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What to do if a dog bites you in Illinois

It can be easy to forget, but not all dogs are nice. Occasionally, they bite. No one wants to think about being bitten by a dog, but it does happen.

Illinois dog bite claims are on the rise, so it is important to know how to proceed if a dog bites you.

Right after the bite

There are important steps to take right after a dog bites or attacks you. They include:

  1. Gather information: It is likely that the dog’s owner was around at the time of the incident. It will be beneficial in gaining damages later if you obtain the owner’s information.
  2. Find a witness: It can be helpful to have a witness of the attack make a statement. This way, you do not have to play he said/she said with the dog’s owner.
  3. Take pictures: In case the owner attempts to declare that the dog did not bite you, you will have photo evidence of the attack.
  4. Seek medical attention: You may want to go to a doctor to treat your injuries, especially if the bite broke the skin.

Who is liable?

Some states have a “one bite rule” which allows dogs and their owners to avoid liability one time. If the dog bites another person after this, the owner will be liable for the dog’s actions. However, Illinois does not have this law.

If someone’s dog bites you without being provoked, the owner is strictly liable for the dog’s actions. It does not matter if the owner had any inclination that the dog might be dangerous or not; the dog bit you and the owner is now liable.

You can file a lawsuit against the owner of the biting dog for up to two years after the incident. After this date, the statute of limitations for incidents of this manner runs out and you will no longer be able to seek damages from the event.

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