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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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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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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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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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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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