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What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured in a Dog Attack?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Crystal Lake dog bite lawyerFor many Illinois residents, dogs really are “man’s best friend.” Dogs can assist people with disabilities, comfort those in distress, or just be a furry friend. However, dogs are animals, and like all animals, their behavior is not always predictable. Sometimes man’s best friend can become dangerous. Because of this, it is the dog’s owner’s responsibility to keep his or her dog on a leash and secured when necessary. If you have been injured in a dog attack, the owner may be required to pay for your medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Strict Liability For Illinois Dog Owners

Illinois dog owners are strictly liable for bite-related injuries caused by their dog. The term “strictly liable” refers to liability that is imposed without a finding of fault. So, when a person is bitten by a dog, he or she does not have to prove that it was the owner’s fault. The owner is automatically held responsible for any injuries caused by the dog bite. An owner cannot escape liability on the basis that he or she did not know the dog would bite. Even if the dog has never been aggressive before, the owner is still responsible for the dog’s biting behavior.

Negligence Concerns

Strict liability also applies to cases in which a dog injures another person without biting them. This would include situations such as a large dog jumping on someone and knocking them down, causing injury. The injured person is not required to show evidence that the owner failed to use reasonable care and that the owner’s negligence caused the injuries. Instead, the victim would only need to show that he or she did not provoke the dog and that he or she was in a place in which he or she was legally allowed to be.

Every dog owner, regardless of good intention, is civilly liable for their dog’s bites. Other times, criminal charges also may be filed. For example, a person who owns a dog with a known history of viciousness or that is trained as an attack dog is responsible for taking steps to keep it away from others. If he or she fails to secure the dog, and it bites another person causing serious injury or death, the owner could potentially be charged with a criminal offense.

Each state has a statute of limitations that places a deadline on personal injury lawsuits. In Illinois, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is two years. This means that a person who has been injured by a dog only has two years to file suit. If you have been hurt by a dog, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance.

Contact a McHenry County Dog Bite Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, contact an experienced Crystal Lake personal injury attorney. We will work with you in helping you obtain the full compensation you deserve. Call 815-338-3838 for a free consultation at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC today.




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