Who Is Responsible for Medical Costs Caused by a Dog Bite?
October 13, 2020 Published in Personal Injury
Dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend” but they are also animals that may sometimes become aggressive. Dog bites can cause lacerations, deep contusions, nerve damage, and broken bones. The injuries sustained in a dog attack can leave long-lasting physical and mental scars. If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, you may be wondering if the dog’s owner is liable for your medical expenses.
Liability for Injuries from a Dog Attack
The laws governing dog attacks vary dramatically from state to state. In Illinois, an owner is responsible for injuries caused by his or her dog if:
- The injured person was on public property such as a public park or lawfully on private property when he or she was bitten by the dog.
- The dog was not provoked in any way.
The Illinois law addressing injuries from dog bites also applies to other types of injuries caused by the dog. If you were knocked down by a dog and hit your head, the pet owner may be liable for your head injury. It is important to note that an owner is only liable for injuries caused by his or her dog if the injured person was lawfully on private property or on public property. For example, if you were walking through your neighbor’s backyard without the neighbor’s consent when you were attacked by his or her dog, the dog owner may avoid liability.
Illinois is a strict liability state with regard to dog bites. This means that a dog owner cannot avoid liability by saying that he or she did not know that the animal was capable of aggression. Therefore, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before, the owner may still be legally responsible for the damages caused by the bite.
Damages in a Dog Bite Claim
If you suffered a dog bite or were otherwise injured by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. You could receive financial relief for your medical bills including emergency room treatment, wound care, surgery, x-rays, prescription medication such as antibiotics, and other medical costs. Being attacked by a dog can be a frightening, traumatic ordeal. You may also be entitled to compensation for your mental health treatment including therapy or counseling, as well as for your lost wages from missed work and your pain and suffering.
Contact a Decatur Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a loved one were harmed in a dog attack, contact a Springfield personal injury lawyer at Kanoski Bresney. We may be able to help you take legal action against the dog owner so you can recover financial compensation for your damages. To learn more about your legal options, call us today at 888-826-8682 to schedule a free case consultation.