Any confrontation with a dog or other animal can be terrifying. A dog bite or animal attack can leave a victim with permanent scars and injuries including: serious disfigurement, lacerations/cuts, fractures, rabies, or bruising. Many victims of dog bites require cosmetic surgery or sutures to repair lacerations or puncture wounds. Under the Illinois Animal Control Act, the owner of a dog or other animal that attacks, or attempts to attack, a person in Illinois is strictly liable for any damages or injuries caused. It does not matter if the animal was a family pet, or if the animal had never bitten someone before – if you have been injured by an attacking animal, or while trying to escape an attacking animal, you can be compensated for your injuries.
1. There is no “free bite” or “first bite” rule in Illinois
An owner is liable if their dog bites or attacks someone even if the dog or pet has never bitten someone before. The owner does not need to have previous knowledge that the animal was vicious or dangerous.
2. The attacking animal does not need to be angry or threatening
In Illinois you may recover for injuries sustained if an animal “excitedly greets” you and causes you to fall down and injure yourself. Similarly, if you were attacked while “playing” with a pet you may still have a claim against its owner.
3. You do not need to be touched or bitten – you can recover from injuries you received while attempting to escape the animal
For example, you may have a claim if you are a jogger and fall and injure yourself while attempting to escape an unleashed dog. The dog never bites or touches the jogger. The dog’s owner may still be liable for any injuries you sustain.
If you have any questions about these common myths, or a question regarding your own case, please contact the attorneys of Keating Law Offices today. The firm has record results in dog bite cases in Illinois and has the knowledge and experience to answer your questions about your case.