Certain dog breeds like pit bulls have a negative reputation for dog bite injuries. However, any breed, sex or size of dog can bite, causing serious injury. Children may be more susceptible to dog-bite injuries because of their size, curiosity and lack of caution around animals. Unfortunately, many of these dog-bite injuries are caused by careless owners.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is sponsoring National Dog Bite Prevention Week, April 12-18. According to AVMA, in 2017 there were almost 350,000 people treated at hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal dog bites and related injuries. Children age 2 and under accounted for more than 10,000 emergency room visits caused by dog bites.
Who is Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, 510 ILCS 5/16, “if a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.”
Dog owners are generally liable for dog bite injuries where the victim is acting peaceably. Even if the dog has never shown a propensity to bite or attack, or the owner believes the dog would never bite someone, the owner is still responsible for injuries caused by their dog.
Avoiding Dog Bites
There are a few steps dog owners can take to reduce the risk that their dog will bite someone. These include:
- – Socialization
- – Selecting the right dog for the owner and owner’s family
- – Proper training
- – Regular exercising
- – Educating children about how to approach a dog
- – Avoid risky situations
If someone does suffer a dog bite injury, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Even if the bite injury does not seem that serious, bite victims should consider seeing a doctor to reduce the risk of infection. Infection is one of the most common types of injury associated with animal bites. Bacteria in the dog’s mouth can be forced into the bite wound and get worse over time if the bite is not treated.
Serious dog bite injuries may require a visit to the emergency department, surgery, or hospitalization. This can amount to expensive medical bills, time away from work, pain, and suffering. The dog bite injury victim may have the right to seek compensation from the dog owner responsible for allowing the dog to bite someone.
Contact your Illinois dog bite injury attorney as soon as possible after an animal bite injury. There is a limited amount of time to file a claim and filing a lawsuit too late may mean that you will not be able to recover damages for the accident.
Aurora and Chicago Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
If you or your child were injured in a dog attack in Aurora or the Chicago area, you need an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer. Contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today at 630-898-7800 to schedule your free consultation.