Attack or Injury by a Dog or Other Animal
The Animal Control Act states that the owner is liable when the animal “attacks or injures” any person. The Illinois courts have interpreted this language to include both violent and non-violent action by the animal, which results in injury. This means that an animal owner can be liable even in the absence of violent conduct.
For example, in a case involving a horse that bolted into the road and killed its rider, the court found that there was liability. Similarly, the courts have applied the Animal Control Act when a dog runs onto the road and causes a wreck. In a case where a bicyclist fell from a bicycle while being chased by a dog, the owner of the dog was found liable. Even small dogs can make their owners liable for personal injuries. In a case involving a poodle, the owner of the poodle was found liable where the poodle excitedly greeted a visitor, knocking her down, and causing her injury.
Not every injury that involves a dog or another animal gives rise to liability however. If the animal does not do anything but is just a passive participant, the owner will not be liable. For example, in a case where the plaintiff tripped over a dog that was lying on the front porch steps, the dog's owner was not liable to the plaintiff because the plaintiff was not injured as a result of any action by the dog.
Seeking damages as a result of a dog or other animal injury involves consideration of different issues and it is best to involve an attorney as soon as possible. If you or your family member has been seriously injured by a dog or other animal contact a personal injury attorney that is familiar with the law.
Contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. for a free personal injury consultation. We have handled significant amount of dog injury cases and can help you recover for your injuries.