In most states, including Illinois, dog owners have to abide by strict laws and regulations regarding their pets. The laws are put in place to ensure public safety and to place the responsibility of a pet’s behavior on their owners. When a dog injures a person, the laws in Illinois are clear that the dog owner is held liable for their pet’s behavior or acts of aggression.
The Dog Bite Statue in Illinois
The statue that covers dog bite injuries in Illinois is 510 ILCS 5/16. This law states that for an injured person to prove a dog owner is liable for a bite, they must show:
- The dog attacked, tried to attack, or caused injury to the person
- The dog was not provoked
- The injured person had a legal right to be in the place at the time they were attacked
The dog bite law provides protection to people from both injuries caused by inappropriate dog behavior and dog bites. For example, if a person is standing outside their home or walking down the road, and suddenly a dog jumps and knocks them down or bites them, resulting in an injury, that person can file a claim for compensation under the dog bite law.
What is “Strict Liability” under the Dog Bite Law?
Typically, dog bite cases fall under two categories: negligence and strict liability. Illinois is a strict liability state where the dog owner doesn’t have an option to argue that they had no idea of their pet’s violent behavior or tendencies for causing injury. If their dog injures a person and all the above mentioned conditions are met, the owner is liable, regardless of whether they knew that their dog can cause injuries to other people.
This strict liability is applied on both dog bites and any kind of injury caused by dogs. This means that if a dog jumps at you and knocks you down, the owner will be liable for the damages even if they were not aware that their pet would exhibit such behavior. However, you still have to follow the rules laid out in 510 ILCS 5/16 for establishing your claim.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Dog Bite Claim in Illinois
Most states have their own statute of limitations for personal injury claims and lawsuits, including those arising from dog bite injuries. The statue of limitations in Illinois for dog bite claims is two years from the date you were bitten by the dog. If you don’t file a case during this period, you will definitely lose the chance of getting compensation for your injuries.
Many people in Illinois own a dog and it is their duty to train them in a way that they are not a threat to the public. If you have been bit or injured by a dog and meet all the conditions of Illinois dog bite law, you should file a case against the dog’s owner. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation with our experienced personal injury attorney.