What to Do if You’re Bitten By a Dog | Staver
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What to Do if You’re Bitten By a Dog

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Personal Injury, Premises Liability

Even if they are man’s best friend, dogs can be dangerous. Whether they’re in a stressful or unfamiliar environment or if they’re lacking training, a dog could attack you or your children. These attacks can have significant impact on you and leave lifelong physical and emotional scars.

Knowing what to do if you’re attacked by a dog is critical to keeping yourself safe and securing your future. Learn more about dog bites and how to handle them if you’re bitten in Chicago.

Dog Bites Are Serious Injuries

A staggering 4.5 million estimated dog bites happen annually in the United States. Not every bite means an emergency room visit, but nearly one million individuals every year need ER treatment after a dog bite.

Dogs typically bite arms and hands when they attack. Sadly, children are most likely to be victims of dog bite attacks, with nearly 30% of fatal attacks involving victims aged one to four years old. And while it might seem like a stereotype, mail carriers are also commonly attacked: more than 5,300 mail carriers reported dog bites in 2022.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Injury

Dog bites can cause devastating injuries, and it’s critical you act quickly after an attack to ensure a physical recovery. You may need to file a lawsuit to cover your medical expenses after a dog attacks you or a loved one.

Report the Injury to Authorities

Even if the owner tells you you’re fine, you should call emergency services to report the dog attack. You’ll be able to get a medical evaluation from EMTs. Police can generate an incident report, which will document your attack, the dog owner’s information, and provide proof of the dog’s rabies vaccination.

The Chicago Animal Care & Control can investigate the incident.

Get the Contact Information of the Person Walking the Dog

You should get the dog owner’s information, or the information of whoever was controlling the dog at the time of the attack. If you cannot get this information before the person leaves the area, the police should include it in their incident report. You’ll need this person’s information when you file your personal injury lawsuit.

You should also get the contact information of eyewitnesses or look for anyone who may have recorded the incident. You can use CCTV footage or cellphone photographs or videos. This evidence will be critical to build your claim.

Get Medical Treatment

Whether it’s a minor bite or something more severe, you need to get treatment after you’re attacked by a dog. If emergency responders don’t treat you at the scene, you should go to a provider as soon as possible. Not only will they be able to clean the wound properly, but they can also accurately record your wounds. Although rabies may not be on the top of the list of your concerns, a dog bite is an open wound, so infections are possible.

Document Your Damages

When you get treatment, the medical provider will likely take pictures of the wound for their records. You should also get photographs. You’ll need to document your wound, any damaged or ripped clothing, and the area where you were attacked.

Say you were attacked in a park: you need to get images of the area and find if there were any signs about how to handle dogs. If there was something telling dog owners to keep their pets on a leash, that’s critical information for a lawsuit.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Even if you’re the biggest fan of dogs around, when you’ve suffered a dog attack, you are entitled to compensation. You should talk to a local personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. They’ll be able to advise you on matters like starting a claim and how to handle things with the dog owner’s insurance provider. Once you talk to your attorney, you can proceed with an injury claim or a lawsuit.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me After a Dog Bite?

Personal injury lawyers can help ensure you’re taken care of after a dog attack. Your attorney will be able to ensure you get the maximum compensation from a negligent dog owner. Pet owners can be held responsible when their animal attacks or injures someone else, according to the Illinois Animal Control Act.

Dog attacks won’t just cause physical damage. You have to consider the psychological impact a dog bite can have, especially if it was your child attacked by a dog. You may be facing expensive hospital bills, and you may be able to recover compensation to pay for counseling.

Your attorney can help you calculate what your claim is worth, how to pursue it, and ensuring you stand the best chance at recovering the money you deserve.

Contact a Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog attacks can be sudden and unexpected. Working with a lawyer can help you deal with the aftermath of a vicious bite, and the Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. are ready to help you. We know there are a number of parks in Chicago, or even neighborhoods, that you and your family may want to enjoy. You should not have to be on alert to prevent a dog bite.

If you’re attacked because a pet owner neglects to stop their dog, you have a case for a dog bite claim. We’re ready to hear your story and fight for the compensation you need.

Call (312) 236-2900 or use our online form to get started with a free consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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