Whether you love dogs or not, getting bitten by one may result in serious injuries and long-term medical expenses to combat severe infections and potential diseases.
According to research in the National Library of Medicine, dog bites account for 1% of emergency visits in the United States. If you find yourself in that predicament, you may wonder what options you have.
1. What should I do if I’m bitten?
Even if the bite seems like no big deal, you should always call 911 to report the incident. This offers you documentation of the incident and ensures that local animal control gets involved. Additionally, you should get insurance information from the dog owner. Typically, renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for these types of incidents. Lastly, seek medical attention. Even a small, superficial wound may lead to a serious infection.
2. Do I need to prove negligence?
While other states have a one-bite rule, which means liability only happens if the dog has bitten someone else, Illinois has a strict liability statute. The dog owner or person in charge of the dog holds liability in the case of a bite and may not require proving their negligence. As a victim, you only need to prove that you did not provoke the animal and had the right to be at the location of the attack, as well as that the dog attacked and caused injuries.
3. Can I sue for my injuries?
You also have the right to sue the dog owner. Along with coverage for medical expenses, you may also seek compensation for pain and suffering and lost wages.
After a dog attack, take swift action to ensure you do not lose your chance to get compensated.