Who Is At Fault If I Am Bitten By A Dog?

Dog snarling

The question always comes up as to who is at fault when a dog bites someone. In Illinois, the Animal Control Act states that a dog owner is strictly liable for any injuries the dog causes. Strict liability means the victim only has to prove that they were injured by the dog, not that the dog owner was negligent or knew that the dog might bite someone. This means that a dog owner is liable the very first time their dog bites someone.

This is where the law gets tricky; even if a person does not technically own the dog they can be liable for injuries caused by the dog. The law applies to any person who has the dog in his care or knowingly allows the dog to be on his property. The law does not protect a person who was bitten by a dog if they trespassing on private property or if they provoked the dog.

A dog bite or attack victim can be compensated for medical treatment and medications due to the bite, medical treatment for scar reduction, psychological counseling for the emotional trauma of the attack or fear of dogs, and lost wages from missing work due to the injury, as well as pain and suffering.

If you or someone you know is a victim of a dog bite or attack you should go to the emergency room for immediate medical treatment, notify the police of the bite and insist that they file a police report, take photographs of the injuries, and then contact an experienced attorney to help you recover your expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.