Dog Bite Lawyer Bethalto, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Bethalto, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Bethalto, IL. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are tough and no one else is there for you. However, every once in a while 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 a friend, a highly-rated Bethalto, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Bethalto, IL 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 Bethalto, IL, suffered injuries, and are looking 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 Bethalto, IL, you’re most likely in a state of shock 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 Bethalto, IL dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently had a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start taking pictures 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. Ask them to 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 unleashed dog.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your jurisdiction will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Bethalto police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Bethalto, IL authorities also keep info on 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 quick treatment is critical.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are most always covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are considered “personal property”. Call them as soon as you can 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.

Contact Us

Dog Bite Laws In Missouri and Illinois

Since the year 2009, Missouri and Illinois have both operated under 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 granting Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be taken to court for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 was passed, which completely changed how Missouri law 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, whether on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for any and all damages. On top of that, Missouri law requires 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 rules about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is delegated to local governments. Most importantly, 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 requirements they follow after a dog bites a human being. The sole difference is that Illinois’ dog bite procedures are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s policies are set by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some localities in Missouri specifically ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Bethalto, 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 observed for that time and inspected for illnesses, 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 dog 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.

Once 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. Bethalto, IL owners of dogs entered 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 again, they are once again placed under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and show that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.

How Much Can I Get For My Bethalto, 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 double a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both passed down from their predator ancestors. 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 Bethalto, 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 Bethalto, IL dog bite lawyer can help you recover money for all of your medical expenses and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s charges, you can get money for any prescription medications, required rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric services required. If the Bethalto 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 Bethalto, IL dog bite lawyer can get you money to repair that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the process of being bit by a dog caused you.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance providers 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 get 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 a little higher at $48,100.



Contact A Bethalto, IL Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Lawyer 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 mix of both business and legal experience into the courtroom, which means that she knows how insurance companies operate and thus is a dog bite lawyer who fights for your maximum compensation.

If you or a friend has recently been bit by a dog in Bethalto, IL, don’t delay: 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