Owning a dog is usually a very rewarding experience. Multiple studies have shown that canine companionship is good for humans of all ages, because a dog can reduce stress and promote relaxation. However, not everyone’s experience with dogs is good. Although canines can be domesticated, they do not always act in predictable ways, and they can cause serious harm if they decide to attack someone. Though dog bites can happen to any person, children tend to be most susceptible. Injuries sustained from a dog bite can range in severity from small scrapes or bruises to severe lacerations or serious infections. If you have been bitten by a dog in Illinois, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries.
Legal Liability for Dog Bites
In some states, owners are not liable for first-time dog bite attacks if they did not have a reason to believe their dog was capable of that behavior. Illinois is not one of those states. According to the Illinois Animal Control Act, dog owners are responsible for injuries inflicted by their animals in most situations, even if it is the first time the dog has acted with aggression. Typically, the onlys way an owner would not be held liable is if the victim provoked the dog or if they were trespassing on the owner’s property.
Since Illinois law allows a victim to pursue compensation from an dog's owner in most dog bite cases, it may not be necessary to prove that an owner was negligent. However, a person may be able to improve the chances of success in their case if they can show that an animal's owner did not take the proper measures to protect others from injury by their dog. For example, an owner may be found to be negligent if they did not keep their dog on a leash or ensure that it was contained within a yard or enclosure. An owner may also be negligent if their dog had been found to be "dangerous" or "vicious," and they did not meet their legal requirements for ensuring that the animal was kept in a proper enclosure where it could not harm others....