Around 76 million dogs live in the United States. While they often are beloved members of the family, they are still animals capable of biting and causing severe injuries. One million people visit emergency rooms annually because of dog bites; millions more are bitten but do not seek emergency care.
When an owner’s negligence leads to their dog hurting someone, they can be held liable for the damages. At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, our compassionate personal injury attorneys represent clients attacked by dogs. We work closely with you and your loved ones to hold the animal’s owner liable for the full extent of your injuries.
Most Common Dog Bite Injuries
• Puncture Wounds and Lacerations – The most common injuries associated with a bite are broken skin and open wounds from the dog’s teeth. These can be deep and potentially cause heavy bleeding and damage to the underlying tissue, muscles, nerves, tendons or blood vessels. These may require stitches and can cause significant scarring.
• Infections – One of the most dangerous aspects of a dog bite is the high risk of infection of the wounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 18 percent of dog bites become infected.
Dogs carry bacteria in their mouths. When they bite, it can be pushed deep into the body, making it difficult to clean. Common infections include rabies, tetanus, staph, MRSA, Pasteurella and others. Signs of infection include redness, pain, swelling, fever and warm skin.
• Facial Wounds – Dogs bite people in the face often. Sometimes this is because the person’s face was in close range of the dog’s face. Other times a dog will knock the person down and bite their face and neck as they instinctively know these are vulnerable areas.
Facial wounds can cause prominent scarring and damage to the eyes, mouth, nose or ears. This can affect the person’s ability to see, eat, communicate, breathe and hear. Reconstructive surgery might be necessary to repair the damage.
• Avulsion – Avulsion is when tissue separates from the body, such as when a dog rips an ear partially or totally off. These injuries can cause excessive bleeding, scarring and might require surgery to repair.
• Crushing Injuries – Dogs have exceptional bite force, especially large breeds. This can crush bones and damage soft tissue. Kids are particularly vulnerable to this kind of dog bite injury.
The Effects of Dog Bite Injuries
Many dog bite victims develop long-term or even permanent damage after an attack. Your livelihood, relationships and health can suffer greatly as a result.
Dog bites can cause long-term pain, nerve damage and mobility issues. Permanent scarring and disfigurement are frequent outcomes of many bites. In addition, emotional distress is common and potentially just as troublesome as the physical effects. Anxiety and fear around dogs and even post-traumatic stress disorder develop after being attacked and endure long after. This is especially true when children are attacked by a dog.
Damages for Dog Bite Victims
Illinois is a strict liability state for dog bites. When a dog bites someone, the owner can be held accountable for its actions in many cases. This means that a dog bite victim may pursue damages from the dog’s owner if they were in the place where the incident occurred legally and had not done anything to provoke the dog when it attacked.
Both economic and non-economic damages are available in dog bite cases. Economic damages are those with a clear dollar value, like medical bills. Non-economic damages represent losses that are not financial but still important. Potential damages include:
• Medical bills
• Lost income
• Future costs of care
• Pain and suffering
• Emotional distress
• Other damages as appropriate
The Briskman Guarantee
At Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg, we know you have a choice when selecting a personal injury or workers’ compensation attorney. That is why we have created the Briskman guarantee, which is a six-part promise that we make to each of our clients:
1. You will receive a free consultation with an experienced attorney.
2. Because we do not use call screeners, you will speak with an attorney when you call our office.
3. You will never have to pay a fee unless we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
4. We will always treat you with courtesy and respect.
5. We will keep you advised of all significant developments in your case.
6. We will promptly return your calls and emails.
The Briskman guarantee represents our firm’s commitment to our clients and their families. Other firms may claim to put their clients first, but our client testimonials and track record of success speak for themselves.
Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers on Your Side
If you or a loved one has recently been bitten and injured by a dog, the dedicated Illinois personal injury lawyers at Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg can help. With over 30 years of experience advocating on behalf of injury victims, we know what it takes to succeed on behalf of our clients. When you invite us to work on your case, we begin working diligently for you and will keep you informed every step of the way.
As a part of the Briskman Guarantee, your initial consultation is free. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay us when we are successful in getting compensation for you or your family. To learn more, call 1-877-595-4878 to schedule a free consultation today. Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg has locations in Joliet and Chicago to serve you better.