Dog Bite Lawyer Fairview Heights, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Fairview Heights, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Fairview Heights, IL. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are rough and nobody else is there for you. However, every so often man’s best friend is not very friendly, and the base animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a friend, a top Fairview Heights, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Fairview Heights, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything 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 Fairview Heights, IL, 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 Fairview Heights, IL, you’re most likely in a state of trauma and uncertain about what to do next, just like any other accident. And just like any other accident, there’s a few steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Fairview Heights, IL 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 taking 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 also there, get pictures of them and their info too. 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 process after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Fairview Heights police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Fairview Heights, IL authorities also keep files on dogs who have bit other people before. If they find 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 you can. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so rapid 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 seen 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 had the same legal principle when it comes to dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated under 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 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 judges viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it 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, without warning, whether 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, 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 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 local governments. Most crucially, 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 widely identical guidelines 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 variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities in Missouri specifically prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Fairview Heights, IL 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 observed for that time and inspected for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are allowed to exit the facility, a tracking microchip is implanted in the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the animal 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.

Once 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. Fairview Heights, IL owners of dogs listed in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they are obligated to 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 euthanized.

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

Dog bite injuries can vary in their severity, but one thing is undoubtable: they are no laughing matter. Dogs have strong jaws (studies have found that on average, a dog’s bite exerts 320 psi of force, more than double a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both legacies of their predator ancestors. 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 Fairview Heights, 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

An experienced Fairview Heights, IL dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages for all of your medical expenses 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 counseling needed. If the Fairview Heights 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 Fairview Heights, 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 put you through.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance providers do not want to chance 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 bank account 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 a little higher at $48,100.



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

Attorney Amanda Hayden knows that being bit by a dog is an experience no one should have to go through. She takes the 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 combination of both business and legal experience 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 Fairview Heights, 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 evaluation.

Dog Bite Lawyer