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Many dogs are friendly, loyal pets but any dog can become aggressive, attack, and cause severe injuries. When dogs bite, victims may be entitled to significant compensation. If you or a family member has suffered an unprovoked dog bite injury, Vaziri Law LLC can help.

We handle personal injury claims involving dog bites. We are knowledgeable in the Illinois dog bite laws and municipal animal control ordinances and will work hard to hold the dog owner accountable and protect your rights. Contact our office today to get started with an experienced Chicago dog bite attorney. 

What Are The Illinois Dog Bite Laws?

Some states rely on the one-bite rule, meaning that the plaintiff must prove the dog owner knew or reasonably should have known the dog had the propensity to be dangerous because the animal had previously bitten someone. 

By contrast, dog owners in Illinois are strictly liable for dog bites. Under Illinois law, a dog owner is liable if their dog “attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person” who:

  • Does not provoke the dog
  • Is peacefully conducting themselves
  • Has a lawful right to be in the place where the incident occurred

Also, the Illinois Animal Control Act allows victims to recover for injuries caused by any dog attack, not just dot bites, such as being knocked over by a dog.  Finally, the term “owner” means any person who:

  • Has a property right in the animal
  • Keeps or harbors the dog
  • Has the animal in their care or acts as its custodian
  • Knowingly permits a dog to remain on their premises

Suppose the owner left the dog with a neighbor who assumed control of the pet. The neighbor may be liable for any damages arising from a dog bite or attack.

Chicago Dog Bite Laws

In addition to the Illinois Animal Control Act, many cities have enacted animal control ordinances. For example, under Chicago animal safety rules:

  • Dogs must be leashed when not confined by a fence on the owner’s property
  • Stray dogs and animals will be impounded
  • The city may deem an animal dangerous after a citizen complaint or report of a bite, attack, or threatening behavior

A dangerous animal is one that:

  • Bites, attacks, injures, or kills a person or another domestic animal without provocation on any public or private property
  • Chases or approaches a human being in “an apparent attitude of attack” more than once, without provocation
  • Has been trained for fighting or serving as a guard dog
  • Is found to be a vicious dog under state law

After an attack, an animal deemed dangerous may be destroyed or ordered confined or muzzled and leashed while in public. The owner may also be ordered to get a dangerous animal license and purchase a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injuries depend on factors such as the size and breed of the dog and the severity of the attack. But any dog can bite, resulting in all types of injuries, such as: 

  • Puncture wounds
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Infections
  • Nerve damage 
  • Torn tissue or muscle
  • Trauma and emotional duress

Dog bites can also result in fatal injuries, particularly for small children. A victim knocked down in a dog attack can also suffer broken bones, or back, head, and neck injuries. 

Defenses to Dog Bite Injury Claims

Dog owners can assert potential defenses to dog bite claims in Chicago. Dog owners are not liable if the animal was provoked. For example, if the injured party repeatedly poked the dog with a stick, the animal is considered provoked. Also, the owner may not be liable if the victim was criminally trespassing on private property when the dog bite occurred.

Damages You Can Recover in a Dog Bite Lawsuit

In a successful dog bite claim, you may be entitled to damages such as lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be available if the owner intentionally caused the dog attack to punish the dog owner’s misconduct and to deter other dog owners from engaging in similar conduct. 

Dog bite injuries are typically covered under the owner’s homeowner insurance policy; however, insurance companies attempt to pay as little as possible. Working with our experienced dog bite attorney is the best way to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. 

Contact Our Experienced Chicago Dog Bite Injury Attorney

Being injured in a dog bite attack is a traumatic experience leaving victims with physical, financial, and emotional harm. Let our team handle all the details of your claim so you can focus on healing. Contact our office today to set up a consultation.

Vaziri Law LLC helps dog bite victims in Chicago and the surrounding area.