Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

Ankle Injuries from Dog Bites in Orland Park

Michael J. Brennan, Injury & Accident Lawyer proudly represents dog bite victims throughout Orland Park. My firm recognizes the difficulties associated with these incidents, especially when a bite affects your mobility. If you or someone you care about has suffered an ankle or other injury in a dog bite, we’ll be ready to provide assistance. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Do You Need My Firm?

After a dog bite, you might wonder if you need a lawyer. The answer depends on how bad the bite is. If it’s minor, you can just focus on getting better without legal help.

But if the bite is serious, like most dog bites, it’s smart to talk to me and my team. During our initial meeting, we’ll:

  • Explain your rights and options
  • Look into what happened and gather evidence
  • Help you figure out what to do next, like making an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit

Every case is different, so it’s important to know you have choices. That said, when the bite impacts your ankle, it very likely could change things for you.

Ankle Injuries in a Dog Bite

A dog bite often results in ankle injuries since your lower body is usually the first target. This is because, most likely, your instinct will be to run away from an attacking dog. This, in turn, will cause the dog to chase you. All of this adds up to bite injuries on your ankle and foot. In these situations, here’s what you can expect in terms of injuries:

  • Wounds – Dog bites can cause deep puncture wounds on your feet or ankles, making them prone to infection.
  • Broken bones and fractures – The force of a dog bite can break bones in your foot or ankle.
  • Deep cuts – Sharp teeth can create cuts that damage skin, muscles, or tendons.
  • Infections – Dog saliva carries bacteria, increasing the risk of infection, particularly if the skin is broken.
  • Nerve damage – Severe bites may damage nerves, causing numbness or tingling in your foot or ankle.
  • Emotional impact – Dog bites can also cause emotional distress, affecting mental well-being.
  • Ligament damage – Ligaments and tendons can be harmed, resulting in pain, swelling, and limited mobility.

What You Need to Do

Obviously, these injuries are going to leave you facing significant challenges. That said, your actions during and right after the bite are going to play a huge role in how your potential claim plays out. While it’s always smart to protect your legal options, it’s even more important to protect your health and safety. So, after you’ve been bitten, make sure to:

  • Get to a safe place and check your injuries – If the dog is still a threat, move to a secure place to avoid further harm.
  • Get medical care immediately– Regardless of the severity of the bite, get medical attention as soon as possible to prevent infections and complications.
  • Gather evidence – Take photos of the bite and any injuries, and make notes of when, where, and how it happened.
  • Report the incident to Orland Park Animal Control – Call Orland Park animal control to report what happened. They’ll investigate the incident, and can possibly provide more information on the dog and its owner.
  • Find the dog’s owner if possible – Try to locate the dog’s owner for reporting purposes and potential claims.
  • Collect witness information – If there were witnesses, gather their contact details as they could provide valuable testimony.

While these are general guidelines, they’re also extremely important. When you decide to move forward with legal action, it means dealing with an insurance company that’s going to try to do anything they can to devalue your claim.

Claims Process After a Dog Bite

After any dog bite, the claims process has two major components: liability and damages. In Orland Park (and throughout Illinois), liability in dog bites is fairly straightforward: the owner is “strictly liable” for any damage their dog causes.

This means that for your ankle injuries and resulting expenses and losses, the owner is going to be responsible–more specifically, their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. This doesn’t change your options, though. You still have the right to file an injury claim, usually either through an insurance claim or lawsuit. Which option you choose depends on your needs. An insurance claim is usually quicker to resolve, but the company makes the final decision on what they offer you. On the other hand, a lawsuit is a formal legal action, and while it takes longer, it’s decided by an impartial judge and jury based on the evidence. The overall goal of either option is to recover your “damages.”


Because every claim is different, the damages that apply to your particular case might not be the same as someone else’s. With that said, there’s general damages that are available in these types of cases that can be recovered if your claim is successful. These include:

  • Medical expenses and costs related to ongoing care
  • Lost wages and loss of earning potential
  • Repair/replacement costs for any damaged property
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring/disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or companionship

Like any other injury claim in Illinois, you have to file within the statute of limitations. This is currently set at two years from the date of the dog bite and your injuries. Missing this deadline means you can’t file a claim, and as a result, can’t recover these damages (no matter how strong your claim is.)

What Causes a Dog to Bite You?

No matter what the circumstances are, a dog bite is always unfortunate. While most dogs are well-trained and well-behaved, they can still fall victim to their instincts. Worse yet, some breeds are more likely to bite or nip at your ankles. While the circumstances are less important here than other accidents, it’s still helpful to know the underlying causes of a dog bite so you can be better prepared to respond:

  • Herding instincts – Some breeds, like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, have strong herding instincts. When they perceive movement resembling prey or livestock, they may nip or bite at ankles as a way to control or corral.
  • Playfulness – Dogs, especially puppies, may view ankles as toys and engage in playful biting during playtime. This behavior is often seen as harmless, but it can escalate if not addressed.
  • Fear or anxiety – Dogs can resort to ankle biting when they feel scared, threatened, or anxious. This behavior serves as a defensive mechanism to keep perceived threats at bay.
  • Lack of training or socialization – Dogs that haven’t been properly socialized may exhibit fear or aggression towards unfamiliar people or animals. Ankle biting can be a manifestation of this fear or discomfort in new situations.
  • Attention-seeking – Some dogs may nip at ankles to get their owners’ attention or to initiate play. They learn that this behavior elicits a reaction from humans, reinforcing the action.
  • Medical issues – Pain or discomfort, such as from an injury or underlying health condition, can cause a dog to behave defensively, including biting at ankles.

Work With MJB Law After a Dog Bite in Orland Park

If you or someone close to you has suffered a dog bite and ankle injuries in Orland Park, you deserve reliable legal support. My firm, Michael J. Brennan, Injury and Accident Lawyer has the experience and dedication you need to handle even the most challenging dog bite claims. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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