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Child Dog Bite Lawyer: Full Compensation for Injured Kids

child-dog-bite-lawsuits Dog bites are a serious problem in the United States. Each year, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs, and one out of every five dog bite victims is a child under 12 years old.

Are you the victim of a dog bite, or did you lose a loved one in a vicious animal attack? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys help innocent victims harmed in animal attacks and can help your family too.

Call a Chicago dog bite lawyer 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.

Young Children Bitten by Dogs Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are 4.5 million dog bites each year, and half of those victims are children under the age of 12. The CDC also reports that 70 percent of all reported dog bite cases involve pediatric patients bitten in their yard or a friend's yard, and about 25 percent of the time, toddlers fall victim to dog attacks each year.

Children between the ages of 5-9 years old account for one-third of all dog bite fatalities. Young children are more likely to die from a dog bite because their smaller stature makes it difficult or impossible to defend themselves against an attacking animal.

Dog Aggression: Dog Bites That Kill

According to the Animal Medical Center of Southern California, aggressive dogs are more likely to attack children than adults. An aggressive dog is not necessarily a bigger or stronger dog, but one trained for aggressiveness, specifically to attack humans.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), "hands-on" dogs are at the highest risk of attacking when they feel their owner is threatened. These dogs are usually trained for protection and require the thickest, strongest leashes to hold them in place until their owners can control them.

Dog Bites: Who Is Responsible?

In many cases, a dog's owners may be held responsible if the animal injures someone, especially if the dog has shown signs of aggression before. Owners may also be held accountable when a dog bites or attacks another animal.

When a third party is at fault in an attack, the victim has legal recourse for damages against that person. Victims can recover compensation for their physical injuries, medical expenses, and other damages through pre-trial settlement negotiations or court proceedings.

Dog bite victims need to understand their legal rights after an animal attack because insurance companies will often try to settle the claim quickly at a very low figure to avoid expensive litigation costs.

Dog Attack Statistics by Breed

Another study by the CDC reveals that while certain breeds of dogs are more likely to bite humans than others, these breeds are not more likely to cause severe injuries. The study also reports that certain children's age groups and behaviors increase the likelihood of dog bites.

Although pit bulls and Rottweilers were responsible for many reported dog attacks in Chicago, other dogs, including German shepherds, huskies, Saint Bernard, terriers, and mixes of these breeds, were also responsible for serious injuries.

Dog breeds involved in the most reported attacks include:

  • Pit Bulls – 50%
  • Rottweilers – 10%
  • German Shepherds – 5%
  • Huskies – 3%
  • Bernard – 2.6%
  • Terriers – 2.4%
  • Chows – 1%
  • Akitas – 0.2%

Pit Bulls are responsible for half of dog bite-related fatalities, even though they make up only 2 percent of the total dog population, according to The organization reports that pit bulls were responsible for 60 percent of all dog bite fatalities in 2019.

Most dog bites that do not require immediate medical attention are never reported to animal control. It means that many attacks are not included in official reports of dog bites posted by the Centers for CDC.

Dog Bite Prevention for Children

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that parents can prevent dogs from attacking their children. To prevent dog bites:

  • Never leave a child unattended with a dog or puppy, even if they are normally peaceful
  • Discourage playing aggressive games like wrestling or tug of war with any animal, including strange dogs and familiar dogs, which encourages dogs to do the same
  • Give children basic commands to stop, go away, and leave it to help them stop all bad behavior quickly
  • Never tease or hit a dog
  • Insist that children give dogs space when they are eating, sleeping, or chewing on toys
  • Encourage children to greet dogs slowly, allowing them to sniff one another before making physical contact
  • Provide young children with "busy" toys that are not attractive to dogs, such as stuffed animals, dolls, and balls
  • Always supervise any interaction between your child and a dog especially important if the dog is not familiar with the child

Tail wagging is not always an indicator that the animal is friendly. Although some dogs wag their tails when they are happy, many tail-wagging dogs are defensive.

Some animals may feel compelled to defend themselves or their owners by attacking an unknown person in their territory.

Attractive Nuisance

The victim was not a trespasser and owed no duty to the dog owner other than to refrain from trespassing on his property.

  • The victim was not committing or attempting to commit any crime at the time the dogs attacked her
  • The dogs were lawfully confined in an enclosure on private property, and their owner did not know prior canine aggression
  • Even if the dogs did not bite or injure anyone before, they were still considered to be "at large" because their owner had left them unattended for more than a brief duration
  • The victim's mother was lawfully on the property to get her daughter

There were no prior incidents, other than the dog bites themselves, that indicated any propensity of the dogs to attack humans. The dog's owner did not see them before they escaped from their enclosure.

Other Notable Dog Attack Cases

In a similar case, a mother sued a homeowner after her daughter was bitten by a dog in the woman's yard. In this case, two five-year-old girls were playing hide and seek in the yard when one of them disappeared.

The girl's mother was looking for her when she heard screaming and found her daughter attacked two dogs. She beat the biting dogs with a cane and called 911, but only after suffering bites on both hands.

The homeowner told police that her dogs were normally very quiet and that she was not aware that they had gotten out of their kennel. In this case, the court ruled that the homeowner owed a duty to the mother and child as invitees on her property to take reasonable precautions against harm from known dangers.

In another case, a ten-year-old boy died after being attacked by his neighbor's dog. The boy played with his eight-year-old sister in the backyard when their older brother's friend came by to play.

The friend ran up to the dogs' pen and began teasing them, which caused one of them to jump out and attack him. The neighbor tried unsuccessfully to beat off the dog without a weapon.

The child ran to get his mother, but the dog had already broken his skin in several places this time. He died of blood loss at an area hospital later that evening. Police officers could not catch the dog after being called because the dog was still running loose in the neighborhood.

In this case, the court found no evidence that the dog had ever acted aggressively before. However, it also ruled that the neighbor owed no duty to protect children who went onto his property without his knowledge or permission.

Since homeowners are held to a certain degree of responsibility for what happens on their property, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities to protect others from your dog.

It is also important to understand the extent of your liability in cases where a dog injures a child. Under no circumstances, however, should you leave a young child alone with any dog without adult supervision for any period.

Legal and Financial Remedies for Dog Bite Victims

If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you should immediately report the incident to your medical provider. If possible, try to obtain copies of any medical records that your doctor or hospital creates.

You should also contact your homeowner's insurance company if the dog were on your property when it bit someone else or if its owner was negligent in keeping the dog off of your property.

If you are an adult who was bitten or a child under 18 was injured by a dog bite, it is important to gather all of the information you need to file a claim before an official investigation begins.

You can also seek financial assistance for medical bills and other expenses that you might have to pay due to the dog bite.

Dog Bite Lawsuits

Suppose the insurance company refuses to pay your claim. In that case, you may also be able to file a lawsuit against the dog's owner or even the animal control agency that was responsible for keeping track of the dog.

Since not all injuries are the same, it is important to seek legal advice before filing the paperwork. In addition, certain time limits apply to these cases, so it is important to act quickly.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Family members who lost a loved one to a dog attack may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in some cases. It will depend on the circumstances surrounding the case, though.

For example, in one case where a man died after being attacked by two pit bulls that escaped their owner's yard, it was found that the victim might have provoked the dogs in some way just before the attack.

If the victim's family can convince a court that there was something wrong with how the dogs were treated or trained, it is possible to file a wrongful death claim.

Some cities have ordinances requiring owners to take additional precautions when training pit bulls. It may also affect whether someone could file a wrongful death claim following an attack by the animal.

Negligence and Dog Bites

In cases where a dog owner was negligent in handling their pet, it might be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against that person. For example, if you were bitten because the owner did not take proper precautions to control the animal, then you may be able to sue for damages.

For example, in one California case where a Rottweiler escaped from its yard and attacked a woman who was out walking her dog, the court found insufficient evidence to determine the dog owner's liability.

However, in another case involving two dogs biting another dog, it was determined that the evidence was enough to hold the owner accountable for failing to keep his dogs in a fenced yard.

Animal Control Offenses and Dangerous Dogs

If someone's dog attacks you, your pet, or another person, it is important to report this incident to the local animal control agency. They will investigate whether or not the dog should be declared "dangerous" or "vicious."

If the dog has had prior bites, attacks, or aggressive behavior, it is usually pretty easy for animal control to declare the dog dangerous. However, if there is not enough evidence that the animal is a threat, they might only require that the owner take certain precautions (such as muzzling the dog in public or keeping it on a leash).

If the animal is declared dangerous, the owner will have to keep other people safe. They might also have to pay fines or face criminal charges if there are any additional attacks by the dog.

Animal Rights vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits

There are instances where attempts to sue for damages may be blocked because of laws protecting the animal. For example, in California, people cannot sue on behalf of their pets or other animals if they are severely injured or killed by another person's dog.

This law was enacted to prevent frivolous lawsuits filed in some other states against pit bull owners following an attack by a dog. If this law applies to you, it is important to act quickly because there are time limits on filing personal injury lawsuits against an animal owner that has caused harm.

Dog Bite Injuries Treated in the Emergency Room

Children who often survive horrific dog bites face months and years of medical treatment and physical therapy. In addition, many of these victims require plastic surgery, and some suffer permanent disfigurement or scarring because of the attack.

These wounded children also require physical rehabilitation to restore their pre-existing abilities and to regain lost function. Some victims are left with physical disabilities that affect them for the rest of their lives.

In addition to medical treatment, some victims require mental health services because of the trauma they have experienced.

Any victim who requires paramedic care, hospitalization, or surgery due to a dog attack should contact a personal injury attorney with experience litigating these kinds of cases. Dog bites occur suddenly and cause incredibly intense pain, shock, and fear. Many victims feel that they cannot escape their attacker.

Victims of dog bites never forget the terror of this type of assault. Even years later, the mere mention of the attack can make them feel afraid and panic-stricken.

Dog Bite Victims Who Suffer Long-Term Disfigurement

Dog bites often result in permanent disfigurement or scarring, leaving victims with lifelong disabilities. Even when they do not cause physical injury, dog attacks can still be extremely traumatic for their victims.

  • Children are especially susceptible to psychological harm because of the lasting effects of a vicious mauling when their face or body is disfigured in the attack.
  • In some cases, the emotional trauma caused by a dog attack can require intensive mental health care from therapists or psychiatric facilities.
  • Victims who do not receive psychological treatment may still need professional help to overcome their trauma and loss of self-esteem

Hiring a Dog Attack Lawyer to Resolve a Compensation Claim

Was your child bitten in a dog attack? You can file a claim to recover compensation for your losses, but hiring the right legal team to support your case is crucial.

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyer, LLC, we can help the victims of dog attacks seek compensation for their injuries. Call (888) 424-5757 today or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Our personal injury law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency basis. The promise ensures you pay no upfront fees until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict.

Children Bitten by Dogs Resources:

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