Any dog can attack or bite a person when owners fail to train or control their animals. Big, small, young or old— almost any dog is capable of attacking and injuring a child or adult. Without a doubt, one of the most feared dogs remains the Pit Bull Terrier. With a muscular body and incredibly strong jaws, Pit Bulls are capable of inflicting serious harm and are responsible for a disproportionate number of serious dog bites involving extended hospitalizations and even death.
Pit bull attacks
Bearing in mind the severity of the injuries related to pit bull bites, some municipalities have limited or banned ownership of pit bulls as a way of reducing these incidents. Interestingly, despite several proposals to ban pit bulls in the City of Chicago, no such law has taken hold.
However, when evaluating dog bite attacks by breed, a 2008 study compiled by The Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs looked at all dog bites occurring in the Denver, CO area during the prior year. The study concluded that dog attacks were most common with the following breeds:
- Labrador retrievers: 13.3%
- Pit Bulls: 8.4%
- German Shepherds: 7.8%
- Rottweilers: 3.9%
- Chows: 3.5%
Labradors lead the pack with the most number of attacks, which is a surprising discovery when taking into account the mild nature of the dogs. However, many dogs develop aggressive tendencies as a result of their training, making owners responsible for their aggressive outbursts. This goes to show that no person should automatically assume that a dog is friendly, regardless of its breed or appearance.
A history of prior attacks is irrelevant in Illinois when pursuing a dog bite case
The gentle nature of a dog may be used in a defense during a claim case and the owner may note that the animal has no prior history of attacks. In terms of liability according to Illinois law, it is not necessary to demonstrate the dog has been involved in previous incidents. However, when an owner has knowledge of prior aggressive events and fails to take any action, these may be considered aggregating circumstances and potentially pave the road for an additional claim for punitive damages.
Collecting important data on attacking dogs
We have experience handling dog bite and dog attack cases involving some of the more aggressive breeds. In some cases, we have obtained veterinary records to further demonstrate the dog’s aggressive behavior to an insurance company and defense lawyer. Given the significant injuries that commonly accompany breeds such as Pit Bulls, Shepherds and Rottweilers, our attorneys are particularly mindful of each client’s future medical needs and takes the necessary steps to maximize the recovery in these cases.