Dog Bite Lawyer Belleville, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Belleville, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Belleville, IL. Dogs can be valued members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and nobody else is there for you. However, every so often man’s best friend is not so friendly, and the base animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a highly-rated Belleville, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Belleville, 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 vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Belleville, IL, sustained 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 Belleville, IL, you’re probably in a state of trauma and not sure about what to do next, just like any other accident. And as in any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after your accident has happened. Our Belleville, IL 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 getting photographs of everything around you. If you can, take photos of the dog that bit you: even if they are 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 too. Request that they provide info about the dog’s veterinarian, tag, and their personal homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. You should also take pictures of the immediate area like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to tell 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 Belleville police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Belleville, IL authorities also keep records of 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 important.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are most always 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 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 had the same legal principle when it comes to 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 not previously bitten another human being–thus giving Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be taken to court for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 came into force, which completely altered 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, unprovoked, either on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for any and all damages. In addition, Missouri law requires dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, as well as any civil damages they are assessed. 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 guidelines 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 jurisdictions. 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 widely matching procedures they follow after a dog bites a human being. The primary 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 expressly ban 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, Belleville, IL 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 illnesses, most notably rabies. Before they are allowed to exit the facility, a tracking microchip is inserted into the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the animal is spayed or neutered. If animal control has regarded the dog to be safe, they can be released 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 back in the custody of its owner, it is also placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Belleville, IL owners of dogs listed 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 once again, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and prove that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.

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

Dog bite injuries can vary in their size, but one thing is for sure: they are no joke. Dogs have strong jaws (studies have found that on average, a dog’s bite exerts 320 psi of force, more than double a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both legacies of their predator ancestors. While, for instance, being bit by a chihuahua will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Belleville, 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 top Belleville, IL dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages for all of your medical costs and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription medications, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric services required. If the Belleville 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 Belleville, IL 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.

Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance providers do not want to chance having to potentially pay a large jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long court cases and award them money in their bank account as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute revealed 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 Belleville, 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 the time to get acquainted with all her clients and make sure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique combination of both business and legal knowledge into the courtroom, which means that she knows how insurance companies work and thus is a dog bite lawyer who fights for your maximum compensation.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Belleville, IL, do not wait to contact an compassionate dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-risk case review.

Dog Bite Lawyer

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