Each year, many people in the United States sustain significant, even fatal injuries from dog bite attacks. If you or a loved one is a dog bite victim, you may able to obtain financial compensation. To help maximize the amount of this compensation, turn to the experienced Burr Ridge dog bite attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
At GWC, we know that you probably have many concerns at this difficult time, and we can provide you with the guidance you need to go forward with your dog bite claim. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Burr Ridge dog bite lawyers.
Key Statistics About Dog Bites
Even a cursory look at key statistics on dog bites reveals how common dog bite injuries are in the United States:
- More than four million people across the country get bitten by dogs every year, though only one out of every four dog attacks is ever reported.
- Each year, nearly one million people in the United States receive medical treatment for dog bites.
- Over 334,000 dog bite victims go to American emergency rooms annually.
- Approximately 12 to 15 people die nationally each year from infections and problems from dog bites.
- More than half of the victims of dog bites are children.
Dog attacks occur in nearly every environment:
- 25 percent of dogs that attack are chained;
- 25 percent of attacking dogs are unsecured in their yards;
- 23 percent of dog attacks occur inside homes;
- 17 percent of dogs that attack are off their properties; and
- 10 percent of attacking dogs are leashed or in other miscellaneous circumstances.
Those who are most likely to be killed in a dog attack are among the most vulnerable groups:
- 79 percent of dog bite fatalities are children age 12 or under;
- 12 percent are elderly, from the ages of 65 to 94; and
- 9 percent are people between ages 13 and 64.
Dog Breeds That Are More Likely to Attack
While any dog is capable of attacking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that the most dangerous breeds of dog are the following:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
As surprising as it might sound, little dogs are actually more prone to biting than big ones, though many owners of small dogs do not pay attention to their behavior because they do not realize that their pets can inflict harm.
No matter the size or breed of the dog, we recommend keeping the following in mind to prevent dog bites:
- Attacking dogs are predominantly males that have not been neutered.
- Dogs that have been trained to attack or treated badly may be more likely to bite.
- A dog’s owner is responsible for its aggression, not the individual dog or breed.
- However, a responsible dog owner can prevent a dog from behaving violently by treating it with respect and love.
- 95 percent of all child deaths occur when a child is left alone with a dog, so avoid putting your own children in jeopardy.
When Dogs Bite Children
The most common victims of dog bites are children, so it is important that we do whatever is needed to keep them safe. While we cannot control if a dog attacks, we can let our children know what they can do if they come across a vicious dog.
There are common-sense steps that parents can take to encourage dog bite safety, but the most important step is to teach a child to be cautious around dogs. They should be told never to:
- Hug or approach a dog from behind;
- Try to kiss a dog’s face;
- Pull parts of a dog’s body;
- Stare directly into its eyes; or
- Touch a dog’s food bowl.
You should also teach children to always get permission from a dog’s owner before they touch or pet the dog. And when they do go to touch the dog, they should also put their hands out first to allow the animal to sniff them.
But even if children follow all of these guidelines, they might still end up threatened by a dog. When this happens, it is essential that they:
- Stay calm;
- Speak firmly;
- Avoid screaming;
- Try not to look into the dog’s eyes;
- Do not turn their back or run away;
- Remain still until the dog leaves or back away slowly until it is no longer in sight; and
- Curl into a ball with their hands over their head and neck should they fall or get knocked down.
What You Should Do When You Are Attacked by a Dog
Though children are the most frequent targets of dog bites, the truth is that anyone can fall victim to a dog. Here is some important advice about how to protect yourself from a dog attack:
- If you encounter a dog when you are jogging, always stop and walk past it slowly, making sure to avoid eye contact or sudden movements.
- If you come across a dog that looks confused or wild-eyed, is snapping at stationary objects, or has thick saliva on its chest, it could have rabies, and you should notify the police right away.
- Stand firm when a barking or growling dog approaches, and use commands that its owner might, such as “Stay,” “Sit,” or “Lie Down.”
- Never fight or argue with a dog’s owner, as this could make the dog attack.
- Always keep your hands lowered when you are around a dog so that you do not provoke it.
- If a small dog attacks you, kick it in the body or the nose.
- If a large dog attacks you, take a fighting stance, protect your inner body by putting one leg in front of the other, and make sure that you keep your balance.
- You can punch an attacking dog in the nose, kick it in the rib cage, and pull or twist its ears to defend yourself.
- Do not fail to call for help.
- If you fall down during an attack, ball yourself up into a fetal position, making sure to cover the back of your neck and your ears.
Burr Ridge Dog Bite Lawyers Working for You
Man’s best friend can all too quickly turn into your worst enemy. If you become a dog bite victim, you might be eligible for compensation from that dog’s owners or their insurance carrier. To help maximize the amount of this compensation, do what so many have done before you and reach out to the Burr Ridge dog bite attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
GWC has recovered more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured clients, establishing itself as one of the leading Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. With their experience, determination, and reputation of success, our Burr Ridge dog bite lawyers can get you and your family the justice you deserve.
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