While dogs are the most common domestic animals involved in Illinois injury cases, other types of animals are also capable of attacking and causing serious injuries. Especially in rural areas in DuPage County and throughout the state, injuries are possible from livestock including cattle, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, and birds. Just as a dog’s owner is often liable for injuries caused by the dog, the owner of farm animals can also be liable for injuries that those animals cause.
Strict Liability in Farm Animal Injury Cases
According to Illinois law, strict liability applies when “a dog or other animal” attacks or injures someone without provocation at a place where that person is legally allowed to be. This means that the owner of the animal is liable for all civil damages, even if the attack was not a result of their negligence.
Possible examples of strict liability cases involving livestock include:
- Animal bites – Most farm animals do not have the jaw strength or sharp teeth of a dog, but their bites can still cause serious injuries requiring medical attention, including lacerations and puncture wounds, broken bones, and amputated fingers.
- Kicking, charging, and trampling – Livestock also have the potential to act aggressively in other ways. Kicks from hooved animals can cause concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, being charged by an animal can result in injuries from sharp horns or a resulting fall, and trampling by large livestock can cause broken bones and serious internal injuries.
Horseback Riding Injuries
Riding horses and other equine animals like donkeys and mules is an activity that comes with an inherent risk of injury, and as such, Illinois has enacted the Equine Activity Liability Act to protect equine owners from liability for injuries resulting from the regular activity of riding and interacting with horses. Professionals in the equine industry are required to display clear warning signs explaining the possible injury dangers associated with horses, and many also require riders to sign waivers. However, a horse owner could still be liable for a rider’s injuries if the owner fails to provide proper warning or take reasonable safety precautions to prevent injuries.
Car Accidents Involving Livestock
Drivers and passengers may also be injured in vehicle accidents involving livestock, such as when a loose animal runs across the road. According to the Illinois Domestic Animals Running at Large Act, livestock owners are liable for injuries when they knowingly allow their animals to roam freely. However, they are protected from liability in cases in which they have taken reasonable precautions to keep their livestock contained and an animal has escaped without their knowledge.
Contact an Illinois Animal Attack Attorney
At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we represent clients who have been injured by dogs and any other domestic animals, including livestock and horses. We can help you understand how Illinois laws apply to your case and determine the compensation that may be available to you. For a free consultation, contact our Illinois animal bite injury lawyers at 630-552-6860.