The owner or person in charge of a dog is responsible for dog bite injuries in Illinois

It doesn’t matter where your dog bite injury occurred in the state of Illinois; in order to recover damages you are going to have to prove who was legally responsible for the bite and that you have the right to pursue damages for your injuries.

Who Could Be Liable?

The Illinois Animal Control Act makes the owner liable for any injuries caused by the owner’s animal. However, that same law defines “owner” in a way that you might not expect. According to the Illinois Animal Control Act, the person who could be liable for your dog bite injuries may be:

  • The person who owns the dog. You might look to the dog’s license, where the dog primarily lives, who pays the dog’s vet and food bills, and other factors to determine who owns the dog.
  • Anyone who has temporary custody of the dog at the time that you were hurt. If a friend, relative, vet, or someone else is watching the dog for the owner at the time of your injury, then that person who had possession of the dog at the time of the bite could be liable for your injuries.
  • A property owner who allowed the dog to stay on his property. The property owner must have known the dog was there and not taken action to have the dog removed.

Sometimes more than one person could be liable for your injuries. It is important that you take action against the right defendant(s) so that you can get the recovery that you deserve.

How Your Own Actions May Impact Your Recovery

Your actions at the time of the dog bite and your actions now will impact your recovery. Specifically, in order to recover dog bite damages you must have been:

  • In a place where you had a legal right to be at the time of the dog bite.
  • Acting peacefully at the time of the dog bite.
  • Not provoking the dog at the time of the dog bite.

Additionally, you must take action now—before the statute of limitations expires—so that you can get the fair recovery that you deserve. To learn more about your rights, please fill out our online contact form today and schedule a free meeting with us so that we can talk about your rights and potential recovery.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.