Dog ownership has many parallels to parenting and the manner in which dogs are raised, trained and treated by their owners can dictate how they will act when coming in contact with others. Unfortunately, Illinois is failing greatly in this area and is second only to California in regards to dog attacks. Dog owners are ultimately responsible for any injuries that are wrought upon innocent bystanders due to the aggressive nature of their pets. The Illinois dog bite attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers take dog bite claims seriously and believe that one of the keys ways we can prevent future attacks is to hold irresponsible dog owners accountable for failing to keep their dogs under control.Average Illinois Dog Bite Injury Costs Owners Nearly $30,000
We often underestimate dogs and forget that they have the same instincts that their ancestors in the wild had. They have the tendency to become territorial and will defend themselves and their territory when they feel threatened. Even smaller dogs are able to do serious harm when they bite, especially because they carry microorganisms in their saliva that can cause even the smallest of wounds to become infected. According to recent data, the average claim filed in Illinois for injuries following a dog attack was just under $29,000. In other states, the average claim has been significantly higher— New York’s average is $43,000 per attack.Un-fit Dog Owners are a Greater Problem than Aggressive Breeds
It is often a knee-jerk reaction for people to assume that aggressive dog breeds are the source of all our dog attack ills but shocking data has revealed that golden retrievers are responsible for as many— or more— attacks than Pit Bulls, German shepherds or Rottweilers. People are more likely to avoid aggressive breeds and to abuse the breeds that appear more docile and gentle. The ill treatment of an animal can make it less trusting of humans and cause it to attack when it mistakenly feels threatened.
Aggressive breeds do still present a unique issue when their owners neglect and mistreat them. Not only do they become less trusting of people, but their size and power make them even more dangerous and capable of harming innocent bystanders. Preventing dog attacks always starts at home and owners must take every measure available to keep their dogs from roaming freely as well as conditioning them properly so that they don’t attack without provocation.The People Most at Risk of Being Attacked by Dogs
Almost half of those bitten in dog attacks are small children and about two in three of the children bitten suffer wounds to the face, head or neck. To prevent these attacks, children need to be properly educated not to threaten, hit, taunt or play with a dog roughly. Postal workers are involved in thousands of dog bite incidents each year because they must walk through peoples’ yards at the risk of encountering an unfamiliar animal. It is the duty of dog owners to make sure that their dogs will not attack anyone who has the right to walk on their property, such as officers of the law and mail carriers.Types of Injuries Resulting from Dog Bites
The majority of dog attacks result in puncture wounds and lacerations that result from being bitten or scratched by the animal, but other injuries can result from the victim being knocked down during the event or due to biological agents. Following are the most common injuries resulting from dog attacks.
- Puncture wounds and lacerations. These are the most common injuries and most commonly associated wounds associated with dog attacks. Not only do these wounds result in the immediate need for medical attention, but they may cause unsightly scarring that may require multiple surgical procedures to correct.
- Contusions, abrasions and fractures during a fall. Injuries can result from the sheer force of having a dog bring you to the ground and those who suffer the most severe injuries in these cases are the elderly, whose bodies and bones are more fragile than those who are considerably younger.
- Emotional distress and anxiety. A dog bite can cause psychological trauma and some people may become anxious around animals for the rest of their lives after being victim to an attack. If an attack left irreparable scars that have altered the victim’s appearance, it can result in lack of confidence, low self-esteem and depression.
- Infections and amputations. Dogs carry numerous forms of bacteria and other microorganisms around in their saliva and an infection can cause serious complications when treating injuries. If the infection does not respond well to medication or begins to spread quickly, it can result in the need to amputate the affected limb in the most severe cases.
You should never be required to bear the financial burden of paying for medical treatment due to another person’s negligence and most dog owners are able to provide compensation to those who have been injured through a claim with their homeowners insurance. If you were attacked by another person’s dog, it is only fair that your medical treatment, ongoing care and any rehabilitative therapy be paid for by the person who is responsible. The Illinois dog bite attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are able to maximize the value of your recovery and work with insurance companies on both sides to ensure that you collect every penny that is needed to help you handle your physical recovery without worrying about the cost.
Contact us today to speak with one of our award-winning Illinois dog bite attorneys to learn more about how our team has secured the greatest amount of compensation allowed by law for our past clients and how those same methods can benefit your case. We will be happy to discuss your legal options during a free consultation and if we are unable to assist you in recovering compensation, our services won’t cost you anything.