When Dogs Bite Veterinarians or Other Animal Workers

Dog Bites | August 11, 2021

Work-Related Dog Bite Injuries in Illinois

Dogs have very powerful jaws that can inflict significant injuries on the human body. In general, most people do not expect that they will be injured by a dog bite, but those who work around dogs on a constant basis face a higher risk of sustaining these injuries. Here, our Chicago dog bite lawyers want to discuss what happens if a veterinarian or other individual who works with animals on a regular basis gets bitten and injured by a dog. The process of securing compensation is usually going to be very different than the process taken by the general public when they sustain a dog bite injury.

Work-Related Dog Bite – Workers’ Compensation Claims

Every job comes with occupational hazards. Even those who work in a relatively safe office building can fall over an obstacle in their pathway. For those who work with animals on a regular basis, including veterinarians, animal control workers, and others, their risks are increased.

Even the most docile of dogs can become aggressive when they are scared or provoked. Most people who work with animals understand that there is a good chance that they could be bitten. Dogs can inflict serious injuries on an individual, including:

  • Lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Massive blood loss
  • Severed veins or arteries
  • Severed tendons or muscles
  • Amputated fingers
  • Severe infections
  • Significant scarring and disfigurement

When a dog bites a person who is performing their on-the-job duties, this means that the owner of the dog will likely not be held financially responsible for the incident. Veterinarians, animal control workers, and others who work with animals have accepted that a bite injury is a risk that they are willing to take. This assumption of risk could be applied as a defense by a dog’s owner to prevent them from having to pay compensation to the victim.

In general, anyone who sustains a work-related injury will receive compensation through the state workers’ compensation insurance system. This will include coverage of their medical bills as well as a significant portion of their lost wages if they cannot work.

Could The Dog’s Owner Be Held Liable?

There will be some exceptions to these incidents. Even though certain workers may assume risks as part of their job, a dog owner may still be held responsible for injuries if:

  • They concealed particular hazards presented by the dog that are above the normal risk of working with animals, including vicious tendencies.
  • The dog owner still had full control of the dog, which means that the worker had not yet assumed control or risk.

If You Sustain A Dog Bite Injury

If you or somebody you care about works with dogs as part of your job and have been bitten and injured, you should be entitled to compensation for your losses. This compensation may indeed come through the state workers’ system, but it is not uncommon for employers or insurance carriers to dispute these claims. It is crucial for you to work with a skilled Chicago personal injury lawyer who understands work injury laws and can help you recover maximum compensation for your losses.

If the owner of the dog concealed hazards related to caring for the pet, you may be able to pursue additional compensation from the owner for the injuries, lost income, and pain and suffering damages.

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