Champaign Dog Bite Lawyer
Unfortunately, many people hurt because of another's carelessness do not know what they can do to hold them liable for their actions. It means that the vast majority of people who have been hurt due to someone else's negligence never receive compensation for their injuries and other losses caused by those individuals.
Are you the victim of a dog attack, or did you lose a loved one to someone else's negligence?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured victims and fight aggressively on their behalf to ensure they receive maximum compensation for their damages.
Contact a Champaign personal injury attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), an estimated 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, with two out of every three bites occurring in children who are at the highest risk of being bitten during the spring months.
Dog bite cases involving children are very common in the United States because kids are much smaller and less able to defend themselves against an attacking animal. As a result, most victims suffer from lacerations, puncture wounds, broken bones, and disfigurement.
The most common victims are boys between 5-9 years old and children living in homes where a dog has not been spayed or neutered.
Another startling statistic is that one fatality occurs every two weeks due to an attack by a dog, meaning there are about 25 people who die per year in this country due to dog bites.
The number of deaths caused by dogs varies depending on where you live in the United States, though. For example, some parts of the country, such as Phoenix, Arizona, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, have seen an increase in fatal dog bites over the last few years.
Dog Bite Victims May Be Able to Obtain Compensation for Their Losses
If you were attacked by a dog and suffered any injury (mental or physical), you may be able to obtain compensation from the owner of the canine in one of three ways.
The first way you can receive compensation is through a lawsuit filed against the owner/guardian of the dog.
The second option for compensation involves filing a claim with your homeowner's insurance policy if you have damages. The final way involves filing a claim through a third-party insurer (if you have health insurance that covers dog bites).
Negligence Per Se
If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, you would likely be able to file a claim against them under the theory of negligence per se. It means that if your dog's attack occurred on another person's property, they are liable because it is their responsibility to keep their premises safe for others.
Some additional examples of when the law states that someone may be considered negligence per se include:
- A dog owner who fails to properly secure their animal by keeping them on a leash when in public places will likely be held legally responsible if their dog causes injury to someone else.
- A homeowner who fails to warn about a dangerous animal they know is on their property may be liable for injuries sustained by another person.
- A landlord who knows that their tenants' dogs are a danger and does nothing to prevent them from attacking others may be held accountable for injuries caused by their tenants' dogs.
If you have suffered a loss as a result of a dog attack, make sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can work with the authorities and insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your damage, including pain and suffering.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our central Illinois legal team understands how difficult it can be to recover from a dog bite injury. Because of that, we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients to ensure they are compensated for their damages.
Our Champaign dog bite lawyers offer free consultations at (888) 424-5757 or via email, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out to our law firm today!
Dangerous Dog Breeds
According to the Humane Society and the American Veterinary Medical Association, pit bulls are among the most common breeds involved in fatal dog attacks.
It is because they were bred to be strong, fierce animals who are very powerful. Unfortunately, so many people were concerned with controlling an aggressive dog when it bites someone. So many cities across the country have made it mandatory for owners of these dogs to keep them on a leash and muzzled when they go out in public.
Dog breed most recognized as being vicious and aggressive includes:
- German Shepherd
- Alaskan Malamute
- Doberman Pinscher
- Great Dane
- English Setter
- German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP)
- Labrador Retriever (Labs)
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Presa Canaani
- Siberian Husky
- Staffordshire Terrier
- Bull Mastiff
- Cane Corso
- Dogo Argentino (Puerto Rican Fighting Dog)
- English Cocker Spaniel
- American Staffordshire Terrier (Am Staffs)
- Saint Bernard
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
Dog Bite Laws
States vary as to how they legislate dangerous dog breeds. Some cities, such as New York City, have laws that classify pit bulls as "vicious dogs" and put stringent regulations on keeping them, while other states such as Ohio and Florida do not have any laws that target certain breeds of dogs.
Oregon is one such state and does not recognize pit bulls as a specific breed of dog. It means that owners have no legal requirements to keep their dogs leashed when they go out in public or muzzle them. However, these dogs can be declared dangerous if they attack someone.
In Illinois, the laws are much different. The Animal Control Act states that owners of any dog involved in a serious attack must have their dogs euthanized.
If the dog has previously attacked someone, it must be kept behind a 6-ft fence and marked with signs warning people that a dangerous animal is on the property. If you happen to be attacked by one of these dogs, you should report this to Animal Control or the police right away.
Illinois Animal Control Act
The state legislature enacted the Illinois animal control act (510 ILCS 5) that states that all pit bulls are legal property of their owners.
However, if a dog that belongs to a "banned breed" attacks someone or another animal, the dog has to be euthanized immediately by law.
There is an exception where a person owning one of these dogs can prove that they were not at fault. For example, provoking the dog could cause the animal to be labeled as a "nuisance" rather than "dangerous."
Do you live in Illinois? Have you or a loved one suffered from a serious dog bite injury due to an animal that belongs to one of these breeds? If so, your best course of action is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney today to learn about your legal rights.
Dog Bites and Strict Liability
Dog owners can be held legally liable under strict liability laws that are in place in most states, except Missouri. For example, the owner can be held liable if their dog bites someone or another animal, regardless of the situation that led to it.
It typically means there is no requirement to prove that the owner knew their dog was dangerous before an attack occurred since they are legally responsible for what happens in public.
Illinois does not have strict liability laws that apply to dog attacks on private property, making it difficult for victims to receive compensation for their injuries.
Dog Bite Lawsuits
When you are the victim of a dog attack, your best course is to contact a Champaign personal injury lawyer specializing in personal injury lawyer who knows how to file dog bite lawsuits.
You should also report the incident to Animal Control so that the dog can be tested for rabies if it's not up to date on its shots.
Animal Control can also find out if the dog has a previous history of being aggressive to know what you are dealing with and how to protect yourself when necessary.
In addition, there may be other people in your area who have come into contact with this dog, and they should receive medical attention immediately just in case they were exposed to rabies.
If the dog that attacked you is known to be aggressive, you can also pursue a personal injury lawsuit against its owner for negligence. It means that they were aware of the dog's risk, but they did not take enough precautions to keep people and other animals safe.
Other Dog Bite Liabilities
The owners of any dogs involved in an attack should be responsible for paying any medical bills or lost wages that result from the incident.
They should also pay for damage to your property, such as ruined clothes and broken items caused by their dog. If you have a car accident while trying to get away from the dog, they may also be responsible for this.
Finally, if another animal injures or kills your dog, you have a right to sue for any losses that result from the attack.
If the dog owner is found liable for your injuries, they will be required to pay compensation for all of these damages. It's important to keep in mind that there are time limits on these personal injury claims, so it's best to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident.
Adult and Child Dog Bite Victims
Dog bite victims are not limited to adults. If a dog has attacked your child, you have every right to hold the owner accountable for their negligent actions in allowing this attack to take place.
It is so crucial that victims should immediately seek medical attention when one of these incidents occurs. Dog bites can cause serious injury and sometimes even death. In addition, in fatal dog attacks, the parents of the children who have been killed may wish to seek compensation for their loss.
Many people who a dog has attacked are disfigured for life and need medical care that can be very costly. Personal injury victims should not have to shoulder this financial burden on their own because it is the owner's responsibility to prevent their pet from attacking others.
File a Report
Did a dog attack you? If so, you should immediately file a report with the authorities and then contact an experienced personal injury attorney who will protect your interests while working on your behalf to ensure that you are fully compensated for any damages that have occurred due to this incident.
Dog bites can turn your life upside down if you are not prepared for the financial burden of these injuries. In addition, the aftermath of a dog attack involves physical pain and mental anguish, and emotional distress. It is another reason why seeking compensation through the civil justice system is important after one of these attacks.
Avoiding a Dog Bite or Animal Attack
According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), increasing your safety tips can reduce the risks of attacks and bites.
- Never leave a young child unattended with any dog breed.
- Avoid situations that cause confrontations between dogs and people, especially in an enclosed area such as your home or fenced yard.
- If you see two dogs disagreeing on territory, do not attempt to break it up because this can turn into a vicious fight which you should avoid at all cost.
- You should never touch a strange dog without letting it see and sniff you first because dogs tend to be skittish about people they do not know.
- If the dog owner is present, always ask their permission before petting or playing with it. It allows them to say no, which can help prevent any unfortunate accidents from occurring.
- If you are in the presence of a dog that is not your own, always keep an eye on it because you never know what might set off its triggers.
- Never run past a dog behind a fence or in another enclosed area because this can provoke them to chase after you or attack.
If a very aggressive dog confronts you, do not challenge it because this can turn the situation into a dangerous one. Instead, make sure to give the animal ample space to retreat should it choose to run away from you.
The best way to avoid being attacked is to ensure that you are not a threat to any dogs. If you follow these basic safety tips, this should greatly reduce the chances of being attacked by a dog in your day-to-day life.
Dog Bite Injuries
If you have been attacked by a dog or bitten by an animal, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Dog bites and animal attacks can cause severe injury that requires immediate medical attention.
Immediate medical care can reduce the risk of permanent scarring and infections. However, even if the wound does not appear particularly serious, you must visit the doctor to avoid major complications.
Risk of Infection
If you have suffered a dog bite, you must keep the injury clean to prevent an infection. Even if there are no open wounds, you should still seek medical attention because your skin can be damaged under your clothing.
Although animals are not malicious creatures by nature, the unfortunate reality is that they do not filter for their aggression. It only takes one bad moment to change your life forever, so you must take all precautions possible to avoid this from happening to you.
Dog bite injuries often involve:
- Deep puncture wounds
- Abrasions or scrapes that have been torn open by the force of a dog's bite
- Hair pulled out by the roots, often leaving behind scars
- Broken bones
- Disfigurement of the face, limbs, or other parts of the body
Dog bite cases involving children can be particularly upsetting to witness. These injuries involve just about every part of your body. Most of these wounds are caused during an initial attack, and the child is left with broken bones and severe damage to their face.
There are experiences worse during these situations than others, but every survivor of a dog attack has to deal with some form of emotional trauma. Most people cannot sleep at night because they are either haunted by images of the incident or traumatized by how close they came to death.
Treatment If You Suffered Severe Injuries for Dog Bite
Suppose you have suffered a dog bite or animal attack. In that case, you must seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible to prevent your personal injuries from becoming life-threatening.
Without proper treatment, your chances of infection increase significantly, which can lead to further complications. In addition, dog bites are often severe injuries that require immediate attention to prevent an infection or other complications.
Often, the only way to ensure proper treatment is if you visit a doctor immediately after being attacked by a dog. Some major symptoms of possible infections include:
- Chills and fever
- Redness around the wound
- Tenderness or throbbing pain
- Fluid draining from the bite site
If you experience any of these symptoms, you must visit a doctor immediately. While most dog bites are not severe, they can cause some serious damage to your skin if they become infected.
If left untreated, infections of the skin and surrounding tissues can advance and spread to the blood and other organs. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.
In addition to being attacked by a dog, animal bites can also expose you to rabies. Although most dogs are vaccinated against this virus, it only takes one case of an unvaccinated animal to cause permanent damage.
Suppose you are bitten by an animal that is not up to date with its vaccinations. In that case, you must seek immediate medical attention because you may need a rabies vaccine or rabies immune globulin injections.
Rabies can cause fever, headaches, and feelings of uneasiness. If the virus spreads to your brain and central nervous system, it can lead to serious damage. If left untreated, this virus is 100 percent fatal after the first phase of infection becomes apparent.
File a Claim
After a dog bite has occurred, you may have concerns about whether or not you need to file a claim with your insurance company. While some individuals believe that their claim will be denied because the bite occurred due to an animal, this is often not a personal injury case.
The truth of the matter is that your insurance company does not care why a dog or other animal attacked you. If you were bitten, they would cover medical treatment and related expenses up to your policy limits.
However, some companies require you to notify them within a few days of an incident to process your claim. If you do not give them notice, they may deny your claim on the basis that you did not give timely notice of an accident.
Hire a Champaign Dog Bite Lawyer to Resolve an Animal Attack Compensation Case
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of dog attacks who live throughout the state of Illinois. If an animal has attacked you or a loved one, call our Chicago law office at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form here to schedule a free consultation.
Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This promise ensures you pay nothing until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.