In Illinois there is a law that makes the owner, harborer or keeper of any animal liable for injuries liable for injuries regardless of whether the defendant was negligent. It must be emphasized that this law applies to any animal. Also, this law applies not only to owners, but also can apply to those who “harbor” or “keep” an animal for someone else. The law is often referred to as the “Dog Bite Statute”. This is a misnomer because the law in fact applies to all animals.
The law specifically states:
If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby. 510 ILCS 5/2.16
Attorney Mark Wertz has represented victims of animal attacks for over 30 years. He has recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in animal attack cases.