Dogs may be man’s best friend, but all too often we hear stories of people who are seriously injured in dog attacks. In fact, statistics from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that almost 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, with half of these victims being children. In addition to causing pain, injury, or nerve damage, dog bites can become infected, placing the bite victim at risk for illness or even death.
One in five dog bites cause injuries serious enough to require medical attention. Luckily, the state of Illinois offers strong protections to victims of a dog bite. When victims suffer injuries caused by dog bites or attacks that could have been prevented, there are laws in place that can help them recover their damages, including medical bills, reconstructive surgery costs, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and more.
What Should I do After a Dog Bite?
Understanding your legal rights and the steps that can be taken after a dog bite are crucial to protecting yourself and your ability to file a dog bite injury claim. Below you will find what you should know and do after a dog bite:
- Seek Medical Treatment. Just as with any accident or injury, it is best for your own safety to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Dog bites can result in serious infections and some dogs may transmit certain diseases such as rabies. Seeking medical treatment is also essential for documenting your injury.
- Identify the Dog and its Owner. Depending on the situation, it may be difficult to determine the owner of the dog. Be careful when attempting to identify a dog, especially after an attack. If you don’t know the dog or its owner, you can ask neighbors, witnesses, and other bystanders if they have seen the dog before or if they know the owner.
- Collect Information and Evidence. After a dog bite, you can protect your potential personal injury claim by collecting any relevant information and evidence, including photos. Collect all pertinent information of the dog owner, information about the dog, and contact information from any witness who may have seen the attack. You should also take pictures or video of the dog, the scene, and any visible injuries.
- File a Report. If you are able to do so, file a report with law enforcement or your local animal control. The report will help provide further evidence of your attack and will include information recorded by a neutral third party.
- Contact an Experienced Lawyer. If you’ve been injured by a dog, you should always contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights, the dog bite laws that may apply to your case, and whether you may be able to file a successful claim for damages. It’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible and to work with attorneys who have experience handling dog bite cases.
Dog Bite Injury? Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!
Time is of the essence when dealing with dog bites. Preserving evidence, finding the dog’s owner and getting witness statements are best done immediately. It’s also important to work with experienced and proven lawyers who know the laws and how to protect the rights of injured people and their families. With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case!
Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!