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.
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.
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.
There are six levels of dog bites. How severe the injury is will dictate the treatments that are needed:
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.
You may have teeth marks on the skin, but the teeth did not penetrate.
There are between one and four perforations, but they do not sink in more than 50% of the canine teeth.
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 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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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 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.
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.
Client injured by a distracted driver who was texting at the time…
Student was injured and fractured several bones and required surgery to…
While at work operating a piece of manufacturing equipment, the safety…
Woman was bitten on her face by what she believed to be a vicious…
Our client suffered a back injury and will undergo spine surgery…
Client's vehicle was forced into oncoming traffic, colliding with a semi-truck...
We are highly experienced personal injury lawyers. We know how to help accident victims receive the full financial compensation they deserve. Our Winning Team is focused, dedicated, and sensitive to each of our client's needs. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.