In the state of Illinois, civil damages may be filed against the dog’s owner if someone is injured in a dog bite or attack. Although negligence can play a role in determining liability, dog bite statutes indicate that damages may be recoverable from the dog’s owner if the dog injures someone without provocation.

Damages that Could Be Recovered in a Dog Bite Claim

Damages can address not only the financial loss experienced in an injury claim, but also the physical and emotional harm suffered as well. It’s important to address all of these issues when pursuing compensation after a dog bite or attack.

Medical expenses that may be recovered in a claim include: 

  • ambulatory services;
  • physician costs;
  • hospitalization;
  • surgery; and
  • medication.

Although these are more standard types of medical costs, compensation could also address cosmetic or plastic surgery when injuries are disfiguring. If the injured victim sustains psychological harm and needs to see a counselor or therapist, costs for services may be included as well.

Property damage could also be included in a dog bite claim. For instance, if it was a bicyclist who was attacked and the bike was damaged, costs for the bike could possibly be recovered.

Damages could also include time missed from work. If there is an impact on the victim’s future ability to work, potential lost earnings might be recoverable.

In Illinois, damages could also address emotional distress. It must be proven that the distress is directly connected to the physical injuries. A few scratches wouldn’t likely warrant this type of compensation. However, serious bodily harm might lead to recovery of emotional damages if the victim is affected in this manner.

Reporting a dog bite attack is important in order to improve the chance of recovering damages. The paperwork from the report can be helpful as evidence, which victims may review with an attorney.