Dog Bite Lawyer Chester, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Chester, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

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

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Chester, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a substantial record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Chester, IL, sustained injuries, and are wanting 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 Chester, IL, you’re probably in a state of disbelief and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And similar any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after your accident has happened. Our Chester, IL dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently suffered a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start taking photographs 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. 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 warn 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 tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Chester police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Chester, 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. 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 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 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.

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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 when it comes 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 before 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 became law, 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. 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 responsible 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 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, in addition to 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 far-reaching than Missouri’s dog bite law as it also includes sections about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is delegated to local jurisdictions. 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 largely identical procedures they follow after a dog bites a human being. The sole difference is that Illinois’ dog bite mandates 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 towns in Missouri explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, Chester, IL animal control will impound the dog for ten days. The dog will be transported 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 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 pet 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 compensate them for 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 placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Chester, IL owners of dogs placed in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they must keep them on a short leash and muzzled. If a dangerous or vicious dog bites someone a second time, they are once again placed 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 put to sleep.

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

Dog bite injuries can differ in their severity, but one thing is for certain: 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 forebearers. While, for instance, being bit by a shih tzu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a German shepherd, the most common injuries our Chester, 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 Chester, IL dog bite lawyer can help you recover funds for all of your medical expenses and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s charges, you can get money for any prescription drugs, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric counseling required. If the Chester 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 Chester, IL dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace 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 overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance firms do not want to chance having to potentially pay a large jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and award them money in their bank account as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute revealed that the median dog bite lawsuit settlement in Missouri is about $47,400, while in Illinois the average is marginally higher at $48,100.



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

Attorney Amanda Hayden knows that getting 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 ensure 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 financial award.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Chester, 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 case evaluation.

Dog Bite Lawyer