Understanding Illinois Dog Bite Laws | What to do After

Dog bite laws in Illinois apply to injuries caused by both dogs and other animals.

The State of Illinois has a specific statute, called the Animal Control Act, that governs dog bites. Under the statute, an injured person must prove that:

Illinois Dog Bite Laws

● The dog attacked, attempted to attack, or injured the other person ;

● The person was lawfully in the place where he or she suffered attack or injury; and

● The dog was not provoked.

If injured as the result of a dog bite, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can explain the laws and consult with you on the specifics of your case.

“Dangerous Dog” Owner Responsibilities

The Animal Control Act defines a “dangerous dog” as any dog that is not on its owner’s property and is not muzzled, leashed, or accompanied. Furthermore, the dog’s behavior must present a serious and unjustified threat of injury or death to a person or other animal.

A “dangerous dog” or “vicious dog” owner’s primary responsibility is to secure the dog on their property at all times. Under the Act, “vicious dogs” should be secured by a fence or other structure so that children can’t enter the property.

Additionally, the owner of a “dangerous dog” has the responsibility to keep it leashed when they take it for a walk on a property that isn’t their own.

Strict Liability

Generally in the case of a dog bite, you can base your case on either a theory of negligence or strict liability.

Under strict liability, the dog owner is liable for your injuries if the animal injures you without provocation.

Strict liability is better for victims than negligence because the owner cannot argue that he or she didn’t know that the dog was dangerous to avoid liability. While you still need to meet the requirements under the Animal Control Act, the owner is liable for your injuries even if the dog has never bitten anyone before.

Deadlines for Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Illinois

A statute of limitations sets the deadline for when you must file your case. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for dog bite cases is two years.

This means if you don’t file your case within two years from the date of the bite, you likely won’t be eligible to receive compensation.

A lawyer can help you make sure you file your case on time.

How a Lawyer Can Help You

If you were injured by a dog, you should first seek medical care, then talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you establish the dog owner’s liability under Illinois Animal Control Act laws.

A lawyer can also help you overcome the owner’s arguments against liability. Some arguments the owner might make include that you provoked the dog or that you were trespassing on the owner’s property.

The lawyers at VanDerGinst Law will fight to defeat these arguments and get you the compensation you deserve. We’ve helped tens of thousands of people recover compensation for their injuries. We serve our clients tirelessly and compassionately, and we’re ready to help you.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.