In the State of Illinois laws are in place that govern liability in dog bite attacks at the city, county and state levels. Understanding the complexity of these laws can help in sussing out your chances of recovering damages should you be injured in a dog bite attack here.

(Take These Steps After a Dog Bite Attack.)

In many cases, laws governing dog bite attacks in Illinois indicate that dog owners bear responsibility for medical costs when their dogs attack and injure individuals. Establishing negligence is not necessarily needed to win damages as such. However, there are two distinct exceptions to this rule of thumb and they are discussed in this post:

When the Plaintiff Provoked the Dog Attack:

When it can be shown that the victim of a dog bite attack actually provoked the attack in Illinois, generally speaking, liability for the damages in the claim are not attributed to the dog’s owner or handler. 

If, for example, a dog walker is proceeding down a street with a dog on a leash and a passerby taunts the animal. Should the dog then rush the passerby, escaping control of its handler, and mount an attack causing injuries, the dog’s owner and/or handler is less likely to be held liable for damages because the victim brought about the attack themselves by taunting the animal.  However, if in the same scenario, the passerby did not taunt the animal, but proceeded to walk by while the dog rushed the passerby and attack them, without provocation on their part, the owner of the dog in question could likely be held liable for injuries that result.

When the Plaintiff Enters a Location they Are Not Legally Permitted to Access:

When someone enters a space they have no legal right to, they simply have no legal basis to demand personal injury damages should they sustain injuries from an animal attack as a result. Of course, this applies to those with nefarious intentions, like burglary or vandalism. However, this also applies generally to scenarios where people don’t necessarily understand they are illegally accessing a space. Take, for instance, when an individual walks onto a property mistakenly. Let’s say a man enters a storefront thinking it’s the location for an interview he has scheduled. Though he has entered the wrong address, if there is a dog on the premises and the dog attacks and injures the man once he’s entered the space, it’s likely that the man would not be entitled to damages resulting from a personal injury claim. He had no legal right to be in the space, so there was no duty of care owed to him by the dog’s owner or handler. 

Of course, each and every dog attack can be unique. Circumstances and nuances may differ. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney with a specialty in dog bite claims. Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago offers a wide array of experience in personal injury claims. We understand the complexity of Illinois dog bite laws and will fight to recover damages for you. Call us today at 773.881.9000. We can help!