Dog bites can lead to serious injuries. Every day in the United States there are about 1,000 people who are treated for dog bite injuries. Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion annually. In addition, homeowners find themselves paying out more than $300 million every year because of dog bite injuries.
When it comes to dog bite laws, only a handful of states in this country go by the “one-bite rule.” This law protects a dog owner when their dog bites for the first time. Under this type of law the only way an owner could be held responsible is if the owner:
- Knew that the dog has a tendency to bite
- Negligently or intentionally caused the bite
- Violated a leash law
- Violated any other animal control laws
However most other states, including Illinois, will impose a penalty on a dog owner whose dog bites. This is whether or not it was the dog’s first bite and despite the dog’s normally good behavior.
Dog Bite LawsIllinois dog bite laws follow statutory strict liability when it comes to dog bites. This statute puts the responsibility of the dog bite on the owner. The owner is liable for any injuries that their dog inflicts on another person. The owner of a dog is defined as the person who:
- Has the right of property in a dog
- Harbors or keeps the dog
- Cares for the dog
- Acts as the dog’s custodian
- Knowingly allows the dog to remain on their premises
Statutory Strict Liability in Illinois The statutory strict liability law in Illinois prevents a dog’s owner from getting off the hook if their dog bites for the first time. In an Illinois dog attack, it doesn’t matter if the owner wasn’t negligent, they are held liable if their dog bites.
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