Image of a dog, dog bitePeople are injured and killed by dogs in Illinois every year, but there are steps that people can take to minimize the risk of attacks. Some breeds are likelier to attack than are others, but all dogs have the potential to bite when they are caring for puppies, eating or sleeping. Dogs telegraph when they are preparing to bite in subtle ways by crouching, laying their ears back, baring their teeth, averting their eyes and tucking their tails between their legs. An Illinois dog bite lawyer may work to help victims to recover damages when they have been the victims of unprovoked dog attacks.

Dog Bite Statistics

Dog bite statistics demonstrate the prevalence and dangers of dog bites in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 4.7 million dog attacks occur every year, resulting in 800,000 people needing medical treatment. Nearly 50 percent of people who are injured in dog attacks each year are children. More than $1 billion is paid out by insurance companies each year for dog bite attacks. Seventy-five percent of dog attacks happen on the dog owners’ property, and a majority of the victims know the dogs that attacked them. Around 71 percent of dog bite injuries happen to people’s arms, hands, feet and legs.

Preventing Dog Bites

There are steps that people can take to prevent dog bite attacks. Dogs are more likely to attack when they are approached while they are engaging in certain activities, including:

  • Sleeping
  • Eating
  • Caring for puppies

People should also avoid ever approaching dogs that they do not know, and if they are approached by strange dogs, they should stand still and avoid screaming or running. Before petting a dog, it is important for people to first let the dog smell their hands. Then, it is best to scratch the dog under the chin rather than petting it on its head. Finally, if a dog does attack, people should roll into a fetal position and protect their heads rather than running. People should avoid making eye contact with dogs that are acting aggressively and remain as motionless as possible.

Understanding Breed Differences

Some breeds have higher risks of attacking than others do. While it is important for people to be more vigilant around the high-risk breeds, they should also be careful when they are around any dogs, no matter the breed. Pit bulls are responsible for a majority of dog attack fatalities in the U.S. Second to them, Rottweilers also show a high propensity for dog bite incidents. Any dog may bite, however, so it is important for people to be careful when they are in proximity to dogs whatever breed they might be. An Illinois dog bite lawyer represents victims of many different breed types each year.

Information For Dog Owners

Prospective dog owners should keep several things in mind when they are preparing to get new dogs. People who have children or other pets should be especially careful. People should never get dogs that have histories of aggressive behavior. They should also talk to a veterinarian about breed differences to make certain that they select the most appropriate breed for them. When a person gets a new puppy, it is very important that he or she makes certain to train the puppy and properly socialize it. Spending time with a puppy before deciding whether or not to choose it is important because doing so can help people to identify any aggressive tendencies that the puppy might have. Finally, it is important for people to make certain that they spay or neuter their pets. Dogs that have not been spayed or neutered are much more likely to bite other animals and people.

Dog owners should also consider making certain that their insurance policies contain dog bite liability coverage. An Illinois dog bite lawyer advises that the average cost of a dog bite case is $32,072. If a person owns a dog that is considered to be a dangerous breed, getting dog bite liability insurance is especially important. Most homeowners’ insurance policies have riders available to cover dog bite incidents. People who rent their properties might want to check with their renters’ insurance companies about whether or not dog bite liability insurance is available.

Dog bites are frightening and dangerous, and they happen frequently in Illinois. People should take the steps that are necessary to prevent dog attacks from occurring. By being mindful of a dog’s behavior, its breed and the situations to avoid, people may minimize their risks of injury in dog attacks. If a person is attacked, an Illinois dog bite lawyer may work to help his or her client with recovering the damages that are necessary to compensate him or her for all of the losses that the person suffered.

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