According to a release by the United States Postal Service, Chicago ranked fourth in the country in 2012 for the highest incidence of dog bites per capita. Across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 5 million people receive dog bites each year.
Approximately 800,000 of those bites require medical attention. The three groups of individuals that receive the most injuries due to dog bites include children, the elderly and postal workers.
Property Laws and Dog Bites in Illinois
In Illinois, the Animal Control Act imposes strict liability for injuries caused by dog bites. This means the owner or caretaker of an animal is liable for any injuries caused by his or her animal so long as the injured victim did not provoke the attack.
The Act also provides that individuals injured by dogs and other animals can be compensated for their damages incurred in the attack. Those damages include:
- Medical bills: A victim can be reimbursed for all medical bills tied to the injury, along with any forecasted future medical costs.
- Pain and suffering: An injured victim can be compensated for the pain and suffering he has suffered from the injuries and is likely to suffer in the future.
- Emotional distress: Individuals can often seek financial damages for mental pain and suffering. These claims are most successful when tied together with physical injuries.
- Lost wages: If a dog bite victim misses work due to his or her injuries, he or she can add any lost wages to the request for damages.
Local, or municipal laws also govern dog bites. If you are unfamiliar with your city’s ordinances with regard to the control and care of your dog, and what remedies are available to dog bite victims, reach out to our team.
Call our dog bite lawyer in Evanston, IL at (847) 869-9100 or contact us online today.
What Are the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries?
Children most often suffer injuries to their heads and necks. In adults, those injuries most often appear on the arms and hands. Common injuries among all victims include:
- Scarring: Most dog bite victims spend the rest of their lives with visible scars. Those scars can cause flashbacks to the event and increase a victim’s emotional distress.
- Nerve damage: Depending on the size of the dog and the victim, a bite may penetrate deep enough to cause permanent nerve damage, leading to loss of feeling in limbs and other significant areas of the body.
- Disfigurement: Dog bites, especially those to the head and neck, can cause significant disfigurement and can lead to a series of reconstructive surgeries. Some disfigurement, however, may never go away.
- Fractures: Attacking dogs often cause the victims to fall to the ground or fall off their bicycles which can lead to painful and disabling bone fractures.
- Infection: Open wounds from dog bites can easily lead to infection if not treated immediately and/or appropriately.
Severe dog bites and attacks can lead to death, especially in infants and young children. Teach yourself and your children about potentially dangerous animals and how to act around them before it is too late.
What Dog Breeds Are Most Likely To Leave Bites That Result in Serious Injuries?
In 2008, the CDC reported that the following breeds account for the majority of dog bite injuries and fatalities:
- Pit bulls
- German shepherds
- Wolf-dog hybrids
- Mixed breeds
- Chow Chows
- Doberman pinschers
- Saint Bernards
- Great Danes
How To Help Prevent Dog Bites
It is important to remember that any dog can turn vicious given the right circumstances. To prevent bites, do not antagonize a dog. Provide your dog with a great deal of love, kindness and respect. Teach your children how to appropriately approach an unfamiliar dog and how to act around dogs in general.
Give us a call at (847) 869-9100 or contact us online to make arrangements to discuss your case with our attorney today.