Dog Bites: An Overview
Between 4 million and 5 million people are bitten by dogs every year in this country, and the incidence only seems to be rising. Dogs can attack people for any number of reasons, from naturally aggressive genetics to specific training or abuse. Often dogs will bite to protect their territory, for instance, or to express dominance, or because they are redirecting aggression from another incident. It is not unusual for dogs to target people who may feel they already "know" the dog in question - after all, dogs are animals, and we cannot always accurately predict their behavior.
Dog bites and animal attacks often result in significant physical injury, including scarring and disfigurement. Many times, the victim of a dog bite or animal attack is an innocent child. No matter who is the victim, the costs of medical care, including rehabilitation and plastic surgery, can be exorbitant. Even minor bites can lead to soreness, lingering wounds and infections, especially if the dog in question harbors dangerous bacteria in its mouth. Ringworm, rabies and other ailments can also travel through a dog bite as a vector, meaning you may contend with grave health issues down the road.
Whatever the circumstances behind a dog bite, it is essential to understand your legal rights in the event of an attack.
What To Do if You Are Bitten
So what should you do if you are the victim of a dog bite? The most important thing is to seek medical care immediately. Dog bites can carry any number of pathogens, and the injuries alone can be critical without proper intervention. Once you are stable and safe, be sure to document your injuries in some way, either by taking pictures, or getting copies of the medical report, or both. It is also crucial that you get the information of the dog's owner at the point of attack so that you can pursue action if necessary. Finally you will want to contact an attorney who has experience in cases such as these. Illinois law is ironclad in its emphasis on "strict liability," meaning you may be entitled to significant damages no matter what the owner did or did not know about the dog's tendencies.
An Experienced Lawyer Fighting For You
At Klest Injury Law Firm, we have considerable experience successfully representing dog bite victims and animal attack survivors throughout metropolitan Chicago, including in Chicago's many forest preserves and along the Lake Michigan shoreline. We aggressively advocate for clients, helping them seek full and fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages or income, costs of rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.
Our Dog Bite And Animal Attack Practice
We handle all types of dog bite and animal attack cases, including:
- Dog bite injury on private property
- Animal attacks resulting from inadequate fencing/restraints, including leash law violations
- Attacks by escaped animals, including injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists
- Dog bite lawsuits involving injuries suffered in public parks or areas
Stand Up To Insurance Companies Who Deny Compensation
If you have suffered a dog bite injury or an animal attack, you may believe that your best or only recourse is an insurance provider. You are wrong. Insurance companies have a vested interest in paying you as little as possible. We have extensive experience successfully negotiating with insurance companies.