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Lake County personal injury attorneysAlthough dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend,” dog attacks do happen. Severe injuries including deep lacerations, broken bones, and nerve damage and can result from a dog bite. Because dogs’ mouths are filled with bacteria, wounds from a dog bite can quickly become dangerously infected. In some cases, a dog bite can also cause terrible disfiguration. Dog attack victims may require an extended hospital stay, antibiotic medication, and surgery to correct the damage. The physical and emotional scars caused by a dog attack can last a lifetime. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog attack, you may be wondering who will be responsible for the medical bills incurred by the attack. The answer depends on several factors.

Illinois Law Regarding Dog Bites

In some situations, the owner of the dog can be held legally responsible for any injuries caused by the dog. Illinois statute 510 ILCS 5/16 states that a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by a dog attack when the following conditions are present:

  • The dog attacked, tried to attack, or otherwise injured the person
  • The injured individual was in a place that he or she should lawfully be when the attack occurred and
  • The dog was not provoked

A dog owner is not liable for injuries caused by someone trespassing. So, if the injured person was walking through someone else’s backyard when he or she was attacked and did not have permission to be there, the dog owner is not liable. It should be noted that the Illinois dog bite law covers dog bites as well as other injuries caused by a dog. For example, if a dog pushed someone to the ground and that person sustained a head injury, the law still applies.

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Lake County dog bite lawyerThis past September, an eight-year-old girl was almost fatally injured by two loose pit bulls in an Indiana suburb. The dogs bit the child over 30 times, and she was treated for serious wounds from her shoulders to her knees. Fortunately, a neighbor was able to save the child and scare the dogs away. 

Less than 20 miles down the road, the dogs brutally attacked another child. According to CBS Chicago, the dogs were ultimately captured in the Chicago suburb of Park Forest. While no victims suffered life-threatening injuries, the attacks reminded all Illinoisans of the dangers of dog attacks and the serious nature of dog bite injuries. Due to the small stature of young children, they are at increased risk of serious injury in dog attacks. If you or a member of your family is attacked by a dog or other animal, you should seek medical attention and legal help. 

Why a Dog Bite Injury Should Be Treated Seriously

While most dogs are friendly, lovable animals, a provoked dog can quickly become a dangerous one. All dog bites should be treated seriously and immediately treated by a medical professional. Even seemingly insignificant dog bite wounds can cause dangerous infections such as tetanus. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, up to 15% of all dog bites lead to infections. 

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