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Understanding Illinois as a Strict Liability Dog Bite State

 Posted on September 08, 2023 in Personal Injury Lawsuits

IL injury lawyerWhen it comes to dog bite incidents, different states have varying legal principles. In Illinois, the law follows a strict liability approach, holding dog owners responsible for injuries caused by their pets. Understanding key aspects of Illinois as a strict liability state is crucial for individuals looking to pursue legal options in the aftermath of experiencing a dog bite injury. Contact an Illinois lawyer to ensure you have a fair chance at recovering the compensation you may be entitled to.

Strict Liability Defined

Under strict liability laws, dog owners in Illinois are held strictly responsible for any injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of the animal’s history or the owner’s knowledge of its violent past. This means that the injured party is not required to demonstrate carelessness or fault on the part of the owner. The mere fact that the dog bit and caused an injury is sufficient for liability. 

State-Specific Statutes

Illinois has specific statutes that address dog bites. The Illinois Animal Control Act imposes strict liability on dog owners for injuries caused by their dogs, both in public places and on private property where the injured person is lawfully present. The statute makes it clear that the owner is liable regardless of whether the dog had previously bitten someone or displayed aggressive behavior. 

Exceptions and Defense in Illinois 

While Illinois follows strict liability for dog bites, some exceptions and defenses are available to dog owners. These include provocation by the injured party, trespassing on the owners’ property, and cases where the dog was engaged in police or military work at the time of the incident. Additionally, if the injured person was unlawfully on the owner’s property, the owner may have a defense against liability.

Damages and Compensation

In dog bite cases, the injured party may be entitled to various types of compensation. These include medical costs related to the dog bite, any lost wages from missing work, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Consulting with an attorney with knowledge and experience in dog bite cases will help ensure you understand the full extent of the damages available and navigate the legal process as effectively as possible. 

Contact a Lake County Dog Bite Attorney

If you have experienced a dog bite injury in Illinois, you may be wondering what your options are. To get a full scope of what can be done to salvage the situation, contact the experienced Waukegan dog bite lawyer with Salvi & Maher, LLP. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation. 

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