Preventing Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

DuPage County personal injury attorneyNow that warmer weather is upon us, many families are spending more time outside. For some, this means bringing their canine companions on trips to the park or walks around the block. It is very important if you decide to bring your dog out to a public place that you are aware and in control of his or her actions at all times. A dog bite can cause serious injuries, and knowing how to prevent such a situation is important.

What Happens If Your Dog Bites Or Injures Another Person?

The State of Illinois clearly spells out that the owner or handler of a dog is responsible for any injury the dog may inflict on another person, animal or property.

Section 16 of the Illinois Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/16) states, “If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.

This means that you could be held financially responsible for any injury your dog creates in most situations.

How to Prevent Dog Attacks

There are a few things you can do—in addition proper training—that could reduce the chances of your dog attacking another person, including:

  • Always keep your dog on a 6ft leash when walking through public places;
  • If your dog is known to become afraid, aggressive, or combative around other dogs, simply do not allow him to interact freely with other dogs. Instead of letting your dog roam at will in a crowded dog park, take him on a walk with a leash in a less populated area;
  • If you allow your dog to play freely with other dogs in the intended spaces, keep an eye out for signs of aggression or warnings that your dog may become involved in an altercation. Dogs who are baring teeth, have raised fur on their back, or are acting abnormally should be immediately removed from the situation;
  • Keep your dog in eyesight at all times. Never leave your dog unattended in public;
  • If you choose to keep your dog at home, secure the perimeter of your yard before you allow your dog to roam in it. Fences should be sturdy and in good repair;
  • If you do not have a fenced area on your property, a chain or cable can be used to secure your dog in your yard. Check that the cable is rated to handle the weight and strength of your dog. Secure the cable into the ground or to a heavy structure. Check it often for damage or weak spots; and
  • Many experts agree that “a tired dog is a good dog.” Dogs need lots of exercise, playtime and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Giving your dog the exercise he or she needs can help limit unexpected behavior that results from restlessness or boredom.

Seek Help After a Dog Bite

While you may take every precaution to prevent your dog from attacking or biting someone else, not everyone will always be so careful. If you have suffered injuries due to a dog bite or animal attack, we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact an experienced Hinsdale personal injury attorney at Martoccio & Martoccio today and schedule your free consultation with a member of our team today.


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