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Strict liability applies to Illinois dog bite cases

The holidays are coming and when they do Belleville residents will travel to the homes of the people they love in order to celebrate with them.

Seeing relatives and friends can be special, but entering the home of someone else can mean entering the territory of a household pet that is unsure of how to act around new people. Not every dog is welcoming to visitors and unfortunately not every pet owner is prepared to protect their guests from the actions of their four-legged friends.

In Illinois, owners of dogs that bite and attack are strictly liable for the harm their pets cause. That means that a dog owner did not have to be negligent in the ownership of their dog or intend that their dog cause another person harm in order to be responsible; the fact that their dog bit someone is all that must be shown to consider them liable for the victim's sustained injuries.

Guests and invited visitors to individuals' homes will rarely run into the exceptions to this rule that the state of Illinois recognizes. A pet owner may not be liable for the harm their dog causes if that dog was provoked into action by the alleged victim or if the alleged victim was a trespasser on the dot owner's property.

Visiting other people's homes can mean getting along with all of the two-legged and four-legged residents that live there. Dog bites can inflict serious and painful injuries on victims and the recovery periods for those who are affected can be extensive. It is important that victims of dog bites seek medical and legal help after their attacks to protect both their health and their rights to sue.

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