Dog Bite Lawyer Gray Summit, MO
Strong and Compassionate
Gray Summit, MO Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in Gray Summit, MO. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are rough and nobody else is there for you. However, every once in a while man’s best friend is not very friendly, and the primal animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a top Gray Summit, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Gray Summit, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that 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 Gray Summit, 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 Gray Summit, MO, you’re most likely in a state of shock 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 Gray Summit, 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 snapping pictures of everything around you. If you can, take pictures 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 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 photos of the immediate area like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to warn 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 tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Gray Summit police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Gray Summit, MO 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. No matter the size of your injuries, we suggest calling a doctor or visiting an emergency room or urgent care center as soon as you can. 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 seen as “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 acquire, if possible, the dog owner’s insurance information.
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 never previously bitten another human being–thus giving Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be taken to court for negligence.
However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 became law, which completely changed how Missouri law viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get a free pass for the first time their pet bit another person. 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, without provocation, either on public property or private property they are lawfully allowed to be on, their owner can be sued for any and all damages. On top of that, 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 guidelines 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 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 mostly identical 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 set by each county or city. While this allows for some differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some towns in Missouri specifically 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, Gray Summit, 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 illnesses, most notably rabies. Before they are permitted to leave 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 regarded 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 back in the custody of its owner, it is also placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Gray Summit, MO owners of dogs placed in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they are required to 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 ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.
How Much Can I Get For My Gray Summit, MO 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 (research has 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 forebearers. 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 Gray Summit, 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 skilled Gray Summit, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering funds for all of your medical bills and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription medications, required rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric counseling needed. If the Gray Summit 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 Gray Summit, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the ordeal of being bit by a dog caused you.
Research has shown that the vast 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 put money in their bank account 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 marginally higher at $48,100.
Contact A Gray Summit, MO 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 takes time out 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 blend of both business and legal knowledge 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 financial reward.
If you or a friend has recently been bit by a dog in Gray Summit, MO, 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 document review.