Dog Bite Lawyer Farmington, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Farmington, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Farmington, MO. 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 primal animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a highly-rated Farmington, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Farmington, 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 Farmington, MO, 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 Farmington, MO, you’re most likely in a state of shock and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And as in any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after your accident has happened. Our Farmington, MO dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently suffered a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping pictures of everything around you. If you can, take photos of the dog that bit you: even if the dog 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 nearby, get pictures of them and their info too. Ask them to 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 alert 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 talk to the Farmington police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Farmington, MO authorities also keep info on dogs who have bit other people before. If it turns out 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 without delay. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so rapid treatment is important.
  • 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 help 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 courts 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 responsible for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, without provocation, whether on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for any and all 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 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 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 reserved for local authorities. Most crucially, 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 mostly the same requirements they follow after a dog bites a human being. The only 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 towns in Missouri specifically ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Farmington, MO animal control will impound the dog 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 watched for that time and checked for illnesses, most notably rabies. Before they are permitted to leave 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 animal control has deemed 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.

Once a dog is back in the custody of its owner, it is also entered into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Farmington, 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 someone once 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: otherwise, it will be put to sleep.

How Much Can I Get For My Farmington, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their severity, but one thing is undoubtable: they are no laughing matter. 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 passed down from their predator forebearers. While, for instance, being bit by a shiba inu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our Farmington, 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

An experienced Farmington, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering funds for all of your medical costs and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription medications, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric services required. If the Farmington 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 Farmington, MO 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.

Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance firms do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and award them money in their pocketbooks as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute revealed that the average dog bite lawsuit settlement in Missouri is about $47,400, while in Illinois the average is marginally higher at $48,100.



Contact A Farmington, MO Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Lawyer 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 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 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 reward.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Farmington, MO, do not wait 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 evaluation.

Dog Bite Lawyer

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