The Illinois Dog Bite Lawyers at the Noll Law Office Explain Common Dog Bite Injuries
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog bite in Illinois, it’s essential to understand the seriousness of these injuries as well as what legal options you may have against the dog’s owner for coverage of your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Dog bites can cause severe physical and emotional harm. If you have been bitten, attacked or otherwise injured by a dog, you should seek medical care immediately.
When you are able, call the dog bite lawyers at the Noll Law Office. Their attorneys are experienced dog bite trial attorneys who have helped clients recover money from dog owners’ insurance companies. These funds help the injured pay for past and future medical bills, lost wages as they recover from their injuries, pain and suffering as well as other damages sustained due to a dog attack.
The lawyers at the Noll Law Office have litigated dog bite cases all over the State of Illinois. They offer personalized attention and aggressive advocacy in court. If you have been injured, call them today for a FREE consultation at (217) 414-8889. If you are their client, the Noll Law Office will forward all the expenses of litigation. In addition, they work on a contingency fee which means they will take a portion of your settlement or jury verdict if they are successful. You won’t owe them anything if they are unsuccessful. With this arrangement, you don’t have to worry about coming up with legal fees as you recover from your injuries.
Facts and Statistics about Dog Bites
Dog bites are a serious issue in Illinois with many victims suffering from physical, emotional, and financial damage. Here are some key facts and statistics that highlight the severity of dog bites in the state:
- According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs yearly.
- In one year, the Insurance Information Institute reported that dog bites accounted for one-third of all homeowner liability claims resulting in $882 million in payouts.
- Dog attack victims suffer over $1 billion in monetary losses annually.
- Children are particularly vulnerable to dog bites, accounting for approximately 50% of all cases.
- The most common breeds involved in dog bites in Illinois include pit bulls, German shepherds, and mixed breeds.
- While common dog bite injuries can range in severity from minor scratches to severe trauma, many victims require medical attention, including surgery, hospitalization, and ongoing treatment.
What Are Common Dog Bite Injuries in Illinois?
Dog bites can cause significant injuries and emotional trauma for victims. In Illinois, around 20% of dog bites require medical attention, with more than half of these injuries requiring hospitalization. Based on State Farm’s data, Illinois ranked second in the nation for dog-bite claims making it second only to California on their Top 10 list for dog-bite claims.
The Illinois Animal Control Act is partly responsible for the state’s high number of dog bite claims. The Act creates heightened liability for dog owners. It provides that if a dog or other animal attacks or injures a person without provocation, then the owner is liable for the full amount of any injuries sustained. This heightened liability is designed to encourage tight control of animals to protect the public from harm.
Unfortunately, despite the legal protections in place, many dog bites still occur and victims can suffer a range of injuries. Some of the most common dog bite injuries include:
- Lacerations or Tears in the Skin: Lacerations or tears in the skin occur when a dog’s teeth tear through the skin and underlying tissue. These injuries can result in significant bleeding and are often deep enough to require stitches or other medical treatment. Some possible complications of lacerations or tears include infection, scarring, and nerve or tissue damage. The healing time for lacerations and tears varies depending on the severity of the injury. Treatment may include stitches, dressings, or surgery. Long-term scarring is also a common complication and may require cosmetic surgery (insurance companies love to argue this is not necessary and shouldn’t be included in a settlement) or other treatments to minimize its appearance.
- Scarring: Scarring is a common complication of dog bite injuries and can be physically and emotionally devastating. Scars can form from deep wounds or from surgical incisions made to treat the wounds. The timeline for scar formation can vary from person to person, but generally, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more for a scar to fully mature. The scar may be painful, itchy, and discolored during this time.
- Nerve Damage: When a dog bites, their teeth can cause nerve damage in the affected area. Nerves may be compressed, stretched, or severed, leading to numbness, tingling, or even paralysis. The symptoms of nerve damage can vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. Nerve damage can be permanent and may require long-term treatment, including physical therapy or surgery. In some cases, nerve damage may affect a person’s ability to work, care for themselves, or enjoy everyday activities. It can also lead to chronic pain, muscle weakness, or loss of sensation in the affected area.
- Broken Bones: Dog bites can also result in broken bones, especially in children or elderly adults. These injuries can be extremely painful and require immediate medical attention. Some possible complications of broken bones include infection, long-term complications such as arthritis, or reduced mobility. Broken bones from dog bites can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, and it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention and legal help to pursue compensation for your injuries and recover any medical expenses.
- Injuries to the Veinous Structure: Dog bites can also cause injuries to the veinous structure, including veins and arteries. These injuries can result in severe bleeding and require immediate medical attention. When a dog bites, their teeth can puncture the skin and damage blood vessels, leading to significant blood loss. Injuries to the veinous structure can also lead to potential long-term complications such as blood clots or reduced blood flow to the affected area. If not treated promptly, injuries to the veinous structure can be life-threatening.
- Puncture Wounds: Puncture wounds are a common type of injury resulting from dog bites. They occur when a dog’s teeth penetrate the skin, leaving a small, deep wound that can be difficult to clean. Puncture wounds are particularly dangerous as they can appear minor but can cause significant damage beneath the surface. Complications of puncture wounds can include nerve damage, loss of sensation, muscle damage, and scarring. In addition, victims may sometimes require surgery or long-term rehabilitation to fully recover. Infections are a significant concern for puncture wounds since they can quickly become contaminated with bacteria from a dog’s mouth. If left untreated, infections can become serious and potentially life-threatening. To prevent infection, a medical professional should clean puncture wounds thoroughly. Antibiotic prophylaxis is commonly recommended for high-risk bite wounds and should be considered for average-risk wounds. Treatment options for scars can include topical treatments, such as silicone gel sheets or creams, and surgical procedures to remove or reduce the appearance of scars.
- Infection: Dog bites can cause serious infections, including tetanus, rabies, and sepsis. Symptoms of diseases may include pain, swelling, redness, fever, and drainage from the wound. One in five dog bites become infected. Immediate medical attention is critical for preventing complications and reducing the risk of long-term damage. If you suspect your dog bite has become infected, seek medical attention.
- Emotional Trauma and PTSD: In addition to physical injuries, dog bites can cause emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emotional trauma can lead to long-term effects on a person’s mental and emotional health, and PTSD can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. For example, dog bite victims may experience flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression.
What Should I Do if a Dog Bites Me?
If a dog bites you, seeking medical attention immediately is important, especially if the wound is deep or bleeding heavily. You should also report the incident to your local animal control agency, which can help investigate the incident and identify the dog’s owner. It’s also important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights and pursue compensation for your injuries.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Recover for My Dog Bite Injuries?
Illinois law allows dog bite victims to seek compensation from the dog’s owner or other responsible parties for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and other damages. The compensation you can recover depends on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Can I Sue if I Get Bitten by a Dog?
Yes, you can sue if you get bitten by a dog. According to the Animal Control Act in Illinois, the owner or keeper of an animal is responsible for injuries to people, even if not caused by a bite, and without negligence on the part of the owner. This statute applies to anyone with a property right in the animal, who keeps or harbors the animal, or who knowingly permits the animal to remain on any premises. Based on this statute, a dog bite victim can bring a claim against the dog owner. Victims can also seek damages for negligence, including violating a statute or ordinance which would have prevented the attack, or for damages for emotional distress. Residential property owners can also be held liable for a dog attack that occurs in a common area.
Click Here to Read About What to Do After a Dog Bite Incident at a Dog Park
How an Illinois Dog Bite Injury Attorney at the Noll Law Office Can Help
Dog bites can cause severe physical and emotional harm, and it is essential to seek medical and legal help if a person or their loved one has been injured in a dog bite incident. At the Noll Law Office, their experienced personal injury attorneys have helped many Illinois residents recover compensation for dog bite injuries. Victims of dog bites are encouraged to contact the Noll Law Office today to schedule a free consultation and get the help they need.
It’s clear that dog bites are a severe problem in Illinois and victims need help to recover physically, emotionally, and financially. The Noll Law Office understands the complexities of these cases and can help clients get the justice and compensation they deserve. The experienced dog bite lawyers at the Noll Law Office are skilled and knowledgeable in handling dog bite claims. If you or your child has been bitten, contact the Noll Law Office today.
- Experience: The Noll Law Office has been serving the people of Illinois for over 75 years. Their attorneys have a proven track record of success in dog bite cases recovering compensation for their clients. The Noll Law Office understands the factual and legal issues of these traumatic cases.
- Personal attention: The Noll Law Office takes a personal approach to each case. The attorneys understand every client is unique and take the time to get to know them and their specific needs. In addition, they work closely with their clients throughout the legal process to ensure they are informed and comfortable at every step.
- Commitment to client satisfaction: The law firm believes that its clients deserve the best possible outcome and are committed to achieving that goal. Their attorneys work tirelessly to negotiate with insurance companies and represent their clients in court to fight for the compensation they deserve.
The Noll Law Office is committed to helping dog bite victims get the justice and compensation they deserve. Those who have been injured in dog attacks can contact us today for a free consultation at (217) 414-8889.