If I am bitten by a dog while walking down a city street, does the owner bear any responsibility if the dog is leashed and in their control? That depends. In Illinois, the individual or individuals who maintain control over the dog have a strict responsibility to maintain control of the dog at all times, particularly when they come in contact with other people. That means, regardless of whether the dog has a history of aggressiveness, the individual who has control over the dog may be found liable for injuries caused by the dog. Keep in mind, the individual who has control over the dog may not necessarily be the dog owner. For example, one may be watching the dog while the owner is away. If that is the case, the individual who was responsible for watching the dog may be liable should the dog cause injuries to others whereas, the dog owner, in that scenario, would not be liable for the incident absent showing that the dog has a history of aggressiveness (i.e. has bit others in the past).
Sometimes keeping control of a particular dog means keeping them away from others entirely, even if leashed and in close proximity to the owner. For example, if the dog has a history of biting and presenting a "hair trigger" reaction to people, simply holding the animal close on a leash when in a public space may not be enough to maintain "control" and anticipating a violent reaction to others may mean keeping the animal away from others entirely.
It is important to speak with a personal injury attorney like the attorneys at Panio Law Offices who have experience recovering damages in dog bite cases and understand dog bite laws in Illinois.
Can I recover damages if I am injured in the process of trying to escape the reach of a violent barking dog but not actually bitten by the dog itself? Yes. If a dog escapes a fenced area or home and, as a result of attempting to escape a chasing dog, one is injured, an individual may bring a cause of action against the individual who was responsible for controlling the dog for failing to keep the dog leashed or failing to keep the dog on the individual’s property.
Again, it's important to discuss the facts of your individual case with a practiced personal injury attorney to determine if filing a personal injury claim is a viable option.
What kind of damages may I be eligible to receive when injured in a dog bite incident?
The details of your case and the resulting circumstances your injury creates will best help to determine the possible damages you may be eligible to receive. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best course of action when looking to recover damages in dog bite cases.
If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim as a result of a dog bite injury, please call the experienced personal injury attorneys of Panio Law Offices at 800.799.7561. We can help.