Dog Bite Lawyer Augusta, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Augusta, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Augusta, MO. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are rough and no one else is there for you. However, every once in a while man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the primal animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a top Augusta, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Augusta, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that she does. She has a long record of representing her dog bite clients with compassion as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Augusta, MO, suffered injuries, and are wanting 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 Do I Need To Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Augusta, MO, you’re most likely 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 the incident has happened. Our Augusta, MO dog bite lawyer suggests you do the following if you’ve recently suffered a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start taking shots of everything around you. If you can, take shots of the dog that bit you: even if the dog 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. Ask them to give you info about the dog’s veterinarian, tag, and their personal homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. You should also take photos of your immediate surroundings like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to tell people living nearby about the danger of a dangerous dog nearby.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your city or county will need to be contacted to begin their process after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Augusta police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Augusta, MO authorities also keep info on dogs who have bit other people before. If they find 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 possible. Dog bites can easily lead to infection, so quick treatment is crucial.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are often covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are considered “personal property”. Call them without delay to file a claim so they can help you with medical bills and other costs. You should also acquire, 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 on what is commonly called the “one bite” rule. What this meant was that dog owners could not be held liable if their dog had not before bitten another human being–thus granting Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be held liable for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 became law, which completely altered how Missouri judges viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get a free pass for 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, unprovoked, 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, as well as 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 extensive 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 delegated to local authorities. Most crucially, 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 matching requirements they follow after a dog bites a human being. The primary difference is that Illinois’ dog bite mandates 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 towns in Missouri expressly ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, Augusta, MO animal control will impound the dog 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 allowed to leave the facility, a tracking microchip is implanted in the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the animal 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 compensate them for all costs related to the care and feeding of the dog during its time under observation.

After a dog is back in the custody of its owner, it is also enrolled into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Augusta, MO owners of dogs placed in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they are required to keep them on a short leash and muzzled. If a dangerous or vicious dog bites another person once again, they are once again placed 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 put to sleep.

How Much Can I Get For My Augusta, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their size, but one thing is for sure: they are no joke. Dogs have strong jaws (a study found that on average, a dog’s bite exerts 320 psi of force, more than double a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both passed down from their predator forebearers. While, for instance, being bit by a chihuahua will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a German shepherd, the most common injuries our Augusta, MO 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

An experienced Augusta, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages 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, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological counseling required. If the Augusta dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit while riding a bike and the dog also broke part of your frame–a Augusta, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the ordeal of being bit by a dog caused you.

Studies have shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance companies do not want to run the risk of having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and get them money in their bank account 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 Augusta, MO Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Lawyer Amanda Hayden knows that being bit by a dog is an experience no one should be subjected to. 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 combination of both business and legal expertise 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 reward.

If you or someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Augusta, MO, do not wait 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