Dog Bite Lawyer Edwardsville, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Edwardsville, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Edwardsville, IL. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are rough and no one else is there for you. However, sometimes man’s best friend is not so friendly, and the natural animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a friend, a top Edwardsville, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Edwardsville, 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 empathy as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Edwardsville, IL, suffered 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 Edwardsville, IL, you’re most likely in a state of trauma and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And as in any other accident, there’s a few steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Edwardsville, IL dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently had a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start taking shots 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 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 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 dog on the loose.
  • 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 Edwardsville police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Edwardsville, IL authorities also keep records of 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 possible. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so speedy 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 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.

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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 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 not previously 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 was passed, which completely altered 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 liable 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 allowed to be on, their owner can be sued for all applicable damages. In addition, 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 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 statute as it also includes sections about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is reserved for 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 matching requirements 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 policies are set 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, Edwardsville, 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 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 authorities have regarded 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. Edwardsville, IL owners of dogs entered 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 a second time, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and prove that they can maintain safe ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be put to sleep.

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

Dog bite injuries can differ in their size, 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 forebearers. While, for instance, being bit by a chihuahua will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our Edwardsville, 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 Edwardsville, IL dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering damages for all of your medical costs and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s expenses, you can get money for any prescription medications, required rehab or physical therapy, and any mental health services you need. If the Edwardsville dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit and the force of his bite tore an expensive article of clothing–a Edwardsville, IL 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.

Research has shown that the overwhelming 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 put 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 Edwardsville, 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 spends time 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 expertise 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 Edwardsville, IL, do not hesitate 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-risk case review.

Dog Bite Lawyer