You are out for a quick morning run before work when an unleashed dog appears in front of you. His ears are up and he looks ready to attack. Do you know what to do if you are bitten by a dog, or how to prevent a bite in the first place? For many people living in Illinois, dog bites can cause emergency room visits, insurance pay outs, and piles of medical bills. Read on to empower yourself with information so that you are prepared in case a dog bites you or someone you love.

Illinois Animal Control Act
In 2016, State Farm paid out $14 million for claims related to dog bites. Only California had more money paid out. This isn’t necessarily because Illinois is home to extra aggressive dogs, but instead due to the Animal Control Act. Thanks to Illinois law, dog owners have a heightened liability and responsibility for their pets. In other states, a dog owner may not be liable if a dog bites someone for the first time. In Illinois, the dog owner is liable whether it is the first or consecutive bite.

Dog Bite Prevention
If you are ever posed with a situation similar to the morning trail run referenced above, or another situation where you are faced with a potential dog attack, you may be able to lessen the severity of a bite by assuring you do not approach an unknown dog at any time. Never pet an unknown dog, or disturb a dog who is sleeping or eating.

If an unknown dog approaches you, don’t turn to run away. Instead, avoid eye contact and remain motionless in the hopes the dog will lose interest and leave. If the dog does attack, try to put something (like your jacket or purse) in between you and the dog.

After a Bite Occurs
No matter the preventative actions you may take, dog bites could still happen. If you are bitten by a dog, assure your safety and health first. Wash the wound with soapy water, and seek medical attention immediately.

Once you are safe and healthy, follow up with an attorney who can advocate for your rights. You could be compensated for your medical bills through insurance; let the team at Grewer Law advocate for you and search for a positive outcome. Give us a call today to talk more about your situation.