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Illinois dog bit injury attorneyWhether you are spending a day at the park or you are out for a walk, jog, or bike ride, an encounter with an unfamiliar, unleashed dog may put you ill at ease, especially if the dog shows signs of aggression. In some cases, what starts as threatening behavior could turn into an attack that leaves you seriously injured. It is important to know what you should do if you are threatened by an unrestrained dog, as well as how you may be able to recover compensation if you are bitten or attacked.

How to React to a Threatening Dog

Dogs are territorial animals, and if you enter an area that they consider to be their territory, whether you are in a public place or passing by their owner’s home, they may react aggressively. If a dog growls, barks, bares its teeth, or raises its fur as you approach, it is important to stay calm and react appropriately to give yourself a better chance of avoiding an attack.

The ASPCA recommends slowing down, attempting to back away, and avoiding direct eye contact when you encounter an aggressive, unleashed dog. If possible, you should also attempt to move so that there is an obstacle between you and the dog, and in some cases, using a firm voice to command the dog to sit or stay may help to de-escalate the situation. Making sudden loud noises or approaching the dog aggressively yourself is likely to make the dog feel threatened and may make it more likely to attack, whereas trying to run away may encourage the dog to chase you. If a dog does attempt to attack you, the ASPCA recommends that you try to use an object like a bag, umbrella, or nearby stick as a shield to defend yourself, and to focus on protecting your head and face.

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Naperville dog bite injury attorneysAlthough the percentage of dog bites and attacks that result in fatal injuries is relatively small, an attack can be deadly, especially when the victim is a child or someone else who is unable to effectively defend themself. These cases can be especially devastating for the victim’s surviving family members, and while there is no way to bring the victim back, there are ways to hold the dog’s owner accountable.

Strict Liability for Illinois Dog Owners

According to Illinois law, a dog’s owner is strictly liable for all civil damages if someone is injured because the dog attacks without provocation and the attack occurs at a location where the victim is legally allowed to be. This means that a victim does not need to demonstrate that the owner’s negligence led to the attack, or that the dog had a history of violence that the owner was aware of. This strict liability applies not only to dog bites, but also any other unprovoked actions from the dog that cause an injury, including scratching and knocking a person to the ground.

A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Recover Damages

In most cases, an injury victim must be the one to initiate the process of pursuing compensation from the owner of the dog who caused the injuries. However, if the injuries are fatal, a personal representative of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf, with any resulting compensation usually being awarded to the victim’s spouse or next of kin. If the victim was a child, the parents will often be the ones to initiate the lawsuit. In any case, a wrongful death lawsuit must be initiated within two years of the victim’s death.

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Chicago personal injury attorney dog bite attack

In the United States, many people keep animal companions in their homes, and as part of their family. By far, the most popular animal to have as a pet in the United States is a dog. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 38 percent of American households own at least one dog. Keeping a dog as a pet has been found to have many benefits, such as relieving stress levels. However, they can also pose a risk to your family and others. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year in this country. Of those bitten, approximately 800,000 of them end up having to seek medical treatment for their injuries, with at least half of those being children. Injuries from a dog bite can range from a superficial laceration to nerve damage to disfigurement and scarring. Children are by far the most common victims of dog bites, often suffering from injuries to their head, face, or neck during the incident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you explore your options for seeking compensation.

Tips for Staying Safe

Most dogs are rather friendly toward humans and other animals. However, it is important to remember that all dogs, no matter their breed, age, or size, have the potential to bite. When it comes to keeping your children safe from dog bites or other animal bites, it is important to remember that most dog bites can be prevented. Educating your children on how to approach and interact with animals is the best way to keep them safe. Here are a few other tips to follow:

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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 & Giglio Law Offices, 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 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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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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