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Dog Bites in Illinois

Published on December 19th, 2012

If you suffer a dog bite, your state’s legal code can make a big difference when it comes to receiving compensation for your injuries. Illinois state law is friendly to plaintiffs and allows you to file a legal claim against an insurance company if you have been bit, even if the dog does not have any previously reported bites. Here is a look at dog bite laws in Illinois

State Law
Chapter 510 Section 16 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes governs tort liability for dog owners whose pets cause injuries to others. It notes that an owner “is liable in civil damages to [dog bite victims] for the full amount of the injury proximately caused” by the bite. The main impact of this law is that the dog that inflicted the bite wound does not need to have previously bitten someone else for the dog bite victim to be able to hold the dog’s owner liable. This makes Illinois a “first bite” state.

Impacts on Owners
State law holds all pet owners liable for the pain and suffering that their animals inflict on others. Since a dog does not need to have previously hurt someone in order for the victim to file a lawsuit, it is essential that all owners carry liability insurance through a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy.

Impacts on Dog Bite Victims
If you or a family member suffered injuries due to a dog bite, you may have a strong personal injury claim against the dog owner. State law allows victims to sue for a civil tort claim, as long as they can prove actual injury and ownership of the dog. For an assessment of your specific legal situation, consult a local personal injury attorney.

For Illinois dog bite cases, contact the personal injury attorneys of Shea Law Group. Our


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