Park Ridge, IL asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Illinois

Q: My sister was visiting with her new dog (7 month old puppy) and it bit my neighbor and her son. Am I liable?

The neighbor's lawyer has already sent papers that I sent to my insurance. They found us not liable and offered the 5K in medical. Neighbor has been advised to not take that and the lawyer is going to try again. Should they be going after my father's home owners instead since my sister lived there at the time? A friend, who is a lawyer, seems to think that his insurance covered my sister. Is she liable since it was her dog, or am I liable because it was my house? Also, can/should we help them out with some of the bills in the meantime? This seems like it could take an incredible amount of time and they already have bills coming in!!

1 Lawyer Answer
Howard Abrams
Howard Abrams
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: This is a complicated question, but if you did not own the dog or were dog sitting or letting the dog stay at your house, you are probably no responsible. If your sister lived with your dad then his insurance could cover it. Your sister is definitely responsible, but probably does not have any insurance if she was living with your dad. Either way your insurance company will defend you if they decide sue you, but I would not pay anything out of pocket yourself.

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