Dog Bite Lawyer Ellisville, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Ellisville, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Ellisville, MO. Dogs can be valued members of the family, near and dear 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 very friendly, and the natural animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a top Ellisville, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Ellisville, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that she does. She has a winning record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Ellisville, MO, suffered injuries, and are wanting 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 Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Ellisville, MO, you’re probably 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 several steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Ellisville, MO dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping photographs of everything around you. If you can, take shots of the dog that bit you: even if the animal 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 also there, 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 photos 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 unleashed dog.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your local area will need to be contacted to begin their work after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should chat with the Ellisville police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Ellisville, 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. 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 critical.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are often 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 assist 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 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 previously bitten another human being–thus granting 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 changed how Missouri courts viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get a free pass for the first time their pet bit a human being. 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 liable for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, unprovoked, either on public property or private property they are lawfully allowed to be on, 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 are assessed. 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 crucially, 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 matching guidelines 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 cities in Missouri expressly 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, Ellisville, MO animal control will take the dog into custody 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 observed for that time and inspected for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are allowed to leave the facility, a tracking microchip is implanted in the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the pet is spayed or neutered. If animal control has 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.

Once a dog is returned to the custody of its owner, it is also entered into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Ellisville, MO owners of dogs placed 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 Ellisville, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their impact, 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 ancestors. 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 Ellisville, 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 skilled Ellisville, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover funds for all of your medical costs 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 you need. If the Ellisville 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 Ellisville, MO 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.

Research has shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance providers do not want to chance having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long court cases and put money in their pockets 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 a little higher at $48,100.



Contact A Ellisville, 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 spends time 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 combination 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 loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Ellisville, 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 document review.

Dog Bite Lawyer