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What can I do if a dog attacked me, but didn’t bite?

The law in Illinois is clear when it comes to dog attacks that result in an injury to a person—but without an actual bite. “If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceable conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such a person for the full amount of the injury approximately caused thereby.” (see 510 ILCS 5/16)

Put another way, the following non-bite situations would be compensable under Illinois dog law:

  • A dog jumping on a child, knocking him over and breaking an arm
  • Scratches or claw mark that result in scarring to the face or arms
  • A jumping dog pushing a person down the stairs at a home or apartment building
  • Bicyclists or motorcyclists who veer away from an attacking dog and injure themselves
  • A person who is injured when they attempt to move out of the way of a dog running at them

We have experience representing clients in each of the situations above. In our experience, many of these legitimate cases are rejected entirely or evaluated at a discounted rate by an insurance carrier. While perhaps less common than a ‘dog bite case’, non-bite dog attack cases can cause severe injuries and are equally compensable under Illinois law.

For more information on questions related to Dog Bites please visit the following pages: