Available 24/7 Free Consultations

Disclaimer: Informational Content Only

Note that the content of this blog is provided for informational purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate and helpful information on a variety of legal topics, Duncan Law Group does not handle cases related to the specific issues discussed in this article. We encourage you to explore our website for more information on the legal services we do offer. If you have a different legal concern or require further assistance, please feel free to contact us.


Illinois Dog Laws

Posted on May 31, 2022 in

Dogs injure several people each year. While these animals are popular pets, their strong jaws and sharp teeth can cause significant damage to the body. To protect people from harm, Illinois enforces several laws to regulate dogs and provide avenues for compensation in the event of an attack.

If you are bitten by a dog in Illinois, you may be eligible for a lawsuit against the animal’s owner. In these situations, it is important to speak with a Chicago dog bite lawyer who can represent your claim.

Illinois Dog Owner Duties and Responsibilities

Dogs can be dangerous animals, and it is important for all owners to handle them responsibly. As a result, Illinois dog owners must follow several laws and regulations, such as the following.

  • Statute 510 ILCS 5/2.11a: All dogs on private property must be enclosed by a fence or structure that is at least six feet tall.
  • Statute 510 ILCS 5/2.18b: Any dog owner who allows their animal to escape their property and kill another dog will be deemed a reckless dog owner.
  • Statute 510 ILCS 5/2.05a: Any dog that is unleashed, unmuzzled, or unattended by its owner while anywhere other than the owner’s property is considered a dangerous dog. As a result, it is the owner’s duty to ensure that the dog is secured.

Illinois does not have a statewide leash law. Municipal governments are generally responsible for establishing these regulations. For example, the Chicago Municipal Code dictates that a dog must be leashed whenever it is outside of the owner’s premises—including while in public and on someone else’s property.

Dog Bite Laws for Illinois Residents

According to 510 ILCS 5/16, the owner of any dog or animal who attacks, attempts to attack, or injures a person without provocation may be liable for all damages that the injured person sustains. The victim must be lawfully in a private place or public place to qualify for compensation.

Dog owners are strictly liable in these situations. This means that you do not need to prove negligence or a history of previous attacks in order to file a successful lawsuit. Instead, you will need to establish the following facts.

  • The dog attacked or attempted to attack you and cause you injury.
  • You had the legal right to be where the incident occurred.
  • You did not provoke the dog in any way.

Filing a lawsuit enables you to recover financial compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the dog attack. Possible damages in these cases include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

Speak to an Illinois Dog Bite Attorney Today

Dog owners can employ several defenses to protect themselves in a lawsuit, such as claiming that the victim was trespassing or provoked the dog to attack. If you plan on pursuing litigation, you need a personal injury attorney on your side who can defend you against these accusations and establish the owner’s liability.

An attorney can also gather evidence, calculate your potential settlement, and represent you during negotiations or trial. As soon as possible following the attack, contact a lawyer to discuss your next steps.