With the nice weather, it’s not surprising that dog parks, dog beaches, and public parks have more dogs in them over the summer. However, the increased presence of dogs may mean that there’s a higher chance of being the victim of a dog bite. What can you do if you’re involved in one of these incidents? A Chicago dog bite attorney can help discuss options with you.

Are Certain Breeds More Dangerous?

While there are more news reports about bigger breeds, like pit bulls and their ilk, attacking and biting people, the truth is that any dog has the potential to bite someone if it is provoked. Even small, seemingly harmless dogs can bite and cause damage. If you or someone you care about does get bitten by a dog—unfortunately, many dog bite victims are children—it is important to seek medical attention, especially if the bite breaks skin. Untreated bites can become infected or lead to long-term nerve damage, so it’s ideal to see a doctor as soon as possible. If the bite is severe or you are worried about how to pay medical bills, a personal injury lawyer can discuss your legal options with you.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

It may seem like dog bites are unpredictable and difficult to prevent, but the truth is there are often warning signs that a dog is feeling threatened or is about to attack. If a dog is showing its teeth, is snarling or growling, has its tail raised, or is lunging at someone, it’s in everyone’s interest to get away from the dog to let it calm down. Failure to heed warning signs from a dog may lead to someone getting bitten and hurt. If you notice warning signs too late or a dog attacks without warning and you get hurt, go to a doctor to make sure you are protected against infection and diseases including rabies (though required, some dog owners refuse to vaccinate their pets). Then, a Chicago dog bite attorney can help you deal with the aftermath of the bite and discuss with you your options.