Champaign Dog Bite Lawyers
Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, but if one has ever bitten you, you know just how unfriendly they can be. When animal instincts kick in, the cutest pooch can cause horrific injuries or even death. Consequences can continue after the fact, as many dog bites become infected, requiring further medical treatment. Children are at an even greater risk for dog bites, and the bites often require more serious medical attention than bites on adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 4.5 million dog bites happen in America every year, and one in five of those bites become infected. However, many of these bites go unreported, and many victims are unaware of their options for seeking compensation.
Dog bites can endanger your life. Because of this potential for harm, owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control. If a dog has bitten you or someone you love, child or adult, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and physical and emotional trauma. In most cases, the dog owner’s homeowner or renter insurance handles this compensation, but insurance companies will often try to deny you much of the money you could get. The Champaign dog bite lawyers at Spiros Law, P.C. have experience fighting uncooperative insurance companies and holding irresponsible owners accountable.
The Owner’s Responsibility
Dog ownership comes with many responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is keeping the dog from harming others. This responsibility includes making sure the dog is not in a position to bite. We have listed some of the steps dog owners could be reasonably expected to take to keep from endangering others:
- Enclosure: If the owner of an aggressive dog has invited you onto their property, they may need to keep the dog enclosed in an area where it cannot get to you. Champaign County has an ordinance requiring the enclosure of dogs that are legally deemed “vicious,” but any dog owner should use their best judgment when determining whether their dog is safe to be around guests, especially children.
- Informing guests: It is common courtesy for owners to let guests know that there is a dog on the property. Bringing people into contact with dogs without their knowledge can be dangerous.
- Encouraging good behavior: Some owners intentionally raise their dogs to be aggressive, especially if they want them to be watchdogs. However, sometimes simply encouraging dogs to play aggressively can teach them dangerous behaviors. While there is no requirement that owners give their dogs formal training, owners who have raised their dogs to be aggressive should keep them away from people.
- Restraint: Owners taking dogs outside the home need to stay in control of them. For many dogs, this requires using a leash. Aggressive dogs that are not restrained with a leash can break away from their owners and attack you, even if you did not try to approach them.
If an owner failed to take these or other reasonable steps and their dog bit you, the owner could be responsible for your injuries. You can seek compensation, and with the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be able to hold the owner accountable.
While any dog can become aggressive with a bad upbringing, there are certain breeds that can cause more serious injuries than others can when they become aggressive. For this reason, owners of these breeds must be especially careful to raise them well and to take steps to keep them from biting. Here are some dog breeds that can be more dangerous:
- Pit bulls
- German shepherds
- Great Danes
Many of these dogs were originally bred for aggressive activities, such as warding off intruders or even fighting. In the hands of a negligent, abusive, or incompetent owner, these dogs can become extremely dangerous. If one of these dogs bit you, its owner may have neglected their duty to provide it with a positive upbringing.
Contact a Champaign Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Dealing with a dog bite is a painful process on every front. The injury can cause you immense physical pain, the medical bills can drain your finances, and especially if a dog you thought was friendly hurt you, the sense of emotional betrayal can sting. On top of all of this, insurance companies can jealously guard their money and deny you the compensation you deserve. The Champaign dog bite lawyers at Spiros Law, P.C. can help you through this process, increasing your chances of receiving fair compensation. If you or someone you love was hurt by a dog bite, we can help you fight back. Contact the Champaign dog bite lawyers at Spiros Law, P.C. today at (217) 328-2828.