While each state has its own dog biting laws, some of these laws include a dangerous and vicious dog statute that specifically defines:
- When a dog is legally considered to be dangerous or vicious
- How such dogs are to be maintained by dog owners to minimize the risk of harm to the public
- When owners of dangerous or vicious dogs may be considered to be liable for the injuries or harm their dogs have caused.
Illinois Dangerous and Vicious Dog Statute
While there is currently not a dangerous and vicious dog statute in the state of Missouri, Illinois does have such a statute in place. According to Illinois law, a dangerous dog is defined as any dog that, when unrestrained or unattended by its owner, acts aggressively towards individuals in public places.
Each county in Illinois stipulates the specific circumstances in which owners of dangerous dogs would be considered to be liable for any harm their dogs have caused.
A vicious dog, according to Illinois law, refers to any dog that:
- Attacks a person or another animal when unprovoked
- Has a tendency towards aggressive behavior if not handled in a particular way
- Has been noted to be a dangerous dog at least three times in the past.
Legally, owners of vicious dogs are required to keep these animals in areas bound by fences that are at least 6 feet high. Vicious dogs are only legally allowed to be taken out of these enclosures when they are being taken to the vet (or upon a court order) and must be muzzled and restrained in such cases.
When dangerous or vicious dogs are not properly handled and attack a person or another animal, the victim (whether that be the person who was attacked or the owner of the animal that was attacked) can sue the owner of the dangerous or vicious dog to obtain compensation for his injuries and losses.
If you or a loved one was hurt by a vicious dog, contact the knowledgeable dog bite attorneys at Brown & Brown, LLP to build your case. Our lawyers know the state-specific laws in Missouri and Illinois, and we can discuss your case at 2 convenient locations. Call 314-333-3333 or 573-333-3333 for our St. Louis office or to talk to a lawyer in Fairview Heights, IL, at 618-888-8888.