anyone who harbors or keeps the dog, and anyone who allows the dog to remain on a property they occupy. In fact, owners can also include actual owners or landlords of the property, as well as the actual owner of the dog.
In Illinois, dog owners are held liable for any injuries caused by their dogs. The owner cannot claim that their dog was dangerous to save themselves from liability. Courts assume that any dog has the potential to be dangerous and cause injuries. In addition to Illinois laws, local counties and cities also have their own ordinances governing the liability of dog owners.
Using provocation as a defense
In Illinois, dog owners cannot be held liable for injuries caused by their dog, if the injured person acted to provoke the dog (intentionally or unintentionally) when the injury occurred. Provocation can include things like physically harming or simply teasing the dog. The injured person must prove that they did nothing to provoke the dog.
Owning dangerous breeds of dogs
Illinois is among the states that restrict or ban the ownership of certain breeds of dogs. For example, in North Chicago, the ownership of pit bull category of dogs is restricted and the owners are required to carry certain insurance policies and licenses to own them. While animal rights groups have been constantly contending that it is not right to term certain breeds as dangerous, pit bulls are known to cause a large percentage of serious injuries.
Recovering damages for dog bite injuries
A person’s ability to recover for injuries resulting from a dog bite is dependent on where the attack or bite occurred. Laws relating to dog bites also differ across states and counties. In most cases, the plaintiff will bring a lawsuit against the dog owner, but in some cases, a third party may also be involved. The plaintiff in a dog bite case may be able to recover for physical injuries, emotional distress, mental anxiety and fear depending on the severity of the injuries and other circumstances surrounding the case.
If you have suffered a dog bite or a dog attack, you should contact an experienced Chicago dog bite lawyer, who can help recover compensation for your injuries.