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Aurora Dog Bite Injury AttorneyBicyclists are some of the most frequent victims of dog attack injuries, especially when a dog is allowed to roam freely or without a leash. Dogs not only have the instinct to defend their territory, but also to chase after fast-moving objects that cross their path. Unfortunately, this means a bicyclist can be an attractive target, even for a dog that is not particularly aggressive. If you are injured by a dog while riding your bike, an attorney can help you pursue compensation from the dog’s owner.

Avoiding Dog Attacks While Biking

Coming across an unleashed dog while biking can be unpredictable and difficult to avoid. However, there are some safety precautions that can help bicyclists avoid being injured. If you see a dog in the distance while riding your bike, you may try to adjust your route to give the dog a wide berth. If the dog is closer and has already begun chasing you, trying to outrun it is often a bad idea. It may be safer to dismount and start walking your bike so that you are not as enticing to a dog who wants to chase a fast object. You can also keep your bike between you and the dog to use it as a barrier in case the dog becomes aggressive. Commanding the dog in a firm, authoritative voice may also convince the dog to back off.

Taking the Right Steps After an Injury

Dogs can cause injuries to bicyclists either by directly biting or attacking, usually on the lower legs, or by getting in a bicyclist's way and causing them to lose control of the bike. Crashing or falling off of a bike can result in severe injuries, including broken bones and traumatic brain injuries.

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Aurora Dog Bite AttorneyIllinois laws are friendly to dog bite injury victims, in that dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs. This means that if you have been injured by a dog, you do not need to demonstrate the owner’s negligence in order to recover compensation. However, this does not necessarily mean that recovering the full compensation you deserve will be easy. There are many obstacles you may encounter, and it is beneficial to work with an experienced attorney who can help you confront them.

Challenges in Recovering Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

In most cases, the compensation available to dog bite victims comes from the owner’s homeowner liability insurance coverage. There are several ways in which an attorney can help you navigate the challenges of filing and settling an insurance claim, including:

  • Identifying the dog’s owner - Many dog bite injuries are caused by dogs who are unfamiliar to the victim, and it is not always easy to determine who the dog belongs to, especially if it is unleashed and roaming and it has no ID tags. An attorney can help you work with local law enforcement to find the dog’s owner so that you can initiate your claim.

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illinois dog bite lawyerThough most people are aware of the existence of rabies, actually contracting it may seem unlikely. In fact, the United States has mostly eliminated rabies among domestic animals like dogs and cats, thanks to the efforts of animal control departments and vaccination requirements for pets. However, a recent situation in Illinois has brought to light the fact that some dogs may still carry rabies, and with this in mind, dog bite victims should take the risk of infection seriously.

Illinois Takes Precautions in Response to Possible Rabies Exposure

The recent rabies care in Illinois stems from a group of rescue dogs that arrived at O’Hare International Airport from Azerbaijan in June. One of the dogs in the group was soon transported to Pennsylvania, where it tested positive for rabies after showing symptoms. As of yet, none of the other dogs have shown signs of infection, but efforts are in place to isolate and closely monitor them, including two dogs that still remain in Lake County, Illinois. Starting on July 14, Illinois will also benefit from a one-year, nationwide ban on imported dogs from high-risk countries.

Rabies Control and Treatment

Despite recent events, the chances of a large-scale rabies outbreak in Illinois are low. Pets who have been properly vaccinated for rabies are unlikely to contract the disease, especially if their owners closely supervise them. Rabies is also very treatable among humans, provided that early intervention is possible. When a person may have been exposed to rabies, health care providers can administer a vaccine known as postexposure prophylaxis, which neutralizes the effects of the rabies virus.

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illinois dog bite lawyerDog attacks are often unpredictable, and in the most severe cases, dog bites can leave life-altering or even life-threatening injuries. Never has this been more apparent than in a recent incident in which a FedEx driver was attacked by two dogs while delivering a package to a home in southern Illinois. The dogs, who had no known history of violence, managed to escape their home and left the driver with serious bite wounds on the arms and legs, ultimately requiring his left hand and wrist to be amputated. This horrifying case brings to light several important issues that all Illinois residents should be aware of in the event that they fall victim to dog bite injuries themselves.

The Risks of On-the-Job Dog Bite Injuries

Many occupations are at risk of dog bite injuries in the course of their work. Delivery drivers, postal workers, and any employees who provide services in homes or residential areas can be exposed to dog attacks. The same is true for employees in occupations that work directly with dogs, including veterinarians, groomers, trainers, and employees at boarding kennels or animal shelters. Employees who suffer work-related dog bite injuries are often entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits through their employer, whether the injuries happen at their primary workplace, a dog owner’s home, or any other location. These benefits can cover medical expenses, as well as lost wages in cases of temporary or permanent disability.

Illinois Dog Owner Liability

Anyone injured by a dog in Illinois, including an employee who is bitten while working, also has the right to pursue compensation from the dog’s owner. Because of Illinois’s strict liability law, dog bite victims do not need to show that the dog had a history of attacks, that the owner was aware of such a history, or that the owner’s negligence in any way contributed to the attack. A victim will, however, need to demonstrate that they had the legal right to be in the location where the attack occurred and that their behavior did not provoke the dog to attack.

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Chicago dog bite injury lawyersAccording to a recent report from State Farm, Illinois had the second-highest number of insurance claims for dog bite injuries in 2020 among all 50 states. These statistics seem to suggest that dog bite injuries are a serious problem in Illinois under any circumstances. However, another troubling trend in the report may indicate that dog bites are likely to increase over the next few months.

Namely, the report found that throughout the United States, the month with the most dog bite claims in 2020 was March, which also marked the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders throughout the country. Now that restrictions are starting to lift, some experts believe that this change could lead to a similar spike in 2021.

What Causes a Dog to Bite?

Dog bites can happen for many different reasons, but they are especially common when the animal is afraid or stressed. Many organizations that are familiar with dog behavior have noted that the start of the pandemic was likely a high-stress time for dogs, in part because of the change in their owner’s lifestyles and the stress of the owners themselves.

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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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