Many people enjoy the company of a four-legged friend. It is no wonder that dogs are called man’s best friend, since most canines are very friendly and make great companions. Some dogs, however, are more hostile than others. Studies show that more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year throughout the U.S., and more than 800,000 people require medical treatment for dog bite injuries. Fortunately, the state of Illinois allows victims to pursue compensation for dog bite injuries.
Dog Bite Injuries and Infections
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) states that children are more likely to be bitten than adults, because they often do not know the warning signs that a dog may be hostile or dangerous. When children suffer a dog bite, they are more likely to sustain serious injuries. However, dog bites can seriously harm people of any age, and injuries can range from a small scratch or bruise to deep lacerations and broken bones. In addition to these injuries, any dog bite that breaks the skin can also lead to an infection or illness if it is not properly treated. Common infections that occur from dog bites include Pasteurella, MRSA, tetanus and in some cases, even rabies.
Illinois’ Animal Control Act
The Illinois Animal Control Act sets forth guidelines for how animal bites should be handled legally. According to the Act, the owner or caretaker of a dog that has bitten someone must have the dog examined by a licensed veterinarian within 24 hours, and the dog must be confined and placed under observation for at least 10 days. The victim will be notified with the findings of the examination, and if the dog is found to have rabies, the victim's physician will also be notified. The Act also states that Illinois dog owners are liable for any injuries or damages sustained by a person if their dog, unprovoked, attacked the person while that individual was in a place where he or she was lawfully allowed to be....