Dog Bite Lawyer Godfrey, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Godfrey, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

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

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Godfrey, 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 strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Godfrey, IL, sustained injuries, and are looking 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 Godfrey, IL, you’re probably in a state of trauma and not sure about what to do next, just like any other accident. And as in any other accident, there’s a few steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Godfrey, IL dog bite lawyer suggests you 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 shots 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 nearby, 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 Godfrey police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Godfrey, IL authorities also keep files 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. 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 speedy treatment is important.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are usually 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 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 had the same legal principle regarding 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 not 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 came into force, which completely altered how Missouri judges viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it 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 liable for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, without provocation, either 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 mandates dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, in addition to 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 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 local authorities. Most importantly, 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 widely identical requirements they follow after a dog bites a human being. The sole difference is that Illinois’ dog bite procedures 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 localities in Missouri explicitly 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, Godfrey, IL animal control will impound the dog for ten days. The dog will be transported 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 animal is spayed or neutered. If animal control has viewed 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. Godfrey, IL owners of dogs placed 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 prove that they can maintain safe ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.

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

Dog bite injuries can vary in their impact, but one thing is for certain: 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 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 Godfrey, 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

A top Godfrey, IL dog bite lawyer can help you recover 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 drugs, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any mental health counseling required. If the Godfrey 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 Godfrey, IL dog bite lawyer can get you money to repair that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the ordeal of being bit by a dog caused you.

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



Contact A Godfrey, 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 have to go through. She spends time to get to know all her clients and reassure them that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique combination of both business and legal expertise 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 friend has recently been bit by a dog in Godfrey, IL, 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

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