Are Dog Owners Liable When Their Pets Attack?

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are upwards of 4.5 million dog bites each year. Of these incidents, about 880,000 dog bite victims seek medical attention for their injuries. Approximately 30,000 of those victims must undergo some type of reconstructive surgery to repair damage caused by the attacks.

Dog bite injuries can range from bites and scratches to broken bones, ripped tendons, and severe nerve damage. Illinois' Animal Control Act states that the owner of a dog is liable for the damages and injuries caused by his or her dog, providing that the injured party was behaving in a calm or peaceful manner and that the victim was not trespassing at the time of the attack.

Recently a 25-year-old man in Chicago was viciously attacked by five dogs while walking down the sidewalk near the intersection of Kedzie and Roosevelt. The dogs were allegedly known for their aggressive behavior and multiple attempts to escape from their fenced-in yard. The pack continued to attack the man until his father and local residents finally beat the dogs off. The man sustained critical injuries and required surgery and extensive medical care. The owner of the dogs claimed the victim had been taunting the dogs prior to the attack. The owner was cited for multiple offenses and Animal Control is now conducting a dangerous dog investigation due to the extent of the victim's injuries.

If you were injured by a dog, you may have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit against the animal's owner. To file a dog bite claim or lawsuit you will be required to prove the following:

  • The individual you deem liable is the actual owner of the dog who attacked you.
  • You were acting in a friendly and peaceable way at the time, and that you did nothing to provoke or aggravate the dog.
  • You had a legal right to be in the building, home, structure or area where the attack occurred.

Our attorneys are strong advocates for the rights of dog bite and accident victims in the Chicago area. To get legal assistance with your dog bite claim or lawsuit, contact a skilled Chicago personal injury lawyer from Pavich Law Group, P.C. today.