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When a Landlord’s Dog Bites a Tenant in Illinois

 Posted on November 14, 2023 in Personal Injury

Peoria personal injury lawyerBeing attacked and bitten by a dog can result in severe physical and emotional trauma. While pet owners are usually responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, liability gets more complicated when renters are bitten by a landlord’s dog on a rental property. Landlords can be legally responsible if their dog attacks and injures a tenant, guest, or passerby. An Illinois lawyer can help you determine if your landlord is at fault.

Establishing Liability

Under Illinois law, landlords may share in liability for a dog bite or attack if:

  • The landlord was aware of the dog’s dangerous history or aggression but failed to inform tenants or take protective action (known as “prior knowledge”).
  • The attack occurred in a common area like a shared yard, hallway, or lobby under the landlord’s control.
  • The landlord violated a local dangerous dog ordinance, such as failing to register a high-risk breed.
  • The landlord’s negligence enabled the attack, like unleashing the dog in a shared area.

An important factor is whether the landlord could have reasonably foreseen and prevented the attack. Owning the property where a bite happened does not automatically make the landlord liable. But if they disregarded warning signs or did not properly restrain the dog, they may share responsibility.

Building a Case

Tenants bitten by their landlord’s dog should take the necessary steps to establish liability. The first step is getting an animal control report about the biting incident. If not, you should report it now. Try to gather all the evidence you can, like bloodstained clothing, and photograph injuries.

Witness statements about the attack can help you in this type of case. Review the lease for clauses about pets and responsibility for injuries. If possible, research the dog’s history and the landlord’s knowledge of prior aggression issues. An attorney can help you once you report the incident.

Pursuing Financial Recovery

Tenants have the right to feel safe from harm in their homes. A lawyer can analyze the case details and fight for full financial compensation if the landlord bears any liability for the bite injuries. Justice is possible even in complex situations where a landlord’s negligence led to traumatic physical and emotional injuries. Tenants should not have to go through the process without help and pay for any injuries or trauma alone.

Contact a Peoria, IL Personal Injury Attorney

If you got bit by your landlord’s dog, you deserve to have your side of the story told. A Springfield, IL personal injury lawyer can help you put together a strong case so you can move forward. Call Kanoski Bresney at 888-826-8682 for a free consultation.

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