People all around the country enjoy the companionship of dogs. We think of our dogs as affectionate pets, loyal friends, and family members. Tragically, when irresponsible owners abuse or improperly train their dogs, these animals can become aggressive and dangerous. Dog bites can cause immense pain, long-lasting damage—even death. More than 800,000 people have to receive medical attention for dog bites each year in the United States. While the attack can be overwhelming enough, many victims then face the prospect of financial struggle and emotional trauma. Hospital bills can add up quickly, and people can lose wages when they are forced to take time off from work to recover. Thankfully, dog bite victims have strong legal protections in Illinois. The dog bite lawyers at Spiros Law, P.C. understand that victims of a damaging dog bite deserve, and can often receive, financial compensation to help offset the costs of the attack.
Some people wonder if owners can be expected to pay damages for their dog’s behavior. After all, dogs have their own instincts and impulses. Can a person be considered responsible for a dog’s actions? Illinois law has the answer: absolutely. If a dog bites you, that dog’s owner or keeper failed in their responsibility to ensure your safety. The law expects an individual in charge of a dog to take reasonable measures to prevent a bite. For example, an owner should:
- Keep dogs on a leash when in public
- Treat dogs with affection and care because animal abuse can lead to aggressive behavior
- Keep dogs away from small children
- Keep dogs fenced in or contained on their own property, especially if entertaining visitors
- Train dogs not to be aggressive
Illinois has set up strict liability for dog owners. That means a dog’s keeper has a serious legal obligation to keep you safe from their dog, even if they don’t think the dog is dangerous. Because dogs can cause terrible damage to the human body, Illinois law sternly requires dog owners to anticipate and prevent any bites.
The Dangers of Dog Bites
As loyal, caring, and smart as dogs can be, their ancestors were hunters and they have the jaws to prove it. These jaws can do immense physical damage to people. Small children in particular are at risk of death since their height roughly puts their heads in easy snapping range of large dogs. Some of the common dangers of dog bites include:
- Puncture wounds
- Blood loss
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Neck injuries
- Deep cuts or tears in the flesh
Any one of these wounds could result in intense pain and long, torturous recovery. Victims can be burdened with emotional trauma, medical bills, and lost time working. If you or a loved one has suffered because of a dog bite, the experienced legal team at Spiros Law, P.C. is ready to fight to secure your financial compensation.
Large Dog Breeds and Bites
Several specific dog breeds are statistically behind a large percentage of serious bites in the country. Their imposing size and powerful jaws can certainly make them dangerous. However, it is important to note that dog aggression has been much more firmly linked to owner abuse or neglect than to any specific breed. This fact simply reinforces that owners have to be held accountable when their dogs bite. When the keeper of any large, strong dog encourages aggressive behavior, the animal is likely to bite and to cause damage. Some dog breeds physically powerful enough to inflict serious wounds include:
- Pit bull terriers, commonly called the pit bull
- German shepherds
- American bulldogs
- Doberman pinschers
- Labradors, commonly called the lab
- Chow chows
Some areas, such as apartment complexes or neighborhood parks, have implemented breed restrictions. If an owner breaks the rules and brings in a dog of a restricted breed, a bite victim may be due monetary recompense.
At the moment a dog bite occurs it can cause terror, pain, and, tragically, even death. This is agonizing enough; the aftermath should not leave a victim with unpayable bills or any financial stress. If you or someone close to you has suffered from a dog bite, contact the dedicated attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. to discuss the specifics of your case. You deserve financial compensation if an owner’s carelessness caused or failed to prevent the attack. Call us at (815) 929-9292 to discuss your case.