Trick-or-treating is one of the great things about being a kid. It can be fun for parents as well, as they escort their wizards, princesses, superheroes, and villains around the neighborhood. But all of that door knocking and running around in front of houses isn’t necessarily a good time for dogs. Many dogs get agitated, protective, and hostile during all of that hustle and bustle and, without warning, can attack and bite a child.
Dog Attacks Figures
Half Of All Dog Bite Victims Are Kids
Approximately 4.5 million Americans suffer dog bites every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These attacks result in hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits, thousands of hospitalizations, and scores of deaths. More than half of all dog bite victims are children, and 26 percent of kids bitten go to the ER or otherwise need medical attention. In fact, the CDC says that dog attacks are a more significant health risk for children than measles, mumps, and whooping cough combined.
A dog bite can have devastating effects on a child. It can cause serious and permanent injuries, including disfigurement that requires reconstructive surgery and leaves them scarred for life. The psychological and emotional scars can be just as deep.
Keeping kids safe from dog attacks on Halloween requires effort by dog owners who give candy to trick-or-treaters as well as the parents who accompany their kids while they collect their bounty.
Dog Owner Liability: The Key Tips For Dog Owners:
- Keep your dog away from the front door during trick-or-treating hours and put them in a crate or behind a closed door elsewhere in your home.
- Close your drapes or blinds so that your dog can’t see the activity outside the window.
- Give your dog a bone, toy, or other item to keep them occupied.
- Open your door for trick-or-treaters before they knock or ring the doorbell to keep from startling your dog.
Tips For Trick-Or-Treaters And Their Parents
- Skip houses where a dog is outside in the backyard or barking behind a fence.
- If you see a dog when the homeowner opens their door, stay put but ask the owner to move their dog away from the door.
- Do not approach a dog no matter how friendly it appears or even if you know the dog since a costume may make you seem like a stranger.
- “Be a Tree” if a dog escapes and approaches you: stand still with your hands folded in front while looking at your feet. He will likely just sniff you and then move on.
What To Do If A Dog Attacks You Or Your Child
If a dog does attack you or your child, seek medical attention as soon as possible once the attack is over and the dog contained. Also, if possible, get contact and insurance information from the dog owner. Dog bite injuries are usually covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy which can provide a source of significant compensation for victims. In many circumstances, Illinois law allows dog bite victims to hold the dog’s owner responsible for any injuries or losses.
At The Romaker Law Firm, our Chicago dog bite lawyers have extensive experience and a long record of success obtaining compensation for victims of dog attacks. We hold dog owners accountable for their failure to protect others and work tirelessly to get the maximum amount of damages available to compensate innocent victims for their injuries, pain, and other losses.
If you or your child were the victim of a dog bite or attack, we invite you to contact us for your free consultation in Spanish or English. We will listen to your story, answer your questions, and advise you of your options. If we believe you have a claim against the dog’s owner, we will fight to get you money to compensate you for:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Past and future lost earnings
- Your pain and suffering
- All other losses caused by the dog’s attack
Call us at (312)-377-7000 or reach out online today at ROMAKERLAW.COM to set up your free dog bite injury consultation in Spanish or English. Have a safe and Happy Halloween.