Overview of Dog Bite Laws in Illinois

When a dog bites or attacks, there can be a lot of uncertainty about what to do. Questions about whether to report the dog attack and about the laws that may impact the victim’s ability to recover compensation pose a confusing scenario. Of course, the best way to understand the necessary steps and options that may be available is to talk with an attorney who handles dog bite cases.

Dog Bite Laws in Illinois

In Illinois, owners of dogs that bite or attack can be held liable for civil damages. The circumstances in which this generally applies is when the bite occurred without provocation and the victim was in a location that he or she had the legal right to be.

If it is found that the injured person was taunting or teasing the dog, or had trespassed on someone else’s property, it may be difficult to hold the owner responsible. Although civil damages can be sought based on these state statutes, there may be other legal grounds for which an owner can be liable for injuries.

Negligence may also be considered when recovering damages from an owner whose dog bites another person. For example, if the dog had previously bitten or attacked someone, yet the owner failed to properly confine the dog (such as with a fence or dog leash) and as a result, the dog got loose and bit or attacked somebody.

In some jurisdictions, it is the law to report a dog bite, which is the case in McHenry County. The Animal Control Division of the McHenry County Department of Health must be notified whenever a domestic animal bites a human being. Victims of dog bites or attacks may seek legal assistance from an attorney at Franks & Rechenberg when pursuing a claim to recover compensation from a dog’s owner.