When a dog is off its leash and roaming without supervision, it can pose a serious threat to public safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and around 800,000 dog bites require medical attention. A significant number of these bites occur when dogs are unsupervised. In these situations, dog bite victims may be unsure about their legal options, including who may be held responsible for the injuries they have suffered.
Laws Related to Unleashed and Roaming Dogs in Illinois
In general, the laws in the state of Illinois allow a person who is injured by a dog to hold the dog’s owner or the person who had control of the dog liable for their injuries. As long as a person was legally allowed to be in the location where the dog attack occurred, and they did not take any actions that provoked the dog, they can take legal action to address the injuries and damages they have suffered.
However, some questions related to liability may arise in situations where a dog was roaming in a public location without being supervised by its owner or other parties. In these situations, liability will usually be based on who should have had control of the dog. If a dog escaped from its owner’s yard and attacked someone in the neighborhood, the owner will likely be liable. However, if another person, such as a family member of the dog’s owner, had taken the dog to a public park and allowed the dog to run around off its leash, and the dog then attacked someone walking nearby, the person who was in control of the dog may be liable.
In some cases, a dog’s status as a “dangerous” or “vicious” dog may affect liability. Illinois law defines a dangerous dog as a dog that is unleashed, unmuzzled, and unattended by its owner or another party in a location other than the owner’s property that behaved in a way that caused a person to reasonably believe that a person or pet would be seriously injured or killed. Dogs that bite someone without justification and do not cause serious physical injuries will also be considered dangerous dogs. A dog that attacks someone without justification and inflicts serious injuries will be considered a vicious dog, and the vicious dog definition will also apply if a dog is determined to be a dangerous dog three or more times.
Certain requirements apply to owners of dangerous or vicious dogs. Dangerous dogs must be kept on a leash whenever leaving the owner’s property, and in some cases, an owner may be required to use a muzzle to prevent the dog from biting a person or animal. Vicious dogs must be kept in a secure enclosure at all times. Owners who fail to meet these requirements may face penalties, and they may be held liable for any injuries inflicted when a dog bites or attacks someone.
Contact Our DuPage County Dog Bite Attorneys for Unleashed Dogs
Dog bites can result in a variety of severe injuries, including broken bones, infections, nerve damage, and scarring and disfigurement. Victims of dog attacks will need to understand how they can hold a dog’s owner responsible for the harm they have suffered. At [[title]], our Naperville dog bite injury lawyers can help victims determine how to establish liability for an attack by an unleashed or roaming dog, and we will work to ensure that they can receive the compensation they need to address their injuries and damages. Contact us at [[phone]] to schedule a free consultation.