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Who Pays the Medical Bills for Injuries Caused By a Dog Attack?

Posted on in Premises Liability

Lake County personal injury attorneysAlthough dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend,” dog attacks do happen. Severe injuries including deep lacerations, broken bones, and nerve damage and can result from a dog bite. Because dogs’ mouths are filled with bacteria, wounds from a dog bite can quickly become dangerously infected. In some cases, a dog bite can also cause terrible disfiguration. Dog attack victims may require an extended hospital stay, antibiotic medication, and surgery to correct the damage. The physical and emotional scars caused by a dog attack can last a lifetime. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog attack, you may be wondering who will be responsible for the medical bills incurred by the attack. The answer depends on several factors.

Illinois Law Regarding Dog Bites

In some situations, the owner of the dog can be held legally responsible for any injuries caused by the dog. Illinois statute 510 ILCS 5/16 states that a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by a dog attack when the following conditions are present:

  • The dog attacked, tried to attack, or otherwise injured the person
  • The injured individual was in a place that he or she should lawfully be when the attack occurred and
  • The dog was not provoked

A dog owner is not liable for injuries caused by someone trespassing. So, if the injured person was walking through someone else’s backyard when he or she was attacked and did not have permission to be there, the dog owner is not liable. It should be noted that the Illinois dog bite law covers dog bites as well as other injuries caused by a dog. For example, if a dog pushed someone to the ground and that person sustained a head injury, the law still applies.

Illinois is a “strict liability” state when it comes to injuries caused by dog attacks. This means that an owner can be legally responsible for damages caused by a dog attack even if the owner had no reason to suspect that the dog was capable of biting or attacking someone. The Illinois law allowing a dog attack victim to collect damages also applies to injuries caused by other types of animals.

Contact a Waukegan Dog Bite Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation. Through a personal injury claim, you may receive compensation for hospital bills, surgery costs, missed work, disfigurement, disability, pain and suffering, and mental anguish caused by the attack. Call 847-662-3303 to schedule a consultation with a skilled Lake County personal injury attorney from Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. to discuss your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=051000050K16

https://courts.illinois.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/IL_IPI_Civil.pdf

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