Dog Bite Lawyer Fayetteville, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Fayetteville, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Fayetteville, 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 tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a top Fayetteville, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Fayetteville, IL 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 strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Fayetteville, IL, sustained injuries, and are seeking 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 Fayetteville, IL, you’re most likely in a state of trauma and not sure 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 it has happened. Our Fayetteville, IL dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently had a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start taking photographs 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 around, 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 shots of the immediate area like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to tell people living nearby about the danger of a unleashed dog.
  • 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 talk to the Fayetteville police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Fayetteville, IL authorities also keep files 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 lead to infection, so quick 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 seen as “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 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 never 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 altered how Missouri courts 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 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, 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 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 governments. 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 matching requirements they follow after a dog bites a human being. The only 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 differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities in Missouri specifically 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, Fayetteville, IL 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 checked for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are permitted to leave 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 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 returned to the custody of its owner, it is also placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Fayetteville, IL owners of dogs listed 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 prove that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: otherwise, it will be put to sleep.

How Much Can I Get For My Fayetteville, IL 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 chihuahua will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Fayetteville, 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 Fayetteville, IL dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering damages for all of your medical bills 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 counseling needed. If the Fayetteville 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 Fayetteville, 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.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. 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 a little higher at $48,100.



Contact A Fayetteville, 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 make sure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique blend 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 compensation.

If you or someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Fayetteville, IL, don’t delay: contact an highly-rated dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-obligation case review.

Dog Bite Lawyer