dog leash

Pet Owners Are Responsible For What Happens When Their Dog Is Off-Leash

“In the right home, with informed, responsible owners, even Jasper could have had a safe, happy life. But in that home, on that morning, he was only dangerous.” Those are the words of New York Times author Susanne Craig who watched in horror as her beloved dog Chloe was attacked by Jasper, a neighborhood dog with a history of violence and owners who failed to keep him leashed. 

Craig, who shared her story and a message about the importance of leashes with Times readers, understands something important — it is not the dog’s fault when a dog attack occurs. The blame lies squarely on the shoulder of owners who fail to take responsibility and properly care for their pets. At Stein & Shulman, we hold Chicago area dog owners accountable when they let their pets attack and injure others by failing to keep them restrained. 

Lawsuits Are The Best Tool We Have To Hold Dog Owners Accountable

Craig knew Jasper was a risk to her Chloe. Jasper had previously tried to attack Chloe, and Craig typically carried pepper spray with her in case it happened again. Craig later learned Jasper had bitten one of his owners and attacked another dog in the neighborhood. Yet Jasper’s owners failed to keep him restrained. Lawsuits are the best tool we have for holding pet owners like this accountable.

The Stein & Shulman team is regularly involved in dog bite cases in the Chicagoland area. We hold irresponsible pet owners financially accountable for the injuries their dogs cause. 

To seek compensation for a dog bite under Illinois law, you must be able to prove:

  • That the owner or manager was negligent in training or restraining the animal;
  • That the dog attacked you without provocation;
  • That you suffered serious injuries as a result; 
  • That you were in a place you were allowed to be (e.g. not a burglar or peeping Tom);
  • That the dog that bit you was not a law enforcement dog performing its duty; and
  • That you did not consciously “assume risk”, for instance by being a professional dog trainer or veterinarian.

If it was not you but your pet that was seriously injured, a similar analysis is applied. Whether it was you or your beloved pet that was hurt, it is the actions of the other pet’s owner that matter most. Illinois is not a “one free bite” state, so there is no need to prove that the dog was vicious, or had attacked someone before.

Chicago Dog Bite Attorney

If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog and suffered serious injuries, we are here to help. During our team’s five-plus decades of combined legal practice, we have helped clients in the Chicago area recover millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries. Whether you are ready to take legal action right now, or are just curious about what options are available to you, we are ready to take your call. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.