Dog Bite Lawyer Germantown, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Germantown, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Germantown, IL. Dogs can be beloved 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 very friendly, and the base animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a friend, a highly-rated Germantown, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Germantown, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a long record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Germantown, IL, suffered 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 Germantown, IL, you’re most likely in a state of trauma and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And just like any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after it has happened. Our Germantown, IL dog bite lawyer suggests you do the following if you’ve recently had a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. 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 they are 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 as well. Request that they provide info about the dog’s veterinarian, tag, and their personal homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. You should also take pictures 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 unleashed dog.
  • 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 talk to the Germantown police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Germantown, IL authorities also keep info on dogs who have bit other people before. If they find 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 as soon as possible. Dog bites can easily result in 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 without delay 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 operated under the same legal principle in regard 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 held liable 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 liable 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, as well as 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 delegated to county or city-level authorities. Most crucially, 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 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 variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities 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, Germantown, IL animal control will take the dog into custody 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 watched for that time and inspected for illnesses, 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 sent 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 placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Germantown, IL owners of dogs entered 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 a second time, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and show that they can maintain safe ownership of their pet: if not, it will be put to sleep.

How Much Can I Get For My Germantown, IL Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can vary in their impact, but one thing is for certain: they are no joke. Dogs have strong jaws (studies have 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 ancestors. While, for instance, being bit by a shih tzu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Germantown, 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 Germantown, IL dog bite lawyer can help you recover money for all of your medical bills and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription drugs, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric services you need. If the Germantown 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 Germantown, IL 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.

Research has shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance companies do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a large 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 Germantown, IL Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Lawyer Amanda Hayden knows that being bit by a dog is an experience no one should be subjected to. She spends 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 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 award.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Germantown, IL, don’t delay: 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

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