Far too many Americans suffer serious, sometimes fatal injuries each year because of dog bite attacks. If you or someone you love is a dog bite victim, you may eligible to receive financial compensation. To help maximize the value of any verdict or settlement, contact the experienced Chicago dog bite attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
GWC knows that you probably have many questions and concerns at this moment, and we can provide you with the answers and guidance you need to go forward with your dog bite claim. Do not hesitate to call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Chicago dog bite lawyers.
Important Dog Bite Statistics
Even a brief look at the national statistics on dog bites reveal how distressingly common these types of injuries actually are:
- Over four million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year.
- Only one out of every four dog attacks is ever reported.
- Nearly one million people across the country require medical treatment for dog bites annually.
- More than 334,000 dog bite victims go to emergency rooms every year.
- An average of 12 to 15 people die nationwide each year from various problems and infections stemming from dog bites.
- More than half of all dog attack victims are children.
Where do dog attacks occur? In practically every setting:
- 25 percent of attacking dogs are chained;
- 25 percent of these dogs are loose in their yards;
- 23 percent of attacks occur inside homes;
- 17 percent of dogs who attack are roaming off their properties; and
- 10 percent of attacking dogs are leashed or in other miscellaneous circumstances.
Who are most likely to be killed in dog bite attacks? Predominately, the victims are our most vulnerable citizens:
- 79 percent of dog bite fatalities are children under the age of 12;
- 12 percent are elderly, aged 65 to 94; and
- 9 percent are between the ages of 13 and 64.
Dog Breeds That Are Most Prone to Attack
While any dog can attack without warning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most dangerous breeds of dogs are as follows:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
Surprisingly enough, little dogs are more likely to bite than bigger dogs, though many small dog owners, unfortunately, ignore their behavior because they believe they cannot inflict harm.
Regardless of the breed or size of the dog with which you are confronted, we recommend keeping the following in mind to prevent dog bites:
- Dogs that attack are overwhelmingly males who have not been neutered.
- Dogs that are treated harshly or trained to attack may have a greater tendency to bite.
- In most cases, dog owners are responsible for their pets’ aggression, not the individual breed or dog.
- On the other hand, responsible owners can prevent their dogs from becoming violent by treating them with love and respect.
- 95 percent of all child deaths occur when an infant or toddler is left alone with a dog, so avoid putting your child in a dangerous situation.
When a Dog Bites a Child
It is a sad fact that the most common victims of dog bites are children. Our children are precious to us, so it is essential that we do whatever is necessary to promote their safety. While we cannot control whether a dog attacks, we can arm our children with the knowledge of what they should do if they encounter a vicious dog.
There are a number of common-sense steps that you can take as a parent to encourage dog bite safety for your child, but the most important one is to teach a child to be cautious around pets. Children should be told never to:
- Approach or hug a dog from behind;
- Stare directly into a dog’s eyes;
- Try to kiss a dog on the face;
- Pull parts of a dog’s body; or
- Touch a dog’s food bowl.
You should also teach your children that they must always ask permission from a dog’s owner before they pet or touch it. When they do so, they should also first put out their hand to allow the dog to sniff them.
Even if your children follow all of these precautions, though, they might still find themselves in situations where they are threatened by a dog. If they do, it is important that they:
- Remain calm;
- Do not scream;
- Speak firmly;
- Avoid looking into the dog’s eyes;
- Do not turn or run away:
- Stay still until the dog leaves or back away slowly until the dog is no longer in sight; and
- Curl into a ball with their hands over their head and neck if they fall or are knocked to the ground.
What to Do If 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 approached by a growling or barking dog, and command it to “Stay,” “Sit,” or “Lie Down.”
- Never argue or fight with a dog owner, as this could bring on an attack.
- Always keep your hands down to avoid provoking a dog.
- If you are attacked by a small dog, kick it in the nose or body.
- If you are attacked by a large dog, assume a fighting stance, making sure to protect your inner body by placing one leg in front of the other, and maintain your balance.
- To defend yourself, you can punch an attacking dog in the nose, kick it in the rib cage, and pull or twist a dog’s ears.
- Do not hesitate to yell for help.
- If you fall during a dog attack, curl up into a fetal position and cover your ears and the back of your neck.
Let Our Chicago Dog Bite Lawyers Fight for You
As you can see, man’s best friend can easily become your worst enemy. If you are unfortunate enough to become a dog bite victim, you may be able to obtain compensation from that dog’s owner or his or her insurance carrier. To help increase the amount of this compensation, turn to the Chicago dog bite attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
GWC has recovered over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured clients, earning a well-deserved reputation as one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. With their experience, determination, and fearsome record of success, our Chicago dog bite lawyers can get you and your family the justice you deserve.
Contact GWC today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a dog bite lawyer in Chicago. You can call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.
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