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Understanding Owner Liability for Dog Bites

Published on April 5th, 2013

The state of Illinois has a legal statute that holds dog owners responsible for the actions of their pets. The purpose of the law is to protect people from the dangerous injuries and emotional distress associated with personal injuries from dog bites. Here is an overview of the individuals who can be held liable for a victim’s injuries:

Any individual responsible for the dog

An individual can be held responsible for a victim’s dog bite injury even if he or she doesn’t have legal possession or ownership of the dog. For example, if a friend was caring for the dog at the time of the incident, that friend can be held responsible for any injuries the victim sustained. The friend can also be held liable if the dog was just temporarily staying in his or her home when the victim suffered an injury.

Owners who behave in an unreasonable manner

In order to accurately assess owner liability in the event of a dog bite injury, the court will determine if the dog’s caretaker was acting in a reasonably safe manner during the incident. This means the court will assess whether the owner violated a leash law, warned visitors of the dangers associated with the dog, or failed to protect the victim from the animal. The court will determine whether or not an ordinary, reasonable person would have acted differently in the same situation.

Property owners

Landlords, property owners, and management companies can all be held responsible for failing to remove a dog which poses a threat to visitors. For example, a landowner may be considered liable for a victim’s injuries if he or she knew that a tenant owned a dog that had a tendency to bite people.

If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury in the Chicago area, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Shea Law Group at (888) 529-4185. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience helping victims receive the compensation they need to recover from their painful injuries.

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