(309) 788-2800 mcfe@mcfe-law.com

Owning a pet not only means properly caring for it. It also means that, as an owner, you are generally responsible for its actions. For dog owners, that means you may have to pay for any damage that your dog causes. Most states have statutes relating to liability for dog bites.

In Iowa, if your dog injures a person or other domestic animal, you will be liable for damages related to that injury. Iowa is a strict liability state, which means that you will be responsible regardless of whether your dog was provoked. For example, if your dog bites your neighbor on the sidewalk, then you may have to cover your neighbor’s hospital bills or other damages. Further, if your dog injures the cat next door, then you may be liable for the neighbor’s veterinary bills related to the incident.

Iowa law also provides exceptions tailored to allowing dogs to protect their home and owners. If an individual is engaged in an unlawful act and the dog bites that individual, then you cannot be liable for it. Therefore, if someone attempts to break into your home, but your dog attacks, then the robber cannot sue you for injuries related to that bite. Iowa law also provides an exception to liability where the dog is affected by rabies or might be affected by rabies.

Under Illinois law, the requirements for liability are very similar. Illinois also has an exception for liability where the individual who was attacked was engaged in an unlawful activity. Unlike Iowa law, the statute may also provide an exception for when the dog is provoked. For example, if someone hits your dog and your dog retaliates, then that may reduce liability.

Illinois law also extends to anyone that is caring for the dog, regardless of whether that person is the owner. Therefore, a dog that is being cared for by a pet boarding business may make the pet boarding business the liable party if the dog attacks someone while under the supervision of the pet boarder. Further, the Illinois statute also extends to “dog[s] or other animal[s].”

Under both Iowa and Illinois law, victims of dog bites and other injuries could bring claims for emotional distress. Emotional distress occurs when the injured party experiences mental pain and suffering that originated from or was caused by the attack. Emotional distress does not necessarily result from actual physical suffering, but the two concepts are usually paired together. If the victim has recurring nightmares of dog attacks, for example, then that might be a ground for recovery based on emotional distress. Under Iowa law, emotional distress can also extend to the emotional distress of any bystanders who witnessed the attack.

While the liability in both states is similar, it is not exactly the same. Some exceptions that apply under the law of one state may not apply in another state. If you are faced with a law suit because of your pet, contact McCarthy, Callas, & Feeney at 309-788-2800.

Owning a pet not only means properly caring for it, it also means that, as an owner, you are generally responsible for its actions. For dog owners, that means you may have to pay for any damage that your dog causes. Most states have statutes relating to liability for dog bites.

In Iowa, if your dog injures a person or other domestic animal, you will be liable for damages related to that injury. Iowa is a strict liability state, which means that you will be responsible regardless of whether your dog was provoked. For example, if your dog bites your neighbor on the sidewalk, then you may have to cover your neighbor’s hospital bills or other damages. Further, if your dog injures the cat next door, then you may be liable for the neighbor’s veterinary bills related to the incident.

Iowa law also provides exceptions tailored to allowing dogs to protect their home and owners. If an individual is engaged in an unlawful act and the dog bites that individual, then you cannot be liable for it. Therefore, if someone attempts to break into your home, but your dog attacks, then the robber cannot sue you for injuries related to that bite. Iowa law also provides an exception to liability where the dog is affected by rabies or might be affected by rabies.

Under Illinois law, the requirements for liability are very similar. Illinois also has an exception for liability where the individual who was attacked was engaged in an unlawful activity. Unlike Iowa law, the statute may also provide an exception for when the dog is provoked. For example, if someone hits your dog and your dog retaliates, then that may reduce liability.

Illinois law also extends to anyone that is caring for the dog, regardless of whether that person is the owner. Therefore, a dog that is being cared for by a pet boarding business may make the pet boarding business the liable party if the dog attacks someone while under the supervision of the pet boarder. Further, the Illinois statute also extends to “dog[s] or other animal[s].”

Under both Iowa and Illinois law, victims of dog bites and other injuries could bring claims for emotional distress. Emotional distress occurs when the injured party experiences mental pain and suffering that originated from or was caused by the attack. Emotional distress does not necessarily result from actual physical suffering, but the two concepts are usually paired together. If the victim has recurring nightmares of dog attacks, for example, then that might be a ground for recovery based on emotional distress. Under Iowa law, emotional distress can also extend to the emotional distress of any bystanders who witnessed the attack.

While the liability in both states is similar, it is not exactly the same. Some exceptions that apply under the law of one state may not apply in another state. If you are faced with a law suit because of your pet, or you or someone you know is a victim of a dog bite, contact McCarthy, Callas, & Feeney at 309-788-2800. We are happy to discuss your legal needs with you.

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