Establishing Owner Liability after a Dog Bite or Attack

More than 800,000 Americans are forced to seek medical attention for dog bite injuries every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under the Illinois Animal Control Act, victims of dog bites or attacks may seek to recover damages from the dog’s owner. Though the law does not require victims prove the owner was negligent, there are several burdens of proof the victim bears.

Requirements to Recover Damages for a Dog Bite

In order to seek damages, a dog bite victim must be able to show: 

  • The person being sued (the defendant) is an owner of the dog in question. It’s important to note that many parties could be considered owners. Typically, anyone who participates in the care or control of an animal may be considered an owner, including pet sitters, dog walkers or boarding facilities.
  • The victim did not provoke the dog or instigate the attack.
  • The victim had a legal right to be on the property or in the area where he or she was bitten or attacked.
  • The attack or bite caused actual injury or harm. 

If a dog’s owner can show that the victim provoked or instigated the attack, trespassed on private property or committed an illegal act at the time, the victim may be unable to seek damages and compensation for the attack.

Find Legal Help for Your Claim

Illinois has many dog-related laws regarding the care and behavior of canine pets. An attorney at Franks & Rechenberg can help dog bite victims establish the necessary factors in order to recover compensation. Call us at (847) 854-7700 today.