Dog Bite Lawyer Affton, MO
Strong and Compassionate
Affton, MO Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in Affton, MO. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are rough and nobody else is there for you. However, every so often man’s best friend is not so friendly, and the primal animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a top Affton, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Affton, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that she does. She has a substantial record of representing her dog bite clients with compassion as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Affton, MO, suffered injuries, and are looking to recover damages against that dog’s owner, call an experienced dog bite lawyer at (314) 480-3100, or fill out our online contact form.
What Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?
If you have recently been bit by a dog in Affton, MO, you’re probably in a state of disbelief and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And just like any other accident, there’s a few steps you should immediately take after your accident has happened. Our Affton, MO dog bite lawyer suggests you do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:
- Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start taking photographs of everything around you. If you can, take photos of the dog that bit you: even if the animal is running away from you and you can thus only get poor-quality photos, local authorities can still use these shots to identify a dog. If the owner of the dog is nearby, get pictures of them and their info too. Request that they provide info about the dog’s veterinarian, tag, and their personal homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. You should also take shots of your immediate surroundings like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to alert people living nearby about the danger of a dog on the loose.
- Call 911. Animal Control in your local area will need to be contacted to begin their work after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should talk to the Affton police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Affton, MO authorities also keep records of dogs who have bit other people before. If they determine that you are not the first person that dog has bit, their owner may be facing criminal charges.
- Get medical help. No matter the size of your injuries, we suggest calling a doctor or visiting an emergency room or urgent care center without delay. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so rapid treatment is crucial.
- Call your insurance company. Dog bites are usually covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are seen as “personal property”. Call them as soon as possible to file a claim so they can assist you with medical bills and other costs. You should also acquire, if possible, the dog owner’s insurance information.
Dog Bite Laws In Missouri and Illinois
Since the year 2009, Missouri and Illinois have both operated under the same legal principle regarding dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated under what is commonly called the “one bite” rule. What this meant was that dog owners could not be held liable if their dog had never previously bitten another human being–thus giving Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be held liable for negligence.
However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 was passed, which completely changed how Missouri judges viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it the first time their pet bit another person. Instead, Missouri joined Illinois and 29 other states (plus the District of Columbia) in adopting the strict liability standard for dog bite injuries.
Under strict liability, dog owners are now responsible for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, without provocation, whether on public property or private property they are lawfully allowed to be on, their owner can be sued for any and all damages. On top of that, Missouri law mandates dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, in addition to any civil damages they must owe. Illinois’ law regarding dog bites is called the Animal Control Act, or 510 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/. It is much more far-reaching than Missouri’s dog bite law as it also includes sections about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is delegated to county or city-level authorities. Most crucially, it does outline that dog owners in Illinois are “liable in civil damages to such person [that their dog bit] for the full amount of injury caused”.
What Happens To A Dog That’s Bit Someone?
Both Missouri and Illinois have largely matching procedures they follow after a dog bites a human being. The sole difference is that Illinois’ dog bite mandates are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s policies are set by each county or city. While this allows for some differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities in Missouri explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol following a dog bite is identical.
After the report of a dog bite, Affton, MO animal control will take the dog into custody for ten days. The dog will be transported to a central location such as an animal shelter or a veterinarian’s office. They will then be observed for that time and inspected for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are permitted to leave the facility, a tracking microchip is implanted in the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the pet is spayed or neutered. If authorities have deemed the dog to be safe, they can be sent back into the care of their owner, but not before they cover all costs related to the care and feeding of the dog during its time under observation.
Once a dog is returned to the custody of its owner, it is also placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Affton, MO owners of dogs placed in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they must keep them on a short leash and muzzled. If a dangerous or vicious dog bites someone again, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and prove that they can maintain safe ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.
How Much Can I Get For My Affton, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can differ in their impact, but one thing is for sure: they are no laughing matter. Dogs have strong jaws (a study found that on average, a dog’s bite exerts 320 psi of force, more than twice a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both legacies of their predator ancestors. While, for instance, being bit by a shiba inu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our Affton, MO dog bite lawyer sees include:
- Surface-level cuts and bruises
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Infections from canine saliva
- Broken or cracked bones
- Avulsion injuries (when skin or body parts are torn off)
- Nerve damage
- Emotional trauma
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A skilled Affton, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering damages for all of your medical expenses and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s expenses, you can get money for any prescription medications, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological services required. If the Affton dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit and the force of his bite tore an expensive article of clothing–a Affton, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to repair that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the debacle of being bit by a dog put you through.
Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance providers do not want to chance having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long court cases and get them money in their pockets as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute revealed that the median dog bite lawsuit settlement in Missouri is about $47,400, while in Illinois the average is slightly higher at $48,100.
Contact A Affton, MO Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients
Attorney Amanda Hayden knows that being bit by a dog is an experience no one should have to go through. She spends time to get to know all her clients and make sure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique mix of both business and legal knowledge into the courtroom, which means that she knows how insurance companies do business and thus is a dog bite lawyer who fights for your maximum financial award.
If you or someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Affton, MO, don’t delay: contact an compassionate dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-obligation document review.