Articles Posted in Dog Bites

The Chicago Dog Bite Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. take note of the alarming increase in recent years of payout amounts for claims brought forth under homeowners and renter’s insurance policies for dog bites and dog attacks. According to the National Insurance Institute, the amount paid by insurers for dog bite injury claims have increased from $324.2 Million in 2003, to $489.7 Million in 2012. This represents a nationwide increase of over 50% in the past decade.

When reporting data is delineated by location and insurance provider, the increase in dog bite claims in Illinois is profound when compared with other states. For example, a recent report by State Farm showed that Illinois ranked second in claims paid by that insurer in both 2011 and 2012. Although California ranked first, when adjustments for population are made, Illinois dog bite claim payout totals were still nearly 40% higher. Last year alone, Illinois dog bite claims accounted for 10% of all claims paid by State Farm for dog attack incidents.

In addition, Illinois also ranked amongst the highest in dog bite attacks on postal workers in 2012. According to a 2013 Postal Service study, which compiled a list of the top 10 U.S. cities for dog bite attacks on postal workers, Chicago Illinois was ranked as third, with a total of 41 dog bite incidents occurring in 2012. When compared to the total amount of 2012 dog attacks on postal workers, 5,900, and the fact that there are over 100,000 U.S. cities, this figure is significant considering that many cities with higher or comparable populations did not make the list. Further, Chicago’s 2012 ranking drastically increased from its ranking of 13th in 2011.

Nearly two years following the vicious dog attack on a 15-year-old boy in Zion Illinois, parties to the dispute reached a settlement agreement granting the victim $1.125 Million for his injuries. According to the Jury Verdict Reporter, this amount represents the largest award for a dog bite attack in Illinois history. As attorneys, who represent dog bite victims in Illinois, this settlement is significant in terms of victim rights, because it sends the message that careless dog owners can and will be held accountable for their inability to control a dangerous animal.

The tragic attack occurred on June 29, 2011, while 15 year old Jordyn Bankston was out riding his bicycle in the Lake County community of Zion. As Jordyn stopped to talk with his friends, a 120 lb Bull Mastiff escaped his owner’s fenced in yard, and charged towards the boys. Although the boys tried to escape, the massive dog was able to reach Jordyn, clenching the child’s arm with his forceful teeth and dragging him to the ground. Despite two neighbors attempting to intervene by kicking the dog, the savage dog attack continued, reports say, for nearly 10 minutes. The boy was eventually freed when a third neighbor burned the dog’s nose with a lit cigarette.

Jordyn was rushed to a nearby hospital in Waukegan, where he remained for nearly a week. As a result of the vicious attack, Jordyn suffered lacerations and puncture wounds to his arms, shoulder, legs, thigh, buttocks and head. Due to the extent of his injuries, the boy also required plastic reconstructive surgery. According to the dog bite attorneys representing the child and his family, “It was a very, very traumatic event. He thought he was going to die.”

In Wells v. Cooper, 2013 IL App (5th) 120074-U, 2013 WL 1197789 (Ill.App. 5 Dist.) Trina Wells sued her brother and sister-in-law for dog bite injuries from their dog, Tank.

In November 2008, Trina Wells visited her brother and sister-in-law. Her relatives owned a lab-husky mix named Tank. After Trina Wells arrived at her relatives’ home, she played with Tank. At one point the dog ran out of the front door, but her sister-in-law went outside and brought the dog back. The dog wanted to play in the yard. Tank escaped again. As Trina Wells and her sister-in-law were talking, they saw Tank roll out underneath a truck and appeared to have been hit. They noticed that Tank was moving slower than he normally did but they could not see any broken bones or blood. As they approached Tank, he was trying to go to the street again, and Trina Wells put her arms around Tank to stop him from running away. He collapsed on her hands and as she was trying to get her hands, Tank bit her into her left thumb, and then died.

The plaintiff filed a complaint against the her brother and sister-in-law, Matthew Cooper and Amy Cooper, for injuries she suffered when the dog bit her. A jury awarded her $140,000, and her brother and sister-in-law appealed.

Chicago dog bite injury lawyers at Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. have learned that a South Shore Chicago jogger, Joseph Finley, was attacked by a pit bull one year ago and ended up losing his leg. Mr. Finley stated that he considers himself lucky to even be alive after the attack and has urged there be laws restricting the ownership of pit bulls.

Statistics support the contention that pit bulls are a more dangerous bred of dog than other breeds. In 2004 there were 22 dog bite related deaths in the United States. In 2005 there were 29 deaths caused by dog bites. In 2006 there were 26 dog bite related deaths. In 2007 there were 33 dog bite related deaths in the United States. Pit bull type dogs were responsible for 67% of fatalities. Rottweilers were second and accounted for 12% of fatalities.

The Center for Disease Control reports that there are 4.7 million dog bites annually in the United States. Approximately,800,000 require medical attention. Approximately 334,000 have to go to the emergency room. Sadly, about 50% of these bites involve children.

The Chicago dog bite lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer read in the Chicago Sun-Times that an unleashed pit bull in Evanston, Illinois attacked and bit a 70 year old woman. The police were forced to shoot the dog dead. The owner of the dog allowed the pit bull to run off its leash in the vicinity of Dempster and Dodge.

The women who suffered the dog bite was walking her Labrador retriever dog when it was attacked by the pit bull. The women attempted to save her dog when she was bitten multiple times on the legs. The Labrador retriever also suffered bites.

In a three year study done by the national dog bite victim’s group, DogBite.org, it was found from 2006 to 2008, pit bull type dogs accounted for 52 deaths in the United States which was 59% of all deaths caused by dogs. Rottweilers came in second with 14%.

Chicago dog bite lawyers, Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. are not surprised by a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that the number of people admitted to hospitals for treatment for a dog bite increased 86 percent from 1993 to 2008. In 2008, there were a total of 82,518 dog bite-related visits to the emergency room for an average of 866 emergency room visits a day. An Average of 26 people per day were admitted to the hospital for treatment for their serious dog bite injuries.

According to the study, seniors and young children were the most likely groups to be admitted to the hospital, each with about 4 hospital stays per 100,000 people. Children are more likely to suffer head and facial injuries from dog bites since children’s heads are closer to the ground.

Alarmingly, the AHRQ study found that 43 percent of people hospitalized for dog bites required treatment for skin and underlying tissue infection. Anyone bit by a dog should seek immediate medical treatment, even if the bite seems minor given this very high rate of infection.

Two grey pit-bull terriers attacked a woman while she was returning home from the Laundromat in the Little Village neighborhood at about 3:40 pm. The dogs also attacked an Ogden District police officer that was responding to the emergency. The police officer shot one of the dogs.

The woman and the Chicago police officer were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where both were treated for multiple bites. According to police sources, as the woman was trying to enter the back of her home, one of the two dogs bit her on her right hand several times and then lunged for her neck. When she lifted her wounded arm to protect her neck, the dog bit her in the underarm area.

A neighbor whose attention was caught by the woman´s screaming, threw a piece of meat at the dogs trying to distract them as the injured woman was lying on the ground, police said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSyQtApFlP8

A little dog became a victim of a dog attack. Witnesses say they saw a pitbull that belonged to an off-duty police officer, attack a two-and-a-half year old Pomeranian Papillon mix, when the little dog was playing with a ball at Montrose beach. The little dog’s name was Willy and he died three days after the attack.

Audrey Fisher, who was Willy’s owner, said in an interview that the officer refused to give any kind of information to her once the attack occurred. “I wanted him to stop and talk to us… and he just wouldn’t,” Fisher said. Also, the owner tells to WGN-TV that she owes near to $6,000 in veterinary bills.

This week a pit bull was shot by police officers in Elgin after it attacked a neighbor’s dog, another pit bull. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt but the pit bulls life could have been spared if the owners were more responsible and ensured the pit bull was restrained. It was reported that around 6:30 p.m. Monday night the pit bull got loose and attacked a neighbor’s dog causing residents to call police. Jose Diaz arrived when police arrived on the scene and said the pit-bull, Rocco, belongs to his 19 year old son, Christian Diaz. The dog was taken to his girlfriend’s house which was why he was not in his kennel at the time. Diaz said he is unsure how the dog got out but somehow it managed to go into the neighbor’s yard with another pit-bull. Diaz made an attempt to keep the dogs apart with a folding chair however he was not successful. In the process the neighbor’s pit-bull bit Diaz’s hand, Diaz said “after Rocco saw I got bit…he went after the dog. That’s when he decided to go all out on him.” At that point no one could get the two dogs apart so police shot Rocco who police say was killed instantly. Diaz said there was nothing they could do.

The other pit bull was taken to an animal hospital for treatment, his injuries were not life threatening. Animal control officers are still investigating and police said charges are pending. Christian Diaz has seven previous citations from the past two months relating to Rocco including leaving Rocco off the leash, and Rocco charging other people and dogs, police said. Incidents such as these can be prevented if dog owners take measures to stop their dogs from attacking others such as not leaving them unrestrained or unsupervised. Calling for a ban on the breed would be unfair to responsible pit bull owners everywhere. Chicago injury attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer specialize in dog bit cases. Often dog bites are attributed to unrestrained dogs. If you or someone you know have been involved in a dog bite incident, it is important that you know your rights. Contact Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. for a free personal injury consultation.