Being bitten by a dog can be a painful experience, even if the dog is a smaller-sized breed. In fact, in many cases, smaller breeds can be more aggressive, due to a heightened fight-or-flight response. If a dog does, in fact, bite another individual, the dog’s owner will usually be held liable for any damages caused by his/her animal. Further, in some cases, the animal may be ordered to be put down. Retaining the services of an attorney having experience in dealing with injuries allegedly caused by dog bites can be critical to recovering compensation.
Instances of dog bites happen all the time, although more often the victim is a child. Given that children are drawn to animals, and in light of the fact that, sometimes, children may tease the animal to the point of annoyance, triggering a response, one issue that sometimes comes up is that the dog was provoked into biting the injured individual. A discussion of the law in Illinois on dog bites, as well as how provocation affects the result, will follow below.
In Illinois, if a dog, or other animal, actually, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself/herself in any place where he/she may lawfully be, the owner of the animal will be held to be liable for any damages to such person, in the full amount of the injury. Further, there are two additional aspects of this law that need to be addressed. First, the injury must have been proximately caused by the animal; thus, if a dog bites an individual, and that individual later trips and breaks his/her leg, the dog owner will not be liable for any costs associated with the fracture. Second, the dog bite must not be the result of provocation.