Dog bites attacks can run the gamut of severity. Injuries from dog bites can range anywhere from benign to vicious. When dogs attack personal injury claims can serve as a means of recovering the costs associated with medical treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering. Of course, neglectful pet owners should be held responsible for injuries their animals cause, but it’s not always that simple. Pet owners are not automatically at fault when their animals cause harm by way of unexpected attacks. 

One factor that comes into play to determine liability when dog bite attacks occur is whether or not the pet had a history of dog bites. One rule many pet owners rely upon when their pets attack is the One-Bite rule.

What is the One Bite Rule?

The One-Bite Rule simply states that animals who have no history of attack are given one “free” bite (their first), for which their owners/handlers will bear no responsibility. It places responsibility on the owner to know the dog’s history and propensity to attack. Without prior knowledge of a history of attack, the rule levies no liability on a pet owner for that first attack. However, after that first attack, the owner is on notice that their pet has the propensity to attack and must take action to prevent such consequences. 

As a Strict Liability Dog Bite State, What is the Rule in Illinois?

The one-bite rule is not observed by every state, and Illinois is not one of the state that honors this rule. Illinois is a strict liability dog bite state. As such, dog owners are liable for the totality of a dog bite victim’s medical costs should their dog attack or attempt to attack or injures any individual who is conducting themselves peacefully and has the lawful right to be in the place where the attack occurs.

(Know the Exceptions to Illinois Dog Bite Law)

In addition to the above conditions, as a strict liability dog bite state, Illinois only requires dog bite victims to prove that the owner in fact owned the dog and that the dog bit them. Additionally, if the victim has proof that the owner understood, or should have understood that the dog to have a history of dog bite attacks, proving liability is simple under strict liability.

Many states that follow strict liability apply the rule to wild animal owners as well. The law typically finds that wild animals are those not generally kept under the service of humans (like tigers, snakes, alligators, monkeys and the like). 

Under strict liability, should an owner of a wild animal take strict precaution to prevent attacks by their wild animals and yet the animal still attacks someone, that victim does not need to prove negligence, they are considered liable under the law.

Notwithstanding, proving liability may not be the only hurdle to winning the full scope of damages to which you may be entitled in your case. That’s why it’s always important to secure representation by a personal injury lawyer with experience in winning animal attack claims like those at Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago. We offer personalized service and are incredibly attentive to the needs of our clients. From determining the full scope of damages in your claim to maintaining responsiveness throughout our representation to fighting vigorously to win you the highest level of damages available in your claim, we work hard to ensure you are always fully apprised of the status of your claim and kept abreast of details at every step of the process. We work hard to get you the compensation you deserve and get your life back on track. Call us today at 773.881.9000 if you want a Chicago personal injury lawyer that will fight hard for you. We can help!