Liability for a Dog Classified as “Dangerous” - DuPage County Personal Injury Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
Button 2 Button 1 Button 3 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

Liability for a Dog Classified as “Dangerous”

Posted on in Personal Injury
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

IL injury lawyer and most will never take any sort of aggressive action against a human without significant provocation. In other words, <a href= Dog bites are somewhat rare. Nevertheless, owners bear a large responsibility to keep their animals from harming other people and can be held legally liable for injuries that result from an animal attack.

Illinois law is stringent about holding owners liable for the actions of their animals. This approach is in place to protect members of the public that have no reason to anticipate an animal attack, as well as to ensure owners take proper precautions to keep their animal from posing a danger. This responsibility is increased if animal control determines the dog should be labeled as “dangerous,” a designation assigned following an attack or threatening behavior.

The standards for labeling a dog as dangerous are set at the local level and the city of La Salle proposed expanding its dangerous dog ordinance to include attacks against other dogs, and not just people, as a qualifying event. The potential physical injury and emotional trauma these attacks can provoke are behind the strength of these ordinances, and victims of dog bites need to understand what their options are when these incidents occur. A look at the owner’s general liability for a dog bite, and what happens when an animal is declared dangerous, will follow below.

General Liability for Bites

Unlike some states, Illinois does not require the injured party prove the owner was negligent, which eliminates the need to prove the owner did not do enough to prevent the injury. Instead, Illinois imposes strict liability for dog bites. Thus, as long as the following facts are established, the owner is legally responsible for injuries his/her animal causes to another person, including any damages the injury caused where:

  • The dog was the source of the injury;
  • The defendant owned or controlled the dog;
  • The victim did not provoke the attack; and
  • The victim was in a place he/she was legally entitled to be, i.e., not trespassing.

There is a time limit on how long an injury victim may seek compensation – generally two years for dog bites, and injured parties should meet with an experienced dog bite attorney early in the process to make sure physical evidence is preserved, and witnesses questioned before memories fade.

Dangerous Dogs

Some dogs display unpredictable aggressive behavior or have a history of biting, and may be designated as “dangerous” animals per the terms of city ordinance. Declaring a dog “dangerous” is a mechanism cities use to determine if an animal should be euthanized because of the danger it poses, or if not that serious, the precautions an owner needs to implement to keep the animal from harming others. Animal control conducts evaluations of an animal’s propensity for violence and aggressiveness following reports of bites or aggressive behavior from the public.

If found to be dangerous, animal control may order the animal euthanized if it caused a severe injury, and must order it if an attack resulted in death. Otherwise, dangerous dog designations mean the owner must comply with more demanding requirements to legally keep the dog, including:

  • Keeping the animal inside or confined to a secure pen;
  • Muzzling the dog when taken off the owner’s property;
  • Placing a sign warning about the dangerous dog;
  • Sterilizing the dog, at the owner’s expense; and
  • Obtaining liability insurance for the dog.

If a dog bite attack occurs because one of these requirements was ignored or neglected, it will be easier to obtain damages for emotional distress, as well as punitive damages to punish and prevent future attacks.

Get Legal Advice

Dog bites are traumatic events that should not be dismissed once the wound heals. It is important to hold the owner responsible, and the dedicated Naperville personal injury attorneys at the Mevorah Law Offices LLC know how to build a case to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (630) 420-0100 for a free initial consultation.



Latest Blog Posts


  • DuPage County Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyer
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted