Chicago Dog Bites and Animal Attacks - The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

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Pit Bull Attack on Jogger, Owner Escapes Criminal Charges

A pit bull attack in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago sent a jogger to the hospital. Fortunately, the heroics of one man may have saved the jogger's life.

On Monday morning at about 6:00 a.m., Stanley Lee awoke to screams of "Help me! Help me!" The 35-year-old man rushed outside with a baseball bat in hand and saw two large pit bulls mauling jogger, Joseph Finley, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Illinois Dog Bite Law

Illinois is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. What this means is that Illinois dog bite law generally holds the dog owner responsible for the damages resulting from dog bites regardless of whether the dog has bitten before or has ever shown violent tendencies.

Only in limited situations would a dog owner not be liable for a dog bite. This includes situations like self-defense or where the dog bite victim is trespassing or trying to commit a crime on your property. So, if a thief breaks into your home to commit burglary, and your dog bites him, you would probably not be liable for the dog bite.

Illinois Dog Bite Law; Unknowingly Adopting a Vicious Dog

If you’ve ever visited an animal shelter, you’ve probably seen plenty of cute dogs you’d love to adopt. But when you adopt an animal, you are never too sure of the animal’s past. You pretty much have to rely on what the people at the shelter tell you. So you could potentially adopt a family pet, and later find out that your pet is in fact a vicious dog that could expose you to Illinois dog bite law.

While this scenario may seem a little far-flung, it actually happened in Kendall County.

Illinois Ranks No. 2 In Dog Bite Claims, Says State Farm

Illinois, the country's fifth most populous state, is ranked as the second state next to California with the highest total payouts and the largest number of dog bite insurance claims made nationally, based on recent report released by Bloomington-based insurer, State Farm.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the insurance company listed the country's top 10 states with the most dog bite claims and the amounts paid out because of such animal attacks. The report showed that State Farm had 317 claims in Illinois last year and paid out a total of $9.7 million for dog bites, while California had 369 dog bite claims in 2010 and left the insurer paying $11.3 million.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Scott Brancheau, whose wife Dawn Brancheau was killed by a six-ton Orca (aka, killer whale) named Tilikum at SeaWorld in Orlando, has hired Chicago injury attorneys at the firm of O'Connor & Nakos.

Although details of the (potentially) pending case are scarce, it appears as if a wrongful death lawsuit is in the works.

Dawn Brancheau was killed on Feb. 24 after Tilikum grabbed her long ponytail and dragged her underwater, where she died of drowning and related trauma, according to CBS News. SeaWorld was fined $75,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) but is reportedly fighting the charges.

Woman Bucked From Horse Files Suit

It's possible that Cookie the horse just had a bad day, but Michelle Welty believes the equestrian center is to blame for injuries she sustained after Cookie threw Welty from her mount (Chicago Bar-Tender).

The incident happened on July 3, 2009. Welty was an inexperienced rider at the time and notified Forest View Farms personnel of that fact, the complaint states. But she claims they assigned her a "difficult" horse, nevertheless.