Dog Bite Lawyer Bonne Terre, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Bonne Terre, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Bonne Terre, MO. 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, sometimes man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the base animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a top Bonne Terre, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Bonne Terre, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a long record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Bonne Terre, MO, sustained 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 Bonne Terre, MO, you’re probably in a state of shock and not sure about what to do next, just like any other accident. And just like any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after it has happened. Our Bonne Terre, MO dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently suffered a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping pictures of everything around you. If you can, take photos of the dog that bit you: even if the dog is running away from you and you can thus only get blurry 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 pictures 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 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 Bonne Terre police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Bonne Terre, MO 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. Regardless of 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 speedy 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 viewed 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 get, 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 used the same legal principle regarding 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 before 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 altered how Missouri courts viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it the first time their pet bit a human being. 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 liable for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, without warning, either on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for all applicable damages. In addition, 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 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 county or city-level 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 identical guidelines 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 policies 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 explicitly 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, Bonne Terre, MO animal control will take the dog into custody for ten days. The dog will be taken to a central location such as an animal shelter or a veterinarian’s office. They will then be observed for that time and checked 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 dog 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.

After a dog is returned to the custody of its owner, it is also enrolled into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Bonne Terre, MO owners of dogs listed 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 someone 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: if not, it will be put to sleep.

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

Dog bite injuries can differ in their size, but one thing is for certain: 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 twice a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both legacies of their predator forebearers. 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 Bonne Terre, 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

A top Bonne Terre, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages for all of your medical bills and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription drugs, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric counseling required. If the Bonne Terre 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 Bonne Terre, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace 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 vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance firms do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and get them money in their pockets 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 slightly higher at $48,100.



Contact A Bonne Terre, 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 to know all her clients and ensure 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 operate and thus is a dog bite lawyer who fights for your maximum financial reward.

If you or a friend has recently been bit by a dog in Bonne Terre, 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 case evaluation.

Dog Bite Lawyer