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You are walking on the street, and a dog approaches and bites you. Canine teeth can cause serious injuries and taking critical steps to deal with the injury is vital both to your health and your future personal injury case.

Keep reading to learn about how to deal with a dog bite injury. If you were bitten by another person’s dog, you could be entitled to significant compensation, so contact Schaumburg dog bite lawyers at Claim Your Justice today for assistance.

Why Seek Medical Treatment For A Dog Bite Right Away?

A dog bite has a high chance of injury and infection. This is because the front teeth bite into and compress tissue, and the smaller teeth also can tear the skin. A jagged, open wound is the result; if it is infected, it can be a severe problem that compromises your health.

Doctors note that the top concern with dog bites is infection. If the wound is not treated, you could need to be hospitalized and receive IV antibiotics. That is why it is critical to see a doctor immediately after a dog bite. At the very least, the literature provides that you should see a medical professional within eight hours of a dog bite injury.

How Often Do Dog Bites Happen?

The CDC reports that almost 1 million serious dog bites occur in the US annually. Some of these incidents are unavoidable. But others are because owners need to be more attentive and adequately train their dogs.

Types of Dog Bites

There are six levels of dog bites. How severe the injury is will dictate the treatments that are needed:

Level 1 – No Skin Contact

This means the dog acted aggressively but did not contact the skin. For example, the dog may have shown his teeth and growled but did not touch you. Also, Level 1 can mean the dog bit your covered arm but did no damage.

Level 2 – Skin Contact But No Damage

You may have teeth marks on the skin, but the teeth did not penetrate.

Level 3 – One Bite With Shallow Wounds

There are between one and four perforations, but they do not sink in more than 50% of the canine teeth.

Level 4 – One Bite With Deep Wounds

The dog bit only once, but there are deep wounds. The bite could make one to four perforations that are more than 50% of the canine tooth depth. In addition, there could be bites in one direOfction because you moved when the bite happened. Or, the dog shook its head.

Level 5 – Several Bites With Deep Wounds

Level 5 bites have deep wounds, which happen several times and possibly in more than one area. This can happen because the dog made several bites in one incident. Or, there could be an attack many times in one incident.

Level 6 – Flesh Consumed And/Or Death Of Victim

Level 6 is rare and involves eating flesh and the victim’s possible death. Dogs that engage in this level of biting are usually euthanized.

Steps to take after a dog bite include:

Get Medical Attention

As we noted earlier, getting immediate medical treatment is essential to reduce the chances of infection. This is especially critical if there are deep puncture wounds. The infection can even be life-threatening if the damage is not treated for many days. Also, getting immediate treatment ensures the insurance adjuster will not claim the injuries are unrelated to the dog attack.

Find Out Who The Owner Is

Of course, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog. So, it is necessary to find out who the dog belongs to. If you cannot find the owner, contact animal control to determine if the dog was microchipped.

Get Information About Insurance

Sometimes the dog owner is someone you know, such as a neighbor. Fortunately, most homeowner’s policies cover dog bites, so you do not need to be concerned about damaging your neighbor’s finances with a claim. Instead, get the insurance details from the dog owner so you can file an insurance claim.

Find Witnesses

Were there any witnesses to the dog bite injury? Obtain the contact information of anyone who was there. If there is a lawsuit, witness testimony can make or break your case.

Take Photos of the Dog Bite

Take many photos of your injuries as they heal. You could need the images as evidence for an insurance claim or lawsuit. Your doctor might not take pictures, so you should.

Remember to take photos of the images as soon as possible after the incident. It is critical to have pictures before you have medical treatment. Also, more than 1,000 people go to the ER in the US every day because of dog bites. If you are bitten on the face, you should demand treatment by a plastic surgeon; ER doctors are skilled in keeping people alive but are not trained in advanced facial surgical techniques.

Also, your medical documentation will be crucial evidence that your attorney will use during settlement negotiations. It also helps to keep a recovery journal that details your pain and how your recovery is going. This can be useful to obtain pain and suffering damages.

Contact The Attorneys At Claim Your Justice.

One of the most important steps is to hire a Schaumburg dog bite lawyer to represent you. While many injured parties think they can settle a claim independently, this is almost always a mistake. Most people do not know their claim worth and are unfamiliar with insurance settlement negotiations. Your attorney will do the following:

  • Investigate the injury
  • Determine what your dog bite claim is worth
  • Review insurance policies to determine how much coverage is available
  • Write a demand letter to the insurance company to possibly settle the claim
  • Negotiate a dog bite settlement that covers your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages
  • File a personal injury lawsuit if needed and go to trial

Illinois Dog Bite Laws

States usually have two approaches to dog bites. The most common is the ‘one bite’ rule. This means the dog can bite once without the owner is liable. The victim must show the owner was aware or should have been aware the dog could bite. If the owner never saw their dog become violent, they had no reason to believe it could bite.

But if the owner knew the dog could bite because of earlier incidents, the owner could be liable for damages. These could include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The other approach is strict liability. This means if you show the dog bit, you are entitled to compensation for your medical costs and other damages. However, you do not need to show that the owner knew the animal could become aggressive.

Illinois has a strict liability dog bite rule. 510 ILCS 5/16 states that the owner is liable for your injuries if it attacks someone who was minding their business. Also, you may be liable for damages if you were legally allowed to be on the property where the bite happened and did nothing to provoke it.

Additionally, the state’s Animal Control Act allows you to recover damages for any dog attack. So, if the dog scratched or forced you to the ground, you also can file a claim.

Note that liability can be linked to the owner or the person who controlled the dog at the time. For example, if the dog owner left the animal with their neighbor, that person could be liable if the dog bit you.

In most cases, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim. Note that the city of Chicago also has a ‘dangerous animal’ ordinance that requires owners to keep dangerous dogs away from the public. The code in Chicago defines a dangerous dog as the following:

  • The bites cause injury or kills a person without any provocation on private or public property
  • Chases or comes close to a person with the intent to attack without provocation
  • Was trained to fight or be a guard dog
  • The dog has been found to be vicious under state law

The local animal control authority decides if the dog meets these standards if there is an attack. If so, the dog could be put down, or the owner may have to obtain a dangerous animal license.

If a dangerous dog attacks you in Illinois, it is wise to have the case reviewed by a personal injury attorney. The attorney offers a free consultation to determine if you have a case. So, there is rarely anything to lose by talking to a dog-bite lawyer.

Contact Schaumburg Dog Bite Lawyers Now

If you were bitten by a dog and injured, you could have thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost income. How will you pay your bills and recover if you cannot work after the dog bite accident?

Our Schaumburg dog bite lawyers proudly represent the rights of injured clients in this community. Whether you have suffered dog bite injuries to your face, hands, or legs, our personal injury attorneys can help.

Claim Your Justice attorneys also serve injured clients in Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg, Hanover Park, Arlington Heights, and Oak Streamwood. Please contact Claim Your Justice at (847) 434-3555 to be compensated for your dog bite injuries.

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