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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.