Dog Bite Lawyer Crestwood, MO
Strong and Compassionate
Crestwood, MO Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in Crestwood, MO. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, near and dear 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 very friendly, and the primal animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a top Crestwood, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Crestwood, MO 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 vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Crestwood, 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 Do I Need To Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?
If you have recently been bit by a dog in Crestwood, MO, you’re probably in a state of disbelief and not sure about what to do next, just like any other accident. And as in any other accident, there’s a number of steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Crestwood, MO dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:
- Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping shots of everything around you. If you can, take pictures 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 nearby, get pictures of them and their info too. Request that they give you 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 warn people living nearby about the danger of a unleashed dog.
- Call 911. Animal Control in your local area will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should chat with the Crestwood police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Crestwood, MO authorities also keep files 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 as soon as you can. Dog bites can easily lead to infection, so speedy treatment is important.
- Call your insurance company. Dog bites are usually 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 assist you with medical bills and other costs. You should also get, if possible, the dog owner’s insurance information.
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 sued for negligence.
However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 came into force, which completely changed how Missouri law 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 liable for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, without provocation, 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 mandates dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, in addition to 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 extensive 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 reserved for county or city-level jurisdictions. Most notably, it does mention 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 the same 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 procedures are determined by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities in Missouri explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.
Following the report of a dog bite, Crestwood, MO 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 watched 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 pet is spayed or neutered. If authorities have viewed the dog to be safe, they can be released 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 placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Crestwood, MO 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 another person 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 Crestwood, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can differ in their severity, but one thing is for certain: they are no laughing matter. 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 Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our Crestwood, MO dog bite lawyer sees include:
- Surface-level cuts and bruises
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Infections from canine saliva
- Broken or cracked bones
- Avulsion injuries (when skin or body parts are torn off)
- Nerve damage
- Emotional trauma
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A top Crestwood, MO 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 mental health services you need. If the Crestwood 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 Crestwood, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to repair that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the debacle of being bit by a dog put you through.
Research has shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance firms do not want to chance having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long court cases and get them money in their pocketbooks as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute found 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 Crestwood, 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 make sure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique mix 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 award.
If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Crestwood, MO, do not hesitate to contact an compassionate dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-obligation case review.