Dog Bite Lawyer Fenton, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Fenton, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Fenton, 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, sometimes man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the natural animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a friend, a highly-rated Fenton, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

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

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Fenton, MO, you’re probably 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 several steps you should immediately take after your accident has happened. Our Fenton, 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 getting pictures of everything around you. If you can, take pictures 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 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 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 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 chat with the Fenton police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Fenton, 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 without delay. 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 considered “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 obtain, 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 in regard to dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated on 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 taken to court 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 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 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 allowed to be on, their owner can be sued for all applicable 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 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 law 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 governments. 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 largely matching requirements they follow after a dog bites a human being. The primary difference is that Illinois’ dog bite mandates are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s procedures are determined by each county or city. While this allows for some differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some towns in Missouri explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, Fenton, MO animal control will impound the dog for ten days. The dog will be taken to a central location 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 allowed to leave the facility, a tracking microchip is implanted in the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the dog 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 back in the custody of its owner, it is also entered into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Fenton, MO 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 another person a second time, they are once again placed under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and show that they can maintain safe ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.

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

Dog bite injuries can differ in their size, 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 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 Fenton, 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 Fenton, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages for all of your medical expenses and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription drugs, required rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological services required. If the Fenton dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit and it also destroyed or damaged your mobile phone or tablet–a Fenton, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the debacle of being bit by a dog put you through.

Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance providers do not want to chance having to potentially pay a large jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and get 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 Fenton, MO 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 time out 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 mix of both business and legal experience into the courtroom, which means that she knows how insurance companies work and thus is a dog bite lawyer who fights for your maximum financial reward.

If you or a friend has recently been bit by a dog in Fenton, MO, do not hesitate to contact an experienced 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