A 5 year old girl from Pennsylvania is in the hospital after being attacked a German Shepherd which bit her in the throat. After several hours of surgery, she is on a ventilator and will likely be in the hospital for about a month. The dog bite attack happened at a farm that the girl and her mother went to visit. The dog was roaming the property unleashed and unattended, and the girl and her mother had petted the dog several times before the attack.After the attack, authorities determined that the dog had been involved in three other dog bite attacks, including one where the victim’s ear was ripped off. After that dog bite attack, the dog owner had been ordered to keep the dog in an enclosure or to keep the dog leashed and muzzled. He did neither of this things, with tragic consequences to this little girl.Most dog bite suits in Illinois are prosecuted under the Animal Control Act because to pursue a common law negligence case against the owner of the dog, you have to evidence of prior aggressive behavior by the dog. This is sometimes referred to colloquially as the “one bite rule,” as in you need to show that the dog bite someone else before, although that is not a literal requirement — you just need prior aggressive behavior by the animal. In the Chicago area, most dogs are put down after biting someone, so there are few cases where there is a second dog bite.I generally prefer to pursue dog bite suits under the Animal Control Act because the issue of contributory negligence is irrelevant in cases under the Animal Control, where it is a possible defense in a common law negligence case. However, where the victim is 7 or under, the law presumes that the child cannot be guilty of contributory negligence, so as an experienced Chicago dog bite lawyer, I would not be afraid to prosecute this case as a common law negligence case because the little girl cannot be blamed for the accident.I hope that the parents are able to handle the settlement for this injured child. However, before that, I hope that there is insurance coverage for this dog bite because many insurance companies are restricting insurance coverage for dog bites caused by German shepherds.