Dog Bite Lawyer Hazelwood, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Hazelwood, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Hazelwood, MO. Dogs can be valued members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are rough and no one else is there for you. However, sometimes 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 top Hazelwood, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Hazelwood, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that 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 Hazelwood, 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 Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Hazelwood, MO, you’re probably in a state of disbelief and uncertain about what to do next, just like any other accident. And as in any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after it has happened. Our Hazelwood, MO dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping 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 photos of your immediate surroundings 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 jurisdiction will need to be contacted to begin their work after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should talk to the Hazelwood police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Hazelwood, MO 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 without delay. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so rapid 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 viewed as “personal property”. Call them as soon as possible to file a claim so they can benefit 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 used the same legal principle regarding dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated under 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 not before bitten another human being–thus granting Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be sued for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 came into force, 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 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 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 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, 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 extensive than Missouri’s dog bite law as it also includes rules 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 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 guidelines they follow after a dog bites a human being. The primary difference is that Illinois’ dog bite procedures are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s procedures are set by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities in Missouri specifically prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Hazelwood, 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 permitted to exit the facility, a tracking microchip is implanted in the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the pet is spayed or neutered. If animal control has regarded the dog to be safe, they can be sent 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 back in the custody of its owner, it is also entered into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Hazelwood, MO owners of dogs listed 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 another person once again, they are once again placed under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and prove that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.

How Much Can I Get For My Hazelwood, 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 (a study 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 shiba inu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Hazelwood, 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 Hazelwood, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages 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, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological services needed. If the Hazelwood dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit and the force of his bite tore an expensive article of clothing–a Hazelwood, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the debacle of being bit by a dog caused you.

Studies have shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance providers do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and award them 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 Hazelwood, MO Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Lawyer Amanda Hayden knows that getting 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 reassure them that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique blend 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 compensation.

If you or a friend has recently been bit by a dog in Hazelwood, MO, don’t delay: 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 document review.

Dog Bite Lawyer