When a dog bites, it can be a painful, frightening, and potentially traumatizing experience for your child. Severe injuries may result in your child needing surgery, and even seemingly minor bites are at risk for infection or emotional trauma.
These answers can help you understand the laws that govern dog bites in Illinois and allow you to prepare for what to do if a dog attacks your child.
Who pays for damages?
Illinois is a strict liability state, which means if a dog bites your child, the dog’s owner is generally responsible for any damages resulting from the injury. These damages can include your child’s medical bills, property damaged by the bite, or the cost of emotional counseling. In addition, if you had to miss work, you could receive compensation for your lost wages.
How long do you have to file a lawsuit?
After a dog bites your child, you have up to two years to file a lawsuit before you can no longer seek compensation. While this may seem like plenty of time, your case might require an investigation, negotiations, or other time-consuming processes.
Being proactive can help if you decide to take legal action. If possible, identify the dog’s owner and maintain records from your child’s medical appointments as documentation of their injuries.
Even well-trained dogs your child knows might lash out when experiencing stress, fear, or anxiety. If a dog bites your child, knowing your rights can help you protect your family from the burden of medical bills and other damages.