In Illinois, whether you’re a dog owner or a person who has been injured by a dog, you should have at least some basic understanding of dog bite laws. This is so you know what could affect the dog owner’s liability in a personal injury claim, or what you can do as a defense in case of a lawsuit.
What is the Strict Liability Rule?
According to Illinois Complied Statutes, a complainant isn’t required to demonstrate that the injury happened due to the dog owner failing to use “reasonable care” to restrain or control the dog. The dog’s owner, keeper, or harborer would be held responsible for damages that have resulted from the injury provided that the conditions satisfy the dog bite laws.
What About Criminal Liability?
Noll Law Office and other legal professionals noted that a complainant doesn’t need to show the aggressive or dangerous nature of a dog to obtain damages from a dog bite case. Take note that any dog could be considered dangerous if the following are true:
- The dog attacked the complainant without reason or justification, but without resulting in severe physical injuries.
- If the dog is unattended, isn’t on its own property, and behaved violently in a manner that any rational individual would think posed a severe, imminent, unjustified threat of severe physical injury, or even death to another individual.
In addition, a dog might be considered vicious if:
- It attacked the complainant without reason or justification and the attack led to death or severe physical injury.
- If the dog has been previously considered a dangerous dog — about three times at least.
It’s important to note that a dog owner could face criminal penalties if they failed to observe specific precautions, such as keeping the dog properly restrained to avoid potential issues with other pets or people. Consult your lawyer to know the best possible action.