Dogs present a potential occupational hazard for people who work outdoors. Although postal workers suffer more dog bites than most outdoor workers, utility workers, landscape contractors, police officers and delivery drivers also get bitten by aggressive dogs while performing their jobs. A personal injury lawyer in Woodstock can provide valuable information for dog bite safety concerns. Most dog bites are unprovoked, but they can cause pain, sore limbs, and skin infections that result in time away from work and lost wages.
According to statistics from a Schaumburg Veterinary Medical Association, letter carriers are the third most common dog bite victims, behind children and the elderly. According to reports from USPS, they suffer more than 3,000 dog bite injuries from dog attacks every year. In 2013, Chicago reported 47 dog attacks for the year, as compared to Houston who reported the highest number of dog attacks for the year with a total of 63.
According to NBC News, a pack of pit bulls attacked a man on Chicago's west side, sending him to the hospital with critical injuries. Medical reports stated that the dogs were aggressive and going in for the kill, biting the man more than 40 times on his face, back, arms and legs.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a northwest side Chicago man is facing a mountain of medical bills and a long road to recovery after a pit bull bit off a portion of his face during a visit to his downstairs neighbor's home near O'Hare International Airport when the dog attacked him. He is seeking damages with the help of a personal injury lawyer Woodstock.
Illinois Dog Bite Laws
The Illinois Animal Control Act holds dog owners liable for injuries and damages sustained by an unprovoked dog or other animal. According to information from a person injury lawyer Woodstock, the Illinois law applies whether the dog or animal bites or merely tries to bite the victim. Under Illinois law, dog bite victims can claim medical expenses for injuries, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, and property damage. If a dog bite or animal attack occurs on the dog owner's property, premises liability laws may also apply. Under these laws in Illinois, property owners are obligated to ensure that their property is safe and hazard-free, and that includes from dangerous animals.
The High Costs of Dog Bites
As noted by a personal injury lawyer Woodstock, dog bite injuries can cost you a great deal in lawsuits and increased injury costs.
- According to State Farm Insurance statistics, Illinois had the second highest number of dog bite claims in 2015, with 309 claims costing a total of $8.9 million. The only other state with more claims than Illinois was California, which had 449 claims, costing a total of $14.7 million.
- The Insurance Information Institute states that the average homeowners' liability insurance payment for dog bite claims in 2014 was $32,072. Dog bites and injuries from dog attacks attributed to claim costs exceeding $525 million.
- Insurance claims and costs for dog bite injuries has risen more than 67 percent over the past five years. This is due to higher medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to dog attack victims.
- Illinois ranks fourth on the Insurance Information Institute list for dog attacks, with 872 dog bite claims in 2014. These figures resulted in payments totaling $30.4 million at an average payout of $34,894 per victim.
Although not all dog bites cause serious injury, even small injuries can result in costly medical bills. A personal injury lawyer Woodstock can advise you of your rights in dog bites and attacks. Serious attacks can lead to physical injuries that may require reconstructive surgery. Dog bites of any type can cause traumatic stress, as well as injuries that can be fatal in some cases.
Illinois Dog Bite Victim and Injury Statistics
Unfortunately, dog bites are also a cause of tragic deaths in the United States. In 2010, Illinois faced two deaths as the result of dog bites and both deaths were caused by the pit bull dog breed. Statistics show that reported dog bite injuries in Illinois include: severe cuts and abrasions; bruising; lacerations; infections; severed limbs; severe blood loss; scarring and permanent disfigurement; and anxiety and depression. Victims require sound legal advice from a personal injury lawyer Woodstock who understands Illinois dog bite laws and insurance claims. Since dog bite claims are on the rise in Illinois, perhaps more attention needs to be given to protecting Illinois citizens through information from an informed personal injury lawyer Woodstock and new dog bite protection laws.