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Illinois dog bite injury lawyerAnyone can be bitten by an aggressive dog. Even adults can suffer serious injuries as a result of dog attacks. Children, however, are particularly vulnerable to dangerous dogs. They are also more likely to be seriously harmed when they are attacked by a dog. Most breeds that are often associated with aggressiveness, such as pit bulls and German Shepherds, are large breeds likely to outweigh a young child. 

It is important for parents to discuss dog safety with their children to reduce the likelihood of a bite. However, even if a child knows exactly what to do around a potentially aggressive dog, they may not be able to protect themselves. If your child was injured by a dog, you may be able to recover financial compensation on their behalf. In Illinois, dog owners are responsible for preventing their pets from harming others and can be held legally liable should they fail to do so. 

Why Children Are More Likely to Suffer a Dog Bite

Adults generally have better judgment skills than children. Children may not pick up on more subtle signs that a dog is agitated or aggressive and ready to bite. Reasons that children are at greater risk of being attacked by a dog include: 

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DuPage County dog bite injury lawyerWhether on a public sidewalk, at a local park, or on someone else’s property, dog bites can be frightening and dangerous. All breeds of dogs are capable of biting and causing injuries to people. While larger breeds typically inflict the most severe injuries, small dogs have a reputation for frequent nipping. Even if they do not always have the reputation of some of the larger breeds, small breeds can still pack a big bite. Smaller breeds do not appear on the list of dogs most likely to cause significant injury or deaths, but they are counted among the highest for frequency of bites.

The likelihood for a dog to bite can depend on the breed. Some larger breeds like golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are not statistically frequent biters. At the same time, some smaller breeds, like chihuahuas and miniature poodles, are among the more aggressive breeds when it comes to the number of dog bites. That is not to say that breeds with lower biting frequencies will never bite.

Why Any Dog Can Bite

Dogs bite for a variety of reasons, including feeling threatened or stressed, which can happen to any dog. Studies have shown that aggressive behavior in canines is affected by demographic, environmental, and behavioral factors. Older dogs are more likely to bite than younger dogs. Dogs that live in a single-dog household are more likely to be aggressive than those living in a multi-dog home. The dog’s experience with the owner also plays a role. Children are more likely than adults to get bitten since they may be less accustomed to knowing the proper ways to interact with dogs.

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Naperville Dog Bite Injury LawyerMore Illinois families buy dogs every year, and while most dogs never bite or injure anyone, more dogs mean more dog bites. Every year, approximately 4.5 million dog bites are estimated to occur in the U.S. and around half of these bites happen to children. The vast majority of these bites cause no or very minor injuries and do not need medical treatment. But certain dog breeds are notorious for biting aggressively and, once having bitten, not letting go—which is when the most serious injuries occur. Here are the breeds most commonly responsible for serious and fatal dog bites in the United States. 

Pit Bulls

Despite making up only six percent of the U.S. dog population, pit bulls are responsible for about 65 percent of fatal dog bites. Pit bull attacks in particular cause serious injuries because they tend to bite in more than one location, to attack without provocation, and to attack strangers. While many pit bull advocates say that when a pit bull is properly raised and trained, they can make great family dogs, pit bulls are often bred and purchased by people who intend to use these dogs as guard and attack animals. 

Rottweilers

Like pit bulls, Rottweilers, which are often bred to act as guard dogs, have a powerful bite force of 328 psi (pounds per square inch) that can deliver dangerous injuries in an instant. Rottweilers follow immediately behind pit bulls for most deaths, although they are responsible for only 10 percent of fatal bites.  In general, dogs with shorter, wider heads bite more often and the strength of their jaw muscles and their unwillingness to relinquish after a bite is part of what makes their bites so dangerous. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_537743734.jpgMany thousands of people are hospitalized in America every year because of dog bites, and, unfortunately, some dog bites even result in fatalities. Although dog bites may seem like a commonplace injury, they can have serious consequences - even if, at first glance, it seems they are not serious. 

Although dogs can be well-trained, it is not always possible to completely control a dog’s actions. Some owners specifically encourage aggression in their dogs, resulting in dangerous situations in which attacking dogs can cause scars and disfigurement, traffic accidents, serious nerve damage, and other injuries. If you have been injured by a dog bite, even as an accident, consider talking to an experienced Illinois dog bite attorney. 

Common Infections From Dog Bites 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that nearly one in five dog bites becomes infected from bacteria in the dog’s mouth. Contrary to popular belief, dog mouths are full of harmful bacteria, and a bite can allow that bacteria direct access to a human’s bloodstream and soft tissue. Here are some of the most common infections that can spread from bacteria after a dog bite: 

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illinois dog bite lawyerBeing attacked by a dog can be a terrifying experience that leaves you both physically and mentally scarred. The injuries caused by even a single dog bite can be severe and permanent. Some injuries may fade over time, but others may not. Especially when parts of the body like the hands and face are bitten, a dog bite victim’s injuries can last years or even a lifetime. If you are attacked or bitten by a dog, it is important to seek prompt medical care, and then call an attorney as soon as possible. 

What Types of Permanent Injury Can a Dog Bite Cause?

Getting urgent medical attention after a dog bite may help to mitigate the extent of the harm done, but serious and disabling injuries can still occur. More minor bites or bites by smaller dogs may require only stitching and cause no lasting harm. However, when larger dogs bite or if an attack was severe enough, a dog bite injury could impact the rest of your life. Permanent injuries that can be sustained during dog attacks include: 

  • Disfigurement - Scarring after a serious dog attack may be intensive and permanently alter your appearance. Facial disfigurement, in particular, can be life-altering and cause significant physical and psychological damage. Plastic surgery may be necessary in some cases. 

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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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