Dog Bite Lawyer Alton, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Alton, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Alton, IL. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and nobody else is there for you. However, every once in a while man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the natural animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a top Alton, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Alton, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that she does. She has a proven record of representing her dog bite clients with compassion as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Alton, IL, suffered injuries, and are seeking to recover damages from 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 Alton, IL, you’re probably in a state of trauma and uncertain about what to do next, just like any other accident. And similar any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after it has happened. Our Alton, IL dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently had a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start getting pictures 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 around, get pictures of them and their info as well. Request that they provide info about the dog’s veterinarian, tag, and their personal homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. You should also take photos of the immediate area 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 jurisdiction will need to be contacted to begin their work after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should talk to the Alton police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Alton, IL authorities also keep files on dogs who have bit other people before. If it turns out 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 as soon as you can. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so rapid treatment is important.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are usually covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are viewed as “personal property”. Call them as soon as you can to file a claim so they can benefit you with medical bills and other costs. You should also obtain, if possible, the dog owner’s insurance information.

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Dog Bite Laws In Missouri and Illinois

Since the year 2009, Missouri and Illinois have both operated under the same legal principle in regard to dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated under what is commonly referred to as 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 came into force, which completely changed how Missouri judges viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get a free pass for the first time their pet bit a human being. Now, 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 liable for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, unprovoked, either on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for all applicable 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 pay out. 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 statute as it also includes guidelines about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is reserved for local authorities. Most importantly, it does mandate 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 widely the same procedures they follow after a dog bites a human being. The only difference is that Illinois’ dog bite procedures are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s procedures are determined 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 after a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Alton, IL animal control will take the dog into custody for ten days. The dog will be taken to a central facility such as an animal shelter or a veterinarian’s office. They will then be watched for that time and checked for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are permitted to exit 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 viewed 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.

After a dog is returned to the custody of its owner, it is also entered into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Alton, IL owners of dogs entered in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they are obligated to keep them on a short leash and muzzled. If a dangerous or vicious dog bites another person again, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and show that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: if not, it will be put to sleep.

How Much Can I Get For My Alton, IL Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can vary in their severity, but one thing is for sure: they are no joke. Dogs have strong jaws (research has 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 shih tzu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our Alton, IL dog bite lawyer sees include:

  • Surface-level cuts and bruises
  • Lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Infections from canine saliva
  • Tetanus
  • Broken or cracked bones
  • Avulsion injuries (when skin or body parts are torn off)
  • Rabies
  • Nerve damage
  • Emotional trauma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A skilled Alton, IL dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering funds for all of your medical costs and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s expenses, you can get money for any prescription medications, required rehab or physical therapy, and any mental health counseling required. If the Alton dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit and it also destroyed or damaged your mobile phone or tablet–a Alton, IL 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 caused you.

Research has shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance firms do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a large jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and award them money in their pocketbooks as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute found that the average dog bite lawsuit settlement in Missouri is about $47,400, while in Illinois the average is marginally higher at $48,100.



Contact A Alton, IL 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 takes time out to get acquainted with all her clients and reassure them that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique blend of both business and legal experience 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 compensation.

If you or someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Alton, IL, do not hesitate to contact an highly-rated dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

Dog Bite Lawyer