Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

dog bite

What will happen if my dog bites someone?

Dog bites can be a serious legal matter, as they can cause severe physical and emotional harm to the victim. For this reason, every dog owner needs to understand the potential legal and financial repercussions they could face if their dog bites someone. The incident may even lead to criminal charges where you could face fines and other penalties.

Additionally, your pet’s reputation and relationship with you may suffer if the injury is severe or if the dog bite incidents have occurred multiple times. Depending on the severity of the dog bite injury, your dog may be quarantined or euthanized, and you could be liable for the medical and financial costs associated with the attack.

Here we’ll discuss what happens when your dog bites someone — from criminal charges to civil liability and everything in between — including how you can protect yourself in a dog bite case with the help of Chicago dog bite attorneys.

What Happens With Your Dog’s Future Depends on the Circumstances

Knowing what will happen if your dog bites someone is essential. The answer depends on the circumstances of the bite and whether or not the victim chooses to pursue compensation (money) from you.

If your dog bites someone while on private property, there is generally no liability for that owner or caretaker unless they knew about the risk beforehand and didn’t take steps to ensure it didn’t happen again. If this is the case with you, chances are slim that anyone will come after you for damages—even if your dog had bitten several people before this one incident.

However, if your dog bites someone in public places where you should’ve taken reasonable care to prevent such incidents from occurring (such as parks), then dog bite victims may be able to seek compensation from you even if no harm resulted from their dog bite injuries.

This type of legal action can be very costly, but fortunately for many owners/caretakers engaged in dog bite cases situations every day across America today – there are plenty of ways to best prepare themselves financially against a dog bite lawsuit. These lawsuits are often brought forth by injured parties seeking dog bite claims for injuries sustained while visiting public places.

What Repercussions Can You Face?

If your dog attacks someone, you can expect to deal with the following repercussions as per the Illinois dog bite laws:

The Victim Might File a Lawsuit Against You for Damages

Many dog bite victims do so as a matter of course—and it’s not just because they’re angry about being bitten! If a judge finds that your dog was acting aggressively and caused an injury, they may also order payment for medical bills and pain and suffering.

In such scenarios, you will need the help of Chicago dog bite lawyers to help you fight the dog bite claim or lawsuit.

Special Licenses

Some cities in Illinois require dog owners whose pets have been involved in a bite incident to purchase a special license for the dog, which is often much more expensive than a regular license.

Have Warning Signs

In some cities like Chicago, even if the victim does not sue you personally, your city might require that you post signs warning people about your dangerous dog in public places as part of their “dangerous animal ordinance.” The goal here is to warn passersby that your dog could bite them.

What To Do if You Are Interrogated by the Police or by a Representative of the Victim

If you are interrogated by the police or a victim’s representative, ensure you don’t incriminate yourself. Decline to answer questions until you have spoken to your Chicago dog bite lawyer.

As discussed above, do not admit guilt, even if you think it’s true. The only thing that should be said is “I want my lawyer” or a similar response that indicates a refusal to admit liability.

In addition, avoid making any statements without consulting a dog bite attorney first, as they may harm your case and lead to additional charges being filed against you. This could happen if your dog bit someone while you were violating a leash law or if your dog was known to be dangerous or vicious around people or dogs.

However, criminal charges for owners whose dogs bite other people are generally for negligence and criminal negligence. Negligence means an action that does not rise to the level of intentional wrongdoing but is more akin to doing something carelessly.

Criminal negligence is similar in various ways, except that it involves reckless disregard for the safety of others—the same way it’s used when referring to driving under the influence (DUI).

Therefore, in some cases where a dog attack has injured a person, they may pursue civil litigation against the owner and criminal prosecution against them.

Costs You May Be Liable To Pay

Treating injuries sustained from a dog bite can require extensive medical care, including surgeries, hospitalization, antibiotics, and other medications, doctor’s visits, and home health care – all of which can be very expensive.

Added to the medical costs, a dog bite victim may have to pay for physical therapy or emotional suffering if they cannot perform specific tasks because of the injury or are traumatized by the events of the fateful day.

Looking for a Dog Bites Lawyer? Chicago-based Michael J. Brennan Can Help

While there is no denying that dogs can be dangerous animals, it’s important not to panic if your dog bites someone. If you are accused of being negligent regarding your pet’s behavior, you will need an experienced attorney like Michael J. Brennan, who understands how dog bite injury claims and cases work.

This can be especially important if the person injured by your dog is seeking compensation by filing a dog bite injury claim or if you have been charged with a crime for failing to control your dog and someone was injured as a result.

The sooner you contact Michael J. Brennan, the better off your case will be. So, call our office today at 708-578-7914 for a free case evaluation.


Get a Free Case Evaluation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.