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What to Do After a Dog Bite in Illinois

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What to Do After a Dog Bite in Illinois

What to Do After a Dog Bite in Illinois

Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the United States. But even “man’s best friend” is capable of seriously injuring someone. Indeed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that roughly 4.5 million people go to the hospital every year reporting dog bite injuries.

A dog bite is not simply a nick. It is a traumatic event that can leave permanent physical and psychological scars. So it is important to take any dog bite or animal attack seriously. Here are just a few things to keep in mind if you, or someone that you love, is bitten by a dog.

Call 911

It might sound like overreacting to call the police for a dog bite. But it is always a good idea to call 911 and seek emergency assistance following a bite attack. There are a couple of reasons. First, the 911 operator can contact local Animal Control. If you were bitten by a dangerous–or even rabid–dog, Animal Control can take charge of the situation. A police officer can also take down an official report of what happened, which can be helpful if you later need to seek compensation for your injuries.

Get the Owner’s Insurance Information

Again, you might think this is an unnecessary step. After all, you were bitten by a dog, not hit by a negligent driver. But if you were bitten by someone else’s animal, their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy may cover your damages. So you have every right to ask for the name and contact information of the owner’s insurance carrier.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

This should go without saying. If you are bitten by a dog, go to the emergency room. Animal bite wounds are not like cutting yourself accidentally with a knife. Dog bite wounds are typically not “clean” cuts, and they are highly susceptible to infection if not promptly cleaned and treated by a medical professional. And once again, it is important to have documentation of your injuries should you need to file an insurance claim or seek compensation from the dog’s owner.

Do Not Be Afraid to Demand Compensation

If you incur substantial medical bills and other costs from a dog bite, including your own ongoing emotional trauma, you have a legal right to demand compensation. If the animal is covered by an insurance policy, you need to file a claim within the insurer’s reporting window. And if insurance does not cover all of your injuries, you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit directly against the dog’s owner.

It is also a good idea to speak with an experienced Illinois dog bite lawyer as soon as possible following an incident. At SAM LAW OFFICE LLC, we can review the facts and circumstances of your case and advise you on the best means of seeking compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our staff.

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