Did you know that each day about 1,000 United States citizens require emergency treatment for a dog bite injury?
The Agency for Healthcare research and Quality published a study in 2010 showing that the number of Americans hospitalized for dog bites almost doubled over a 15-year period. Dog bites can cause serious injuries resulting in medical expenses, lost time from work, scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering. The average cost of a dog bite related hospital stay is approximately $18,200.
According to DogBite.org in the 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, Pit Bulls and Rottweiler’s accounted for 73% of the dog attacks that were fatal. From 2006 to 2008 18% of all dog attacks that resulted in death occurred off the dog owners’ property.
In Illinois, the most important legal protection a person has for dog bite cases is the “Animal Control Act”, which at its relevant part is as follows:
If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attach, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.
A dog bite victim can bring a claim against a dog owner based upon this statute, and pursuant to the Illinois common law.
The first things you should do after being bitten by a dog are:
- See a doctor immediately in order to receive necessary medical treatment and document the dog bite.
- Be sure to get the name(s) address(es) of witnesses, the dog owner and the person who had custody of the dog when you were bit.
- Be sure to file a report with your local animal control agency and/or police report.
- If the dog attack occurred in McHenry County, you can obtain a copy of the McHenry County Animal Control Report of the incident by making a Freedom of Information request:
- Make sure you take photographs of your wounds/injuries. This is very important documentation needed when dealing with the insurance companies.
- Follow up with the plastic surgeon or family doctor after your emergency room visit.
- Obtain a photograph of the dog and the scene of the attack if possible.
If you, a family member or friend were bitten by a dog, we strongly encourage you to call McHenry County Dog Bite Lawyer David N. Rechenberg (847) 854-7700 to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Franks and Rechenberg, P.C.
1301 Pyott Road, Suite 200
Lake in the Hills, IL 60156
All phone calls returned the same day