According to a recent report from State Farm, Illinois had the second-highest number of insurance claims for dog bite injuries in 2020 among all 50 states. These statistics seem to suggest that dog bite injuries are a serious problem in Illinois under any circumstances. However, another troubling trend in the report may indicate that dog bites are likely to increase over the next few months.
Namely, the report found that throughout the United States, the month with the most dog bite claims in 2020 was March, which also marked the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders throughout the country. Now that restrictions are starting to lift, some experts believe that this change could lead to a similar spike in 2021.
What Causes a Dog to Bite?
Dog bites can happen for many different reasons, but they are especially common when the animal is afraid or stressed. Many organizations that are familiar with dog behavior have noted that the start of the pandemic was likely a high-stress time for dogs, in part because of the change in their owner’s lifestyles and the stress of the owners themselves.
The end of pandemic restrictions may be another high-stress transition period that brings a different set of risk factors for dog attacks. For example, dogs may have less supervision with their owners returning to work outside of the home, and they may also develop separation anxiety from spending more time away from their owners than they have become accustomed to. Additionally, owners may be more likely to bring their dogs to parks and other public places, where the dogs could be exposed to unfamiliar situations.
Preventing and Responding to Dog Bites in Illinois
With these risks in mind, dog owners are likely better off being cautious when bringing their dogs around new people and places. Owners can be sure to watch their dogs closely and keep them restrained on a leash, and to avoid situations in which the dog may become overwhelmed. Anyone in a public place around dogs can also be cautious when approaching an unfamiliar dog, and watch for signs of stress like growling or bared teeth.
If you are bitten by a dog, you should keep in mind that the owner is likely liable for damages related to your injuries because of Illinois’s strict liability law for dog owners. You should get medical care for your injuries as soon as possible and work with an attorney who can help you prepare and file your claim for compensation.
Contact an Illinois Dog Bite Lawyer
At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we represent victims of dog bite injuries to help them recover the compensation they need for their medical care and other losses. For a free consultation with one of our Illinois dog bite injury attorneys, contact us today by calling 630-552-6860.