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Holding a dog owner liable for injuries and damages

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2019 | Uncategorized

Illinois residents who find themselves injured after a dog bites or attacks them may hold its owner liable for any unexpected expenses. This also includes the costs for repairing any harm or damage caused to an individual’s dog, animals or other property.

Under the Prairie State’s Animal Control Act, a dog’s owner is strictly liable to pay the entire amount required to repair any injuries and damages caused by her or his pet. It is not a victim’s requirement to prove that a dog is dangerous or that provoking it caused it to attack another animal or individual. If a dog is on a public street, its owner has a duty of care to ensure that it does not harm or injure others.

Reporting dog bites in Illinois

When a dog bites, attacks or harms an individual, reporting the incident within 24 hours to an animal control official is the law. Animal control then confines the animal and places it under observation for 10 days. This will determine whether it has rabies or any other dangerous diseases. A dog owner could face criminal charges by withholding information about the bite or a dog’s known illnesses.

When a dog owner fails to provide information

A Chicago resident walking her 10-year-old mini dachshund reported that an unleashed dog bit them both while out on the street. As reported by CBS 2 Chicago, the bigger dog’s owner failed to stop or provide information, as required. The attacking dog was also off its leash, and it was only after the attack that its owner put the leash back on his dog.

The big dog allegedly began running toward the woman and her smaller dog “full throttle.” Reportedly, the dog bit the woman’s hand and then ripped her mini dachshund’s tail and haunches open with its teeth. The mini dachshund required several stitches and may require removal of its tail if it does not heal correctly.

The woman attempted to obtain information from the dog’s owner, but he continued to walk away. She took pictures of him to provide to law enforcement and also reported that she noticed the dog was off its leash again further down the street. The evasive dog owner may find himself in serious legal trouble; owners who fail to leash their pets may face a fine of up to $10,000 in addition to incurring liability for damages such as medical and veterinary expenses.