Dog bites make up about 90% of the bite wounds occurring each year in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. That accounts for more than 4 million dog bites, many of which may develop into serious health issues if left untreated.
As noted by Healthline Media, when a canine’s teeth penetrate your skin, it causes the bacteria in the dog’s saliva to activate your body’s immune system. Inflammation and swelling may occur. Your body’s natural defenses may not, however, prevent a severe infection from developing and spreading. Doctors recommend seeking medical attention immediately after a bite injury occurs.
How may I cover my medical expenses?
A dog bite could lead to expensive medical costs, including emergency room treatment, doctor’s office visits and prescriptions. You may require X-rays or blood tests to diagnose whether an infection has spread.
You may file a legal action against a dog’s owner to seek damages to cover your medical expenses, including any required emotional therapy or reconstructive surgery. Depending on the severity of an injury, you may also seek compensation for time off from work required for your recovery.
What makes a dog’s owner liable for bites and attacks?
Under Illinois’ statute 510 ILCS 5/2.16, a dog’s owner — including its caretaker or custodian — has strict liability for the animal’s actions. Based on Illinois’ strict liability law, you do not need to prove you did not provoke a dog’s attack.
If a canine causes you or a family member a physical or emotional injury, you may file a legal action against its owner to compensate you for damages. Owners of dangerous or vicious dogs owe a duty of care to prevent their animals from causing harm; an owner may face both criminal and civil charges when a breach of duty occurs.