An Illinois woman has filed a personal injury lawsuit against her neighbors, alleging that their dog bit her and caused her severe personal injuries. Not only does the woman’s lawsuit claim that the dog caused her personal injuries, but the lawsuit also alleged that the neighbor’s acted in negligent way by letting the dog run loose and bite the woman. The dog involved in the lawsuit is a pit bull/mastiff mix.
According to The Telegraph, in March of this year, the dog bite victim was standing in her yard minding her own business, when the dog owners/defendants who lived next door to the woman, let their dog run free into her yard. Then, according to the personal injury lawsuit, out of nowhere the neighbor’s dog ran over to the woman viciously attacked her in her yard.
The woman is bringing the lawsuit against her neighbors under the Illinois Animal Control Act, which was enacted in order to hold animal owners liable for any civil damages caused by an unprovoked attack by their animal. This means that there is not criminal liability offered under this Act, but an injured party can sue for monetary damages. Additionally, this act limits lawsuits to those in which the attack was unprovoked by the victim, meaning the pet acted with no provocation by the victim. Any court hearing a case under this Act is also likely to look at the facts presented to see if the attack was reasonably foreseeable and if the attack could have easily been avoided by different actions by the pet owner.
This specific lawsuit alleges that the owners failed to monitor their dog and that the owners failed to keep the dog on their own premises when they should reasonably have known that their dog was dangerous and aggressive. The victim is seeking damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of normal life, disfigurement, as well as reimbursement for all of her medical bills and other bills associated with her personal injuries.
Pet owners owe a certain duty to those that encounter their pet, and have to act reasonably in how they handle their animal around others. For example, if the animal is known to get scared and run at strangers, it would be reasonable that the owners keep their pet on a leash when out in public to help protect both the public as well as the animal. If you or a loved one was injured by an animal whose owners you believe acted negligently in their handling of the animal, please contact our office today to discuss your options.