Dog Bite Lawyer Frontenac, MO
Strong and Compassionate
Frontenac, MO Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in Frontenac, MO. Dogs can be valued members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are rough and no one else is there for you. However, every once in a while man’s best friend is not so friendly, and the base animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a highly-rated Frontenac, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Frontenac, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a proven record of representing her dog bite clients with compassion as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Frontenac, MO, sustained injuries, and are wanting 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 Do I Need To Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?
If you have recently been bit by a dog in Frontenac, MO, you’re probably in a state of shock and uncertain 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 Frontenac, MO dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently had a dog bite injury:
- Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start getting 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 poor-quality 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 photos 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 talk to the Frontenac police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Frontenac, MO 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. No matter the size of your injuries, we suggest calling a doctor or visiting an emergency room or urgent care center as soon as possible. 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 viewed as “personal property”. Call them as soon as you can 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.
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 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 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 became law, which completely changed how Missouri judges viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get a free pass for the first time their pet bit a human being. 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, unprovoked, either 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 far-reaching 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 county or city-level governments. 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 mostly the same procedures 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 differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities in Missouri explicitly ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.
After the report of a dog bite, Frontenac, MO animal control will impound the dog 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 watched for that time and inspected for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are permitted to exit 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 regarded the dog to be safe, they can be released back into the care of their owner, but not before they pay 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. Frontenac, MO owners of dogs placed 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 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: if not, it will be euthanized.
How Much Can I Get For My Frontenac, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can differ in their impact, but one thing is for certain: they are no laughing matter. Dogs have strong jaws (research has 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 forebearers. While, for instance, being bit by a chihuahua will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our Frontenac, MO dog bite lawyer sees include:
- Surface-level cuts and bruises
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Infections from canine saliva
- Broken or cracked bones
- Avulsion injuries (when skin or body parts are torn off)
- Nerve damage
- Emotional trauma
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A top Frontenac, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering money for all of your medical costs and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s expenses, you can get money for any prescription medications, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any mental health services you need. If the Frontenac 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 Frontenac, 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 overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance companies do not want to run the risk of having to potentially pay a large jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long court cases and award them money in their pockets as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute found 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 Frontenac, 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 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 blend 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 financial reward.
If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Frontenac, MO, 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-obligation case review.