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Who Is Liable for Dog Bite Injuries?

Published on October 26th, 2012

Dog attacks can result in severe injuries, especially in children. Because of their height, children are often bitten on the face. Many dog bite cases find the owner at fault, so continue reading to learn the exact circumstances under which this can occur:

Dog bite Liability

Illinois is a strict liability state, which means that the owner of a dog is responsible for any injuries the animal inflicts. The definition of “owner” is broad, including anyone caring for the animal at a given time or allowing it to reside on his or her property. As long as the injured party had a legal right to be at the scene of the incident and can be proven to have been acting peaceably, the owner is responsible for covering all medical expenses related to the attack. Depending on the situation, compensation for emotional pain and distress may also be awarded.

Dog owners can protect themselves against personal injury suits by properly training and restraining their pets when necessary. Dangerous dogs, or animals that act threatening when off-leash or not muzzled, are subject to a number of regulations following an incident. These include behavioral training, alteration, and muzzling in public. A dog is classified as “vicious” when it has attacked a person unprovoked, resulting in serious bodily harm, or has been considered dangerous three previous times. Vicious animals must be securely enclosed in a structure that keeps children out of danger. They are only allowed to access all areas of the home when muzzled.

If the owner of a dangerous or vicious dog fails to follow these rules and you or your child are harmed as a result, you may be eligible to receive damages for physical and emotional trauma. Call (773) 365-0040 to speak with a dog bite attorney from Shea Law Group who can help you determine your legal options.

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