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Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer

Have Questions About A Dog Bite Injury For A Dog Bite Lawyer?


If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog or other animal, then there are things you need to know about dog bite cases and the Illinois Animal Control Act.

Whether your attack involved a single bite with minimal treatment and a small scar or a tragic attack resulting in serious permanent injuries or even death, here is the information you want to know so that you can intelligently evaluate your options.

The Animal Control Act

Dog bite cases are usually controlled by the Animal Control Act. This is a law passed by the state of Illinois that makes owners or keepers of animals responsible for the injuries they cause if they get loose.

In order to prove a case under the Animal Control Act, here is what you have to prove:

(510 ILCS 5/16) (from Ch. 8, par. 366)

Sec. 16. Animal attacks or injuries. If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.

There are a couple of things for you to pay attention to in the law.

First, only the owner or keeper of the animal can be liable. So, for example, if a person is renting a home and they have a dog which bites someone, then the owner of the home, if they do not live there, may not be liable. There are lots of wrinkles here, however. The important thing to remember is that anyone who owns the dog or keeps the dog can be liable under the law.

Second, there can be no provocation of the dog. In other words, if you are trying to take food away from a dog, or if you tease the dog or hit the dog or agitate the dog, then the judge may decide that the law does not apply.

Third, there is no requirement here to show that the dog had bitten anyone in the past or is dangerous.

Proving a case under the Animal Control Act is usually pretty straightforward. However, it is usually important to determine whether there is any insurance coverage (either owners insurance or renters insurance).

General Negligence

A savvy attorney will often bring a negligence case to court as well, if the circumstances of your dog bite warrant it.

For example, if a dog owner knows that his dog often jumps the fence and chases people down the street, a jury could decide that the dog owner was negligent for not keeping the dog leashed, crated, or for not installing a taller fence.

Or if a dog owner knows that his dog is dangerous, but leaves his gate open and allows the dog to wander the neighborhood, then a judge or jury in your dog bite case may decide that the owner was negligent.

Unlike a case under the Animal Control Act, here, we do have to prove that the dog had some sort of history of biting or attacking people.

Typical Dog Bite Injuries

If your injury from a dog bite amounts to a small scar on your arm and minimal medical treatment, then you are entitled to a recovery, but it is not likely that you will get very much money for such a modest injury.

I have handled cases where the settlement was substantial in a dog bite case with the scar, but it depends on the circumstances. For example, a child with a scar on their face or a woman with a scar on her face may have a valuable case.

In the most vicious dog attacks, there can be serious fractures and nerve damage. These injuries could require surgery and skin grafts. Powerful breeds of dogs can kill people, and they do.

These cases have nuances and details and the particular facts of your case make a big difference.

My best advice for you is to speak with an experienced injury lawyer.

I offer a free no obligation consultation.


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Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation