Dog Bite Lawyer Ferguson, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Ferguson, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Ferguson, MO. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and no one 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 Ferguson, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Ferguson, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a long record of representing her dog bite clients with compassion as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Ferguson, MO, sustained injuries, and are seeking 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 Ferguson, MO, you’re most likely in a state of disbelief and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And just like any other accident, there’s a number of steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Ferguson, 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 shots 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 around, 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 pictures of your immediate surroundings 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 jurisdiction will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Ferguson police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Ferguson, 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 quick treatment is crucial.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are usually covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are considered “personal property”. Call them without delay to file a claim so they can assist you with medical bills and other costs. You should also acquire, 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 in regard 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 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 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 provocation, whether on public property or private property they are lawfully allowed to be on, their owner can be sued for all applicable damages. In addition, Missouri law requires dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, as well as 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 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 delegated to local jurisdictions. Most notably, 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 largely the same 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 determined 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 following a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, Ferguson, 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 exit the facility, a tracking microchip is inserted into the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the animal is spayed or neutered. If authorities have viewed the dog to be safe, they can be released 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 enrolled into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Ferguson, MO owners of dogs entered 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 again, they are placed back 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 Ferguson, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can vary in their impact, but one thing is for sure: 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 ancestors. While, for instance, being bit by a shiba inu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Ferguson, 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 Ferguson, 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 bills, you can get money for any prescription drugs, required rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric counseling you need. If the Ferguson 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 Ferguson, 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.

Studies have shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance firms do not want to chance having to potentially pay a substantial 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 found that the median dog bite lawsuit settlement in Missouri is about $47,400, while in Illinois the average is slightly higher at $48,100.



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

Attorney Amanda Hayden knows that getting bit by a dog is an experience no one should be subjected to. 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 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 compensation.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Ferguson, 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-risk consultation.

Dog Bite Lawyer

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