Dog Bites & Animal Attacks

McHenry County Lawyers Helping Understand Dog Bite Laws in Illinois

Dog Bite Statute of Limitations

To begin, dog bites and animal attacks in Illinois are considered to be a part of personal injury. In short, a person involved in a dog bite case will have 2 years to file their personal injury complaint. Failure to file within the statute of limitations could have your case thrown out altogether. 

Strict Liability & Dog Owners

Firstly, the state of Illinois imposes strict liability on dog owners. To clarify, strict liability means that dog owners are fully responsible for their dog’s actions. These special laws were written up by Illinois lawmakers to help deal with the specifics in a dog bite case. Dog owners should be aware that they are considered at fault even if they were not present during the incident.

Proving a Dog's Innocence

First off, there are circumstances where a dog bites someone and it will not be considered a crime. As the dog’s owner, you will need to supply evidence that your dog is not responsible for injuring someone. In the event someone who is trespassing on your property gets bit, they will not be able to press charges. Likewise, if you can show proof that the injured party provoked your dog, they will not be able to file charges. Lastly, people who own other wild animals will be held to the same strict liability laws. Wild animals are considered more dangerous than domesticated ones.

Dog Insurance

Most usually, an individual who has been bit by a dog or animal in general, seek compensation through the courts. In certain circumstances though, the person who was bit, does not always want to press charges. If your dog bit your friend, it can be assumed that your friend does not want to lose money. Therefore, the injured party looks for other ways for compensation. As a result, they almost always turn to insurance companies. To clarify, if a person’s dog bites someone, their insurance rates will go up. Lastly, the cost of the homeowner premiums will go up as well. 

Proving a Dog's Guilt

For a person filing an injury claim, they must be able to prove the dog or its owners were at fault. If you were bit by a dog, you may access information regarding that dog’s history with people. If the dog has a shady past this can help you get your compensation. Likewise, if the dog in question is subjected to wear a muzzle, this may be used to prove the dog has a history of being vicious.