Out of all 50 states, Illinois ranks second-highest for dog bites in a list released last month by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition.
This study found that State Farm Insurance received 337 dog bite claims from Illinoisans last year. The total compensation for these claims is estimated to be about $9 million. California was the first state on the list, with a total of 451 reported cases. Had the study ranked states by population, however, the Prairie State would have topped the list, with a disturbing 2.6 bites per 100,000 Illinoisans.
Additionally, the U.S. Postal Service recently released a list ranking U.S. cities by the number of dog attacks on postal workers in 2012. Chicago came in third.
The AVMA study only took into account claims filed, leaving out an unknown number of unreported incidents. Experts believe there are many more dog attacks that go unreported.
Recovering Compensation After a Dog Bite
Many people fail to recognize that they can file for damages in the event of a dog attack. A number of states do not allow lawsuits if the attack in question is a dog's first display of aggressive behavior—a stipulation known as the "one-bite rule." In Illinois, however, this rule does not apply. Every dog owner is considered responsible for the behavior of his or her canine, even in the case of a first-time attack. So long as the attack was unprovoked and the victim was not trespassing, the plaintiff does not need to establish that the animal had a prior history of vicious tendencies or that the owner was negligent in order to file a personal injury or
wrongful death claim.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an unprovoked dog attack, you may be entitled to damages. Don't wait; call a personal injury attorney today to learn about your options. With years of experience in handing personal injury and wrongful death cases, including dog bites, throughout the state of Illinois, Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Robert Duncan has the experience and professionalism necessary to ensure that you receive the legal help you need. Call the office today for a free legal consultation.