Dog Bites Attorney
Leading Lawyer for Dog Bites in Illinois
Although a dog is often referred to as “man’s best friend,” these domesticated canines can pose a danger to people of all ages. A dog may attack a person who is familiar or a stranger, depending on the circumstances. Moreover, dog bite attacks can cause minor to severe injuries or even death. If you or someone you care about has been hurt in an Illinois dog bite attack, you may be able to seek monetary compensation from the animal’s owner. The Illinois dog bite lawyers at Owaynat Law will fight for you in your personal injury case.
Strict Liability in Illinois Dog Bite Attacks
Many laws in states across the nation require dog bite victims to prove that the animal’s owner was negligent in order to recover monetary compensation for harm suffered in a dog bite attack. Illinois, however, does not follow this rule. Under Illinois state law, a dog owner is legally responsible for paying damages to a victim of a dog bite attack if the victim was hurt while legally on public or private property, including the dog owner’s residence. This is referred to as “strict liability” because negligence need not be proven in order to find the owner at-fault and legally responsible.
Individuals who are bitten by police or military dogs are not able to recover monetary compensation under Nevada’s strict liability statute when the animals are engaged in:
- Acting in self-defense;
- Responding to provocation;
- Helping to apprehend a suspect;
- The investigation of a crime;
- Assisting with the execution of a warrant; and
- Defending another individual or a police officer.
Illinois’s strict liability statute only applies to the owner of the dog and not individuals who may be in control or possession of the animal when the dog bite attack happens. That being said, a Illinois dog bite attack victim may have other legal remedies against these individuals under state law.
Strict Liability in Illinois Explained
Simply put, Illinois’s strict liability statute means that a dog owner will be held legally and financially responsible when their dogs bite another person who is lawfully present on the property. This liability attaches regardless of whether or not the dog owner knew, or should have known, of the animal’s tendency to bite others. Strict liability goes so far as to place liability on dog owners even in scenarios in which the owner was not at fault.
Unlike Illinois, some states in the country have a “one-bite” rule for dog bites. Under this rule, a dog owner is not held liable for injuries resulting from a dog bite attack unless he or she knew the animal had a tendency to bite others. In short, owners get “one free bite” if it is the first time the animal has reacted violently toward others. In Illinois, on the other hand, a dog owner will be financially and legally responsible for harm suffered by a dog bite victim even if the animal’s owner had no prior knowledge of the dog’s viciousness.
Under Illinois’s statute, no matter if the victim is lawfully on public or private property, the owner will be held strictly liable to pay damages to the injured victim. Other individuals who can recover damages under Illinois’s strict liability law includes delivery personnel, postal carriers, meter readers, and individuals on the property who are working on the premises.
Statute of Limitations in Illinois
Illinois dog bite claims must be filed against the animal’s owner within two year of the date of the incident. These claims, however, require the injured party to prove negligence and establish fault. As can be seen, it is critical for Illinois dog bite victims to file their lawsuits as soon after the attack happens as possible to preserve their right to monetary compensation. This is because failure to file a dog bite claim within the time frame indicated in the strict liability statute of limitations will forever bar the victim’s ability to recover compensation for harm suffered under strict liability.
Damages Available to Illinois Dog Bite Victims
Illinois’s strict liability statute allows victims of dog bite attacks to hold the dog owner liable for injuries suffered as a result of the incident for injuries and property damage. If an Illinois dog bite victim is also able to prove fault in one or more negligence claims, he or she may also be able to recover:
- Past and future loss of wages;
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Pain and suffering damages;
- Damages for scarring and/or disfigurement;
- Loss of consortium for spouses if applicable.
If the dog bite attack results in death, surviving family members of the victim may be able to recover reasonable burial and funeral costs. Of note, often times the dog owner’s property owners’ insurance policy may provide coverage for Illinois dog bite attacks.
Get Help from outstanding Dog Bite Lawyer in Illinois Today
The dog bite lawyers at Owaynat Law can help you and your loved ones recover from a dog bite attack in Illinois. Contact us today at (773) 645-9997 or fill this form for your free, initial, case evaluation.