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Wheaton dog injury lawyerIf you are a dog owner, you have probably experienced a variety of dog-to-dog socialization moments while out on a walk. When another dog owner asks if their dog can say hello (or vice versa) it is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged, since dogs must be socialized to prevent them from reacting poorly to other dogs. There are effective strategies that you can use in these situations to prevent your dog from getting bit or from getting injured yourself.

Letting Dogs Greet and Play With Each Other

If you are familiar with the body language that dogs use when a person approaches them, that information applies in animal interactions as well. One detail to pay attention to is whether or not both dogs are spayed or neutered. It will be difficult to tell at a glance whether a female dog has been "fixed," but this is often easily noticeable for male dogs. This can have a significant impact on the interactions between dogs, since non-neutered males are likely to exhibit dominant behavior towards other males, and females that have not been spayed are likely to show dominant behavior towards other females. If you cannot assess this, there are a variety of other behaviors to watch for to keep your dog safe.

Almost every time two dogs interact for the first time, they will want to familiarize themselves with the other’s scent to establish trust. If the other dog is very tense, has their tail between their legs, and will not let your dog sniff them, that is already a sign that you should slow things down. If you let your dog get too excited at this point, you risk eliciting a fearful bite in response. 

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Kane County dog bite injury attorney

Victims of animal attacks can suffer serious to life-threatening injuries. The state of Illinois already holds pet owners financially responsible for any injuries that their dog causes to another person or animal. The Justice for Buddy Act took effect in 2019, and it imposes stricter penalties on negligent dog owners. If you or your pet were bitten by an aggressive dog, it is important to seek medical attention if needed, as well as professional legal counsel. The Act can impact your personal injury lawsuit and punish a negligent owner to curb recurring attacks and rehabilitate an aggressive dog.

The Cost of Negligence

The Illinois legislature created the Justice for Buddy Act in response to the death of a dog named Buddy, a Yorkie that was attacked by an aggressive dog in Hanover Park. To make matters worse, the owner was already instructed to keep his dog muzzled when outside for walks. Shockingly, the dog in question was found roaming the neighborhood off-leash a week after Buddy’s death.

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DuPage County dog bite injury lawyerWith sharp teeth and strong jaws, dogs can cause serious damage to soft tissue when they bite. Perhaps the most obvious injuries are scars that form as the body heals. However, another type of injury that can perhaps have more long-lasting consequences is nerve damage

At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, our team helps obtain compensation for dog bite victims. We know the right strategies to help our clients receive justifiable compensation. Please speak with one of our Illinois dog bite lawyers to learn more about how to obtain a settlement for nerve damage and other injuries.

Treating Nerve Damage

Many dog bites lead to one of three types of nerve damage:

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Naperville dog bite lawyer emotional traumaAfter a dog attack, injured victims can seek compensation for financial losses resulting from the dog bite. Some of these losses are easy to identify, such as the costs of medical care to treat injuries and lost wages if the victim could not work while recovering. However, dog bite victims can also receive compensation for emotional distress caused by the incident. This distress is more difficult to convert into dollars and cents, but that does not mean accident victims should not pursue compensation for these types of damages. The help of a seasoned attorney is necessary to properly value the worth of the victim’s emotional damages.

Examples of Emotional Distress

A dog attack is a harrowing event. The shock and fear someone experiences while the attack is happening certainly warrants compensation. Even after the attack, many victims will continue to experience emotional distress. If they have suffered terrible physical injuries, like disfigurement or permanent nerve damage, then they could have a negative emotional response to those injuries as well.

It is not unusual for dog bite victims to experience the following:

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Naperville personal injury lawyerLast month, in a rare event, a coyote attacked a six-year-old boy in Lincoln Park. This is the first reported coyote attack in the Chicago area for at least a decade. Shortly thereafter, a 32-year-old man reported a similar animal attack that some believe may have also been an attack by a coyote. With coyote mating season beginning in February, there is an increased likelihood of coyotes making appearances across the greater Chicagoland area. These interactions between coyotes, people, and their pets can quickly become dangerous due to a more urgent need for food during the season.

Staying Safe Around Coyotes

While coyotes attacking humans is rare, with about 2,000 coyotes in the Chicago area, you are bound to witness coyote sightings. According to the Urban Coyote Research Project, the number of coyote attacks on pets per year had nearly quadrupled since the prior decade. Trends suggest that these attacks on pets, especially small dogs and cats, are only going to increase over time. Here are some ways to stop coyotes from attacking you or your pets: 

  1. Do Not Instigate — In general, coyotes usually mind their own business, especially if they are not hungry, injured, or sick. Just seeing a coyote does not mean you need to take action. In fact, unless they clearly appear to pose a threat to you or your pet, the best thing to do is ignore them. Do not try to rile them up or otherwise instigate defensive behavior. 

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Plainfield personal injury attorney for fatal dog bitesWhen individuals or families are looking to adopt a dog, it is important to consider every possible factor. For example, although canines are often viewed as fun-loving, playful animals, certain sounds or actions may lead to aggressive forms of behavior. A dog bite attack can leave a victim suffering from nerve damage, disfiguring scars, and various other injuries. In the most extreme cases, a wrongful death can result from an attack. If your loved one has lost their life due to the negligence of a dog owner, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek financial compensation for your loss.    

Aggressive Dog Breeds

Despite the fact that a dog may seem friendly and non-threatening, it is possible that an act of aggression can happen unexpectedly. Although it is possible that any breed of dog can act violently, there are certain breeds that may be more likely to attack. For instance, some of the breeds that are more commonly linked to aggressive actions include:

  • Bulldogs

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Naperville dog bite attorney child injuriesThroughout the United States, dogs have become one of the most popular pets for people of all ages. Families will often welcome canines into their household to provide protection and companionship for their young children. Although a dog is often viewed as man's best friend, the possibility of an attack is a concern for many families, especially with younger kids. Nerve damage, scarring and disfigurement, severe injuries, and wrongful deaths can all result from a physical assault from these animals. Before allowing your child to have contact with a canine, it is important to understand what behaviors can place them at a higher risk of an attack.     

Dog Bites and Children

Children are more likely to be the victims of dog bite injuries because of their inability to recognize signs of anger and aggression being displayed by a dog. Kids who are playing with a dog might not realize the consequences of their actions, and any behavior that frightens a dog can trigger a hostile reaction. First and foremost, parents should not allow their kids to play with a dog while unsupervised. In addition, there are several things parents can do to ensure that children avoid danger, including:

  • Do not touch or play with an unfamiliar dog.

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Wheaton dog bite lawyerDogs are often viewed as furry companions to men, women, and children, and they are usually expected to be friendly and loving to whoever interacts with them. While this is true in many situations, it is impossible to predict how an animal is going to behave. Dogs may unexpectedly become violent or aggressive, biting someone and causing serious injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite injury, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the animal's owner.

Examples of Aggressive Dog Behaviors

Dogs will typically display aggressive behavior if they feel threatened. For instance, a dog may become more hostile when protecting their territory or offspring. There are several behavioral tendencies that dogs may display that indicate that they may attack someone, such as:

  • Becoming stiff or rigid

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What Actions Can Help Prevent a Dog Attack?It is not uncommon for a person to display signs of love and affection towards a canine. Often referred to as man's best friend, a dog can be playful and joyous in many situations. However, a canine’s behavior can be impossible to predict, and severe injuries could result from a dog attack. Although it may be tempting to try and pet or interact with a dog, your conduct should be well thought out. Before any actions are taken towards a canine, there are several “Do’s” and “Don’ts” that should be considered.  

Appropriate Conduct

Due to the fact that an animal attack can be unpredictable, it is always important to consider how a canine might interpret your behavior. Regardless if you are familiar with the dog or not, a miscalculated action could put a dog into a defensive mindset. Before you attempt to interact with a canine, it is considered a best practice to:

  • Ask the owner if it is okay to pet the dog (if it is not your dog)
  • Remain still if you are approached by an unfamiliar canine
  • Curl into a ball and protect your head if you are knocked to the ground by a dog
  • Immediately report any strange behavior to the dog’s owner or appropriate party

Behaviors to Avoid

Scars and disfigurement, nerve damage, or wrongful death can be the aftermath of a dog bite attack. The aggressive nature of a canine should not be taken lightly, considering that nearly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. To better increase your chances of avoiding an attack, an individual should not:

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How Does Illinois Hold Negligent Pet Owners Liable for Dog Attacks?According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than 4.5 million people each year are bitten by dogs in the United States. In addition, it is estimated that roughly 800,000 victims require medical attention after an attack. Loss of wages coinciding with treatment can lead to a significant financial strain for the victim. In order to hold the correct party responsible for a canine’s reckless actions, the state of Illinois has enacted several laws and regulations for dog attacks. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.  

Strict Liability

In Illinois, a canine owner can be responsible for any injuries that occur if their pet attacks another person. According to (510 ILCS 5/16), if a dog or other animal attacks, or attempts to attack, a person without provocation in any place where the victim may lawfully be, the owner can be liable for the full amount of the injuries. For example, if a dog attacked a house guest without a justifiable cause, the owner could be held accountable. It should be recognized that liability laws vary from state to state.   

Illinois Classifications

The Illinois Animal Control Act recognizes that certain situations and considerations may be the reason behind a canine attack. In Illinois, a “dangerous dog” is defined as an individual canine found anywhere other than its owner’s property that is unmuzzled, unleashed, or unattended by its owner, and is behaving in a threatening manner. In addition, a “vicious dog” is classified as a canine that attacks a person and causes serious physical injury or death without provocation. A dog can also be designated “vicious” if it has been classified as “dangerous” on three separate occasions.  

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What Diseases Can Result from a Dog Bite Injury?Known as man’s best friend, a dog can provide companionship and joy to animal lovers. Although dogs can be trained to follow certain behaviors, it is impossible to completely control a dog’s actions. Loud noises, unfamiliar people, or specific practices could lead to a dog acting with aggression. If a dog bite does take place, outcomes such as scars and disfigurement, nerve damage, and wrongful deaths can result. In addition, the spreading of germs can cause serious infections in a victim. If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, speaking to an experienced attorney can help in your pursuit of compensation.   

Types of Infections

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 18 percent of dog bites become infected with bacteria. Although 60 different bacteria have been linked to a dog’s mouth, only a finite amount of these germs can lead to a victim getting sick. If bacteria spread after a bite, certain infections can result:

  • Rabies: A virus that affects the brain and can be life-threatening, rabies is most commonly spread through the bite and saliva of an infected animal.    
  • Capnocytophaga Bacteria: Living in the mouth of people and dogs, these bacteria can lead to possible illnesses. Although rare, Capnocytophaga bacteria can infect humans through bites, scratches, or close contact. 
  • Pasteurella: One of the most common types of bacteria that can be spread from a dog bite, Pasteurella can cause a red infection where the bite took place. More serious diseases may result in people with a weakened immune system. Swollen glands, joints, and difficulty moving can be prevalent. 
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): A staph infection can lead to lung, skin or urinary tract infections in people. In certain cases, MRSA can spread to the bloodstream or lungs, causing dangerous infections.
  • Tetanus: A toxin that is produced from bacteria (Clostridium tetani), tetanus can lead to rigid paralysis.

What Should be Done After a Dog Bite?

The actions a victim takes after an attack can greatly affect his or her well-being. A dog bite injury can leave an injured party with extensive medical bills, missed time at work, loss of freedom, and life-changing injuries; financial compensation may be necessary to move on. If a dog bite does occur, the person who suffered the attack should: 

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How Can Insurance Factor into a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Illinois?In the event that a person is injured from a dog bite attack, he or she may be able to hold the owner liable for civil damages. Pain and suffering, serious injuries, and wrongful deaths can result from an unprovoked animal attack. On average, homeowners’ insurance companies pay out more than $300 million per year for dog bite injuries. Medical bills, lost wages, disability or disfigurement, and trauma can all factor into the amount of compensation that the victim is owed. Depending on whether or not the guilty party has insurance, the route to compensation may be drastically different.

What to Do After the Dog Bite?

Dog bite incidents can be rather complex if the owner is a friend or family member of the victim. Despite who is involved, it is important for a victim to immediately seek medical assistance after the bite. Depending on the severity of any injuries sustained, financial compensation may be required. After the injuries are treated, the victim should gather pictures, medical records, videos, and statements to help strengthen his or her case.   

If the Owner Has Insurance

If a dog bite occurs without provocation, in a location where the injured party was lawfully allowed to be, compensation may be sought. If the dog owner has insurance, the injured person may have a better opportunity to receive restitution. Dependent on the dog owners’ policy coverage, the insurance company may help cover liability costs. Victims should be wary of an initial “low-ball” offer from the insurance company.

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Kane County dog bite injury lawyer

According to a recent report from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), close to 5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs on an annual basis. These studies also reveal that children make up the largest number of victims of dog bites and that more children are bitten by family pets than by random, stray dogs. As much as these statistics tell us, narrowing down the types of dogs involved and the nature of the incidents has been more difficult. Identifying which dog breeds are most responsible for victim injuries has been heavily debated among experts and the general public in recent years.

The Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

In order to delve further into the big questions surrounding dog bites, researchers from the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University combined data from two primary factors: decades worth of breed-specific data, and detailed reports of bite trauma cases. They examined the bite severity of these cases, all of which involved injury to the face. They looked at everything from wound size and the tearing of tissue to more severe bone fractures and bone structural damage. This study allowed the researchers to assess both the frequency of bites as well as the severity. Here is what they discovered:

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Contact an Illinois Dog Bite Attorney

If you have suffered a dog bite injury, our personal injury lawyers can help you determine the actual value of the damages you have suffered, and we will work to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at 630-552-6860 or fill out the form below to arrange a free consultation.

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