Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, but sometimes these furry friends can be dangerous and bite. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association reports that approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. This equates to about one in every 73 people. Our dog bite attorneys regularly represent people who have been injured in an unprovoked dog attack.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Dogs may bite for various reasons. They may feel threatened, scared, or anxious. They may also be protecting their territory, food, or puppies. Some dogs may bite because they have not been properly socialized or trained. It’s essential to remember that every dog is capable of biting, no matter how friendly they may seem.
Symptoms and Potential Harm to a Dog Bite Victim
Dog bites can cause a range of injuries, from minor cuts and scrapes to severe wounds and infections. The most common symptoms of a dog bite include pain, swelling, redness, and bleeding. In more severe cases, a dog bite can cause nerve damage, muscle and tissue damage, noticeable scarring, and even bone fractures. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
Wound Care After a Dog Attack
If you are bitten by a dog, follow these steps:
- Clean the bite wound thoroughly with soap and water.
- Cover the wound with a clean, dry bandage.
- If the wound is bleeding heavily, apply pressure to the area with a clean cloth or bandage.
- Monitor the wound for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, and drainage.
When to Call a Doctor
It’s essential to seek medical attention within 24 hours after you are bitten by a dog. Even if the wound seems minor, there is a risk of infection. Additionally, a healthcare provider can evaluate the wound and determine if further treatment is necessary. In some cases, a tetanus shot or antibiotics may be required.
When to Call Animal Control
If the dog that bit you is unknown or acting aggressively, it’s important to call animal control. They can help identify the dog and ensure it is up to date on its vaccinations. Additionally, animal control can help prevent the dog from biting someone else in the future.
How to Avoid Getting Bitten by an Angry Dog
The best way to avoid being bitten by an angry dog is to stay calm and avoid direct eye contact. Do not run away from the dog or make any sudden movements. Instead, try to slowly back away from the dog while keeping a safe distance. It’s also important to avoid approaching dogs that are eating or caring for puppies.
Illinois Dog Bite Law
In Illinois, the Animal Control Act outlines the laws regarding dog bites. According to this act, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries or damages caused by their pets. This means that the owner is responsible for compensating the victim, regardless of whether the owner was negligent, or the dog has never bitten anyone before. In other words, the victim does not need to prove that the dog owner knew the dog was dangerous or that the owner was careless in controlling the dog.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there were approximately 6,000 dog bites reported in Illinois in 2019. Children and postal workers are particularly vulnerable to dog bites. In fact, postal workers in Illinois reported 380 dog attacks in 2020, making it the third-highest state in the nation for postal worker dog bites. These statistics highlight the importance of dog bite laws in Illinois and the need for dog owners to take responsibility for their pets’ behavior.
When to Get a Dog Bite Attorney
If you are bitten by a dog, it’s important to contact an experienced dog bite attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the compensation you deserve. Additionally, a lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved in the case.
There are a few details you need to know that may impact your case:
- The statute of limitations for dog bite cases in Illinois is two years – meaning you cannot file a personal injury claim if the bite occurred more than two years ago.
- Have a good description of where you were at the time of the attack. If you were trespassing on someone’s property, then you are not in a position to file a claim.
- Your attorney will need all the details of the attack to prove your case so write down what happened as soon as you can after you have been bitten.
- Was there provocation of any kind from you?
If you have been bitten by an out-of-control dog, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. Your next step should be to call our experienced dog bite attorneys. Dog owners in Illinois are responsible for their pet’s behavior, so you may have a legal claim for damages. Contact our experienced dog bite attorneys at (630) 527-1595 or fill out our contact form for a FREE EVALUATION of your claim.