Does the “one bite rule” apply in Illinois?

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Goldfine & Bowles, P.C.

February 21, 2019

A dog bite or animal attack can be a serious and painful event for a Peoria resident. Even if their incident is relatively minor a person may end up visiting their doctor so they can be evaluated for illness or latent injuries. After experiencing such an incident, a victim may wonder what rights and options they have for being compensated for their losses.

Personal injury lawsuits based on dog bites and animal attacks are permissible in Illinois. These lawsuits may proceed on the state’s strict liability rule for bites and attacks: victims do not have to prove negligence on the part of dog owners to prevail on their claims. To this end, the one bite rule does not apply.

The one bite rule is based on the idea that a dog should get one chance to bite before it and its owner are held liable for the injuries it inflicts upon others. If a person is the dog’s first bite victim then they may not have the proper legal grounds on which to base a claim for their injuries. However, Illinois residents should take comfort in the fact that dog owners are expected to control and train their pets so that no bites or attacks occur.

Medical help can be necessary after a dog bites its victim. Legal help, though, can be just as important as a victim contemplates their options and their rights to sue. Strict liability applies in Illinois to dog bite and animal attack cases, and readers who wish to understand that legal topic more fully are encouraged to speak with their trusted personal injury attorneys.