How to File a Dog Bite Report in Illinois

Dog Bites | September 30, 2020

Dog bites and attacks often leave victims with severe injuries. If you or somebody you know has been bitten and injured by a dog, you should be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, there are various steps you need to take to ensure that you receive maximum compensation.

One of those steps is reporting the dog bite to appropriate authorities. Here, we want to discuss how the state of Illinois defines dangerous or vicious dogs and how you can make a report. If you have been attacked by a dog, contact our Chicago dog bite lawyers today for a free consultation.

Illinois Definitions Of Dangerous Dogs

When we turn to Illinois State law (510 ILCS 5, sections 2.05(a) and 2.19(b) of the Animal Control Act), we can see the following definitions:

  • Dangerous dog means the following:
    • any individual dog anywhere other than upon the property of the owner or custodian of the dog and unmuzzled, unleashed, or unattended by its owner or custodian that behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to a person or a companion animal, or
    • a dog that, without justification, bites a person and does not cause serious physical injury.
  • Vicious dog means the following:
    • a dog that, without justification, attacks a person and causes serious physical injury or death or any individual dog that has been found to be a “dangerous dog” upon 3 separate occasions.

In order for a dog to be deemed dangerous or vicious, the petitioner must have clear and convincing evidence that the dog poses a threat. Simply stating that a dog his dangerous and vicious is not enough.

If you or somebody you care about has been bitten and injured by a dog, you should report the incident to both animal control officials in the county where the dog is located as well as to the local police department where the attack occurred. Not only will making such a report help authorities identify potentially dangerous or vicious dogs, but this report will establish a link between your injuries and the dog bite.

Is Illinois A Strict Liability Dog Bite State?

Illinois is considered a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that a dog owner can be held negligent for any injuries their dog causes after biting somebody regardless of whether or not they were aware of the animal’s aggressive tendencies. Even if a dog has never acted aggressively, an owner in Illinois will be liable for any bite injuries.

Dog bites can lead to severe injuries for victims. It is not uncommon for a severe dog bite to cause the following:

  • Serious lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Severed arteries, veins, tendons, or ligaments
  • Amputations of the fingers
  • Possible broken bones
  • Significant scarring or disfigurement

In many cases, dog bite victims need to undergo significant medical care in order to make a full recovery. Some dog bite victims need reconstructive surgery to restore their appearance or functionality to a part of their body. Dog bite victims could be entitled to compensation for the medical expenses, physical therapy or rehabilitation, lost income if they cannot work, pain and suffering damages, and more. For information on compensation after a dog bite injury, speak to our Chicago personal injury lawyers today.