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 make sure this compensation is full and fair, reach out to GWC Injury Lawyers LLC and its experienced dog bite attorneys.
GWC can provide you with the guidance you need in this difficult time to go forward with your dog bite claim. Please call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Libertyville dog bite lawyers.
Important Statistics on Dog Bites
Even a quick examination of the important statistics about these types of incidents reveals how frequently dog bite injuries occur across the country:
- Four million people in the United States get bitten by dogs every year, though only one-quarter of those incidents are ever reported.
- Nearly one million American residents receive medical treatment for dog bites annually.
- Each year, more than 334,000 dog bite sufferers go to emergency rooms for care.
- An estimated 12 to 15 people die per year from infections and other problems related to dog bites.
- Children account for over half of the dog bite victims in America.
Dog attacks happen in practically every setting:
- 25 percent of dogs are chained at the time of an attack;
- 25 percent of dogs are unsecured in their own yards when they attack;
- 23 percent of dog attacks take place inside homes;
- 17 percent of dogs are away from their properties when an attack occurs; and
- 10 percent of dogs are on a leash or in other circumstances during an attack.
In the event of a dog attack, those who are most vulnerable are the most likely to be killed:
- 79 percent of them are children age 12 or younger;
- 12 percent of them are elderly people between the ages of 65 to 94; and
- 9 percent are age 13 to 64.
What Dogs Are More Likely to Attack?
While you can never really tell if a dog will attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most dangerous dog breeds include the following:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Doberman Pinschers
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
As odd as it might sound, smaller dogs are generally more likely to bite than bigger ones, but because many owners of small dogs do not believe they can cause harm, they fail to pay close attention to their behavior.
Regardless of the size or breed of the dog, there are important things to keep in mind about dog bites:
- Dogs that attack are overwhelmingly unneutered males.
- Dogs that have been abused or trained to attack are generally likelier to bite.
- But it is not the individual dog or its breed so much as the dog’s owner who is responsible for the animal’s aggression.
- Conversely, a responsible owner who treats a dog with love and respect can prevent it from acting violently.
- 95 percent of all childhood deaths occur when a child is left alone with a dog, so never put children in that risky situation.
Children Most at Risk from Dog Bites
As we have seen, children are the most common victims of dog bites and the most likely to die from them, so it is crucial that we do everything we can to keep them safe. While we can never predict or control when a dog will attack, we can teach children what they should do if they encounter a vicious dog.
The most important thing a child should learn is to always be cautious around dogs. They should never:
- Approach or hug a dog from behind;
- Grab or pull parts of a dog’s body;
- Stare directly into a dog’s eyes;
- Try to kiss a dog on the face; or
- Reach for a dog’s food bowl.
Children should also know that they must get permission from a dog’s owner before they touch or pet it. After getting permission, they should always put out their hands first to allow the dog to sniff them.
Even if children take all these precautions, though, they could still find themselves threatened by a dog. If this happens, they must remember to:
- Remain calm;
- Speak gently but firmly;
- Not scream;
- Try not to look into the dog’s eyes;
- Not turn their back or run away;
- Either keep still until the dog leaves or back away slowly until the animal is out of sight; and
- Curl into a ball with their hands covering the head and neck in the event of a knockdown or fall.
Protecting Yourself From Dog Attacks
While children are the most at risk, the reality is that we can all fall victim to a dog attack. To prevent this from happening, or to protect yourself if it does, follow these important steps:
- Always stop and walk past a dog slowly if you come across it while jogging, making certain to avoid sudden movements or eye contact.
- If you discover a dog that acts confused, bites at stationary objects, or has ropey saliva covering its chest, notify the police immediately because it could have rabies.
- Stand firm when you are approached by a growling or barking dog and use strong commands like “Stay,” “Sit,” or “Lie Down.”
- Never get into an argument or fight with a dog’s owner, since this could make the dog attack you.
- Keep your hands in a low position when you are near a dog to avoid provocation.
- If a small dog attacks, kick it in the nose or body to repel it.
- If a large dog attacks, assume a fighting stance, protect your inner body by placing one leg ahead of the other, and maintain your balance.
- To defend yourself, punch the attacking dog in the nose, twist or pull its ears, or kick it in the ribs.
- Yell for help as soon as possible.
- If you get knocked down during a dog attack, curl up into a fetal position and cover your ears and the back of your neck.
Libertyville Dog Bite Lawyers Getting You Justice
Dogs may be “man’s best friend,” but they can turn into “man’s worst enemy” in a heartbeat. If you are the victim of a dog bite, you might be eligible to receive financial compensation for your injuries. To help maximize the amount of your recovery, contact the Libertyville dog bite attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
GWC is one of the leading Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois, with more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements recovered on behalf of clients. With their experience, determination, and fearsome record of success, our Libertyville dog bite lawyers can get you and your family the justice you deserve.
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