As a dog parent, you want your furry friend to be obedient and well-mannered. However, their behavior can sometimes be far from perfect and land you in a serious dog injury lawsuit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly five million people suffer dog bites annually in the U.S. of those, nearly a million dog bites require medical attention. As much as you love your canine buddy, keep in mind that they are still animals that act not on logic but instinct.
Dog Owner’s Responsibilities
There are a variety of dog behaviors that are considered bad. The extremity of the bad behavior depends on several factors, including:
- Age – Bad behaviors are usually more common in elderly dogs and puppies.
- Breed – Some breeds of dogs are typically known for unacceptable behaviors if not addressed, such as excessive barking, biting, nipping, jumping on people, and more
- Situation – Certain situations also trigger bad behavior, such as having unfamiliar people in your home.
- Training – Some bad behaviors can be easily changed with proper training.
- Owner’s Preference – Some dog owners do not perceive some bad behavior as “bad” until something serious occurs.
Controlling your Dog’s Aggressive Behavior
To avoid issues such as a dog bite lawsuit, a dog owner can do a variety of things. However, the most important one is determining the cause of the behavior and trying to deal with it. Several factors, such as anxiety, stress, medical conditions, or unfamiliar stimuli, could result in such behaviors. After identifying the source, you can use different techniques to control their behavior, such as:
The Prevention Technique
If you find out what triggers your dog’s aggressive behavior, you can prevent it by removing the trigger. For instance, replace your doorbell if the sound lets them know a stranger is inbound, triggering bad behavior such as biting or jumping. This could seriously injure your visitors, leading to a lawsuit.
Exercise your Dog
Some bad behavior, like chasing or digging, could be due to pent-up energy. Additionally, exercising with your furry friend makes them get used to being around other people and animals, reducing the risk of dog bite injuries and dog bite lawsuits. You will also reinforce your bond with your dog during such exercises, making them more likely to obey your commands and pay more attention.
Use Interruption Commands
When your canine companion misbehaves, experts recommend using an interrupt command he or she has been taught to obey. For example, if you notice something that may trigger a dog bite, you can use “No!” “Stop it!” or “Stay!” to get their attention, letting them know they are misbehaving. A loud, strict voice reinforces the command’s meaning, teaching them to desist immediately.
Always Keep Your Cool
No matter how erratic your pup’s behavior is, always stay calm. When you get dramatic by gesturing or even shouting because you are upset or angry, they could see it as encouragement or play, something they will enjoy. To avoid having a dog bite victim on your hands, keep your gestures deliberate and slow, your voice level low, and use calming actions to calm your dog.
Understand Dog Bite Laws in Case of an Injury
If there is a dog bite victim, no matter how severe or minor the injuries, the dog owner is most likely legally responsible for what happened. This means a victim of a dog bite has the right to file a dog bite lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries.
That said, it is important to understand the Illinois dog bit laws if you or a family member sustains an injury from a dog. Dog bites can have a traumatic impact on the victim, leaving physical and emotional scars. Dog owners are responsible for confining their pets to ensure they do not get out and bite someone, including those invited into their homes.
Dog bite victims have the option to hire a qualified Illinois lawyer who specializes in dog bite claims. The dog bite attorney will give you a free evaluation of your dog bite case and recommend whether or not you should file a lawsuit or pursue a claim. Having an experienced lawyer also helps alleviate the stress of being bitten by a dog.
Strict Dog Bite Law in Illinois
Strict liability dog bite law in Illinois ensures that the owner of a dog that bites a victim cannot legally argue they did not know that their dog was dangerous or aggressive. In a nutshell, a dog owner is liable if their dog attacks someone without provocation. It is why dog owners must keep their dogs contained to prevent them from biting someone.
However, if someone hurts, harasses, or teases a dog and gets bitten, the dog owner may not be held responsible. Also, they may not be liable if a dog bites someone trespassing on the dog owner’s property.
What a Dog Bite Victim Should Do
If, unfortunately, you are bitten by a dog, you should contact the police immediately and then seek medical assistance. Also, the dog should be quarantined to ensure it does not have rabies. It is important to prioritize your health after a dog bite and any other care you deem necessary. There is a high probability of developing an infection and also needing a few stitches.
After taking care of your health, contact an experienced dog bite lawyer. If they determine the dog’s owner never met their responsibilities and that you did not do anything wrong during the incident, then you can file a dog bite lawsuit.
Hire the Best Dog Bite Attorneys in Illinois
Michael J. Brennan is a leading personal injury attorney in Illinois with years of experience handling personal injury cases, including dog bite claims. He will negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company to ensure you get the dog bite settlement you deserve or file a lawsuit on your behalf. For more information, call 708-694-9728 today for a free evaluation or visit our office in Chicago, Illinois.