Reconstructive surgery often needed for dog bites

Growling brown dog

A dog attack can be one of the most traumatic experiences of a person’s life. Not only do they often end with victims sustaining severe injuries and death, these attacks can cause victims life-long anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems. A Lake County dog bite lawyer is often familiar with the extensive injuries that a person may receive in an attack, as well as the intensive recoveries that can follow, many of which require reconstructive surgery.

Real stories about real people

A few summers ago, a 15-year-old boy was attacked by a 120-pound bullmastiff while riding his bike. NBC Chicago reports that the dog had escaped his enclosure and went after the boy without any provocation or warning. Neighbors came to assist the teen but were unable to get the dog to release him until nearly ten minutes had passed. The dog ignored punches to his head and body but finally released the boy when a neighbor put a lit cigarette on the dog’s nose. The teen suffered serious injury to his scalp, shoulder, right arm and thigh and required extensive reconstructive surgery to restore both function and proper appearance to many of the injured areas. The teen received $1.1 million, the largest settlement for a dog bite in Illinois history, for the trauma he experienced and for future needs he may have. 

Scope of the issue

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million people are attacked and bitten by dogs each year. Nearly 20 percent of those who are attacked, or 885,000 individuals, require medical care as a result of their injuries. In 2012, 27,000 people were injured so severely that they required reconstructive surgery to try and remove all signs, both physical and functional, that the accident ever occurred. Unfortunately, a Lake County dog bite lawyer sees many dog bites so damaging that no amount of surgery can make the accident victims whole again.

A statewide problem

According to NBC Chicago, Illinois is one of the most dangerous cities for dog attacks in the nation. Statistics from a leading national insurance provider showed that Illinois residents had the second greatest number of dog attack claims in 2013, which cost a total of $8.9 million. Only California had more claims than Illinois that year. Illinois residents who have been injured in a dog attack should meet with a Lake County dog bite lawyer to learn about the law and how it may help them receive the maximum compensation for their injuries.