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How Will Illinois Law Protect You If You Are Bitten by a Dog?

State law determines your legal options after a dog bite injury in Illinois

It wasn’t your dog that attacked you or your loved one and caused serious harm.

Now that your immediate medical needs have been taken care of, you may be wondering about the rest of your recovery. How will you pay for the medical expenses you’ve already had and the ones you will need in the future? How will you make ends meet when you’ve been out of work recovering? Who is responsible?

Illinois Law Is Clear

The Illinois Dog Bite Law is part of the Illinois Animal Control Act. Section 16 of that Act is as follows:

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.

Thus, according to the statute:
  • The person responsible for the dog bite (or other dog-related injury) is the dog’s owner.
  • Injuries caused by dog bites are covered by the law, and so too are any other injuries caused by a dog who attacks or attempt to attack a person without provocation.
  • The potential damages include compensation for the full amount of the dog bite injury suffered.

There are exceptions to this law, however. The dog’s owner or keeper is not responsible for paying for damages if the person who was hurt was:

  • Somewhere where she did not have a legal right to be.
  • Not peacefully conducting herself.
  • Provoking the animal in some way at the time of the attack.

If you have questions about how this law applies to you or about other resources that could be useful to your dog bite case, then please contact us today for a free consultation. Our experienced Illinois dog bite lawyers know that dog bite injuries are often personal and the dog’s owner may be your neighbor, relative, or friend. We also know what your injuries can cost you, and we work with insurance companies to get our clients the fair and just recoveries they deserve.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham