What Dogs Are Most Likely To Bite?

dog bite

As Illinois personal injury attorneys, we have handled many cases related to dog bites. Understanding which dogs are more likely to bite is a matter of public safety and has legal implications under Illinois law. This blog post aims to provide insight into canine behavior and breed tendencies concerning biting incidents, alongside an overview of relevant Illinois statutes governing liability in dog bite cases.

Understanding Illinois Dog Bite Law

In Illinois, dog bite cases are governed by the Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/). This statute holds the dog owner or custodian liable if their dog bites a person without provocation and the person is conducting themselves peaceably in a place they are lawfully allowed to be. This law employs a strict liability approach, meaning the victim does not need to prove the owner’s negligence. Dog owners must understand this liability, underscoring the importance of responsible pet ownership and training.

Canine Behavior and Bite Tendencies

While any dog can bite under certain circumstances, studies and statistical analyses suggest that certain breeds exhibit a higher propensity for biting. It’s important to note that a dog’s tendency to bite is often influenced by various factors, including breeding, training, socialization, health, and the environment in which it is raised. Breeds often cited for higher bite incidents include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and some terrier breeds. However, it’s crucial to understand that breed alone doesn’t determine a dog’s likelihood to bite; individual behavior plays a significant role.

Risk Factors for Dog Bites

Beyond breed, other factors contribute to the likelihood of a dog bite. These include lack of socialization, poor training, a history of aggression, the dog’s health status, and the context in which the dog interacts with people. Dogs that are scared, in pain, or protecting their territory or offspring are more likely to bite. Additionally, situations where a dog feels trapped or unable to escape can increase bite risk.

Legal Responsibility and Prevention

As a personal injury attorney, I have advised clients on the prevention and legal ramifications of dog bites. Prevention is key and includes responsible pet ownership, such as proper training, socialization, regular veterinary care, and understanding of dog body language. Legally, owners are advised to familiarize themselves with local ordinances in addition to state laws, as some Illinois municipalities have specific regulations regarding certain breeds or require additional insurance coverage.

The Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit Process in Illinois

In Illinois, the dog bite lawsuit process involves several critical steps, each necessitating a skilled attorney. From the initial filing to potential settlement or trial, a lawyer’s guidance is crucial for navigating the complexities of Illinois law, ensuring proper representation, and advocating for the victim’s rights and interests.

1. Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation – The first step after a dog bite incident is to consult SJ Injury Law. An attorney’s role here is to evaluate the case, assess the injuries and circumstances, and determine the feasibility of a claim under Illinois law (Animal Control Act – 510 ILCS 5). We will gather essential information, offer legal advice, and outline the possible outcomes of pursuing a claim or lawsuit.

2. Investigation and Evidence Gathering – A thorough investigation is crucial for building a solid case. SJ Injury Law will collect evidence, including medical records, photographs of injuries, witness statements, and any available information about the dog and its owner. We will also investigate the dog’s history and determine if there were previous incidents of aggression or bites, which can significantly strengthen the case.

3. Filing the Lawsuit – Once the evidence is gathered, we will make a claim or file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim. This involves drafting and submitting legal documents to the appropriate court. Our experienced attorneys ensures that the lawsuit is filed within the statute of limitations (generally two years in Illinois for personal injury claims) and adheres to all procedural requirements.

4. Negotiating with Insurance Companies – Most dog bite cases involve negotiations with insurance companies. Our attorney’s role is to handle these negotiations on behalf of the victim, aiming to secure a fair settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. SJ Injury Law’s experience in dealing with insurance adjusters and understanding of the law is invaluable in preventing lowball offers and ensuring adequate compensation.

5. Preparing for and Going to Trial – The injury case may go to trial if a settlement is not reached. Our attorneys prepare the case for court, including gathering additional evidence, prepping witnesses, and developing a compelling argument. During the trial, we present the case, cross-examine witnesses, and work to persuade the jury of the defendant’s liability and the extent of our client’s damages.

6. Post-Trial and Appeals – Even after a verdict is reached, the role of your attorney may continue. We can assist with post-trial motions or appeals if necessary. If the verdict is in the victim’s favor, the attorney helps collect the judgment, ensuring the victim receives the compensation awarded.

Experienced Legal Representation Is Key To Maximum Compensation

Each step in the Illinois dog bite lawsuit process is intricate and requires legal experience. SJ Injury Law provides the necessary legal knowledge and skills and offers support and guidance through what can be a challenging and emotional experience for the victim. Their representation is key in navigating the legal system, advocating for the victim’s rights, and striving for the best possible outcome.

Understanding which dogs are more likely to bite, coupled with knowledge of Illinois dog bite law, is essential for both dog owners and the general public. While certain breeds are statistically more likely to bite, individual dog behavior, training, and the owner’s responsibility are critical in preventing such incidents. In the unfortunate event of a dog bite, Illinois law provides clear guidelines on liability, emphasizing the importance of responsible dog ownership. Consulting with our experienced Illinois personal injury attorney can clarify legal options and rights for those affected by a dog bite.

Call SJ Injury Law’s Schaumburg Dog Bite Lawyers For Legal Justice!

If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite, understanding your valuable legal rights is crucial. At SJ Injury Law, we help you navigate the complexities of Illinois dog bite laws to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Our experienced team is committed to providing exceptional legal representation. Don’t let uncertainty overtake you – take the first step towards recovery. Contact our Schaumburg dog bite lawyers at SJ INJURY LAW at (847) 434-3555 to receive your free injury consultation. Let us be your advocate during this difficult time.

Steps To Take If You Suffer A Dog Bite Injury

dog bite

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.