In Illinois, victims of dog bites have the option of pursuing compensation from the animal’s owner. Illinois law imposes strict liability on dog owners, which means that they are liable for injuries that their pets cause just because they own them.
In a dog bite case, it is typical for the other party to pay for losses due to medical bills, missed time off work and more. You may need to sue them personally, but it is more likely that you will be able to seek compensation through their homeowner’s insurance policy.
Do you have to prove that the owner was responsible for the dog’s actions?
In your dog bite case, you won’t need to prove much. The law specifically states that if a dog attacks, attempts to attack or attempts to injure a person without provocation, then this is enough to win your case and hold the owner liable. Owners are responsible for properly restraining their animals, and you are responsible for not intentionally provoking an attack.
How long do you have to make a claim against the owner of the dog that bit you?
The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim, which includes claims for dog bites, is two years in Illinois. This gives you time to seek medical treatment, to speak with an attorney and to start building a case. Most of the time, it’s best to inform the other party that you’ll be making a claim as soon as possible, and then you may begin an insurance claim.
What happens if the dog goes missing during your case?
After a bite, it’s typical for the state to request to see the dog. It may need to be observed and quarantined. If the other party gives the dog away, conceals it, euthanizes it or doesn’t comply, then they could end up facing criminal charges. Criminal charges and criminal court are separate from your civil case, so you should not need to worry about these issues under normal circumstances.
A dog bite is serious, so make sure you get medical care and any treatment you need. You have time to make a claim, so consider looking into your legal options before filing.