Dog Bite Lawyer Highland, IL
Strong and Compassionate
Highland, IL Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in Highland, IL. Dogs can be valued members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are tough and no one else is there for you. However, every once in a while man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the base animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a highly-rated Highland, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Highland, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a winning record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Highland, IL, 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 Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?
If you have recently been bit by a dog in Highland, IL, you’re most likely in a state of disbelief and uncertain about what to do next, just like any other accident. And just like any other accident, there’s a few steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Highland, IL dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently suffered a dog bite injury:
- Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start getting photographs of everything around you. If you can, take shots of the dog that bit you: even if the animal is running away from you and you can thus only get blurry photos, local authorities can still use these shots to identify a dog. If the owner of the dog is also there, get pictures of them and their info too. Request that they 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 alert 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 call the Highland police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Highland, IL authorities also keep records of 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 lead to infection, so speedy 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 without delay to file a claim so they can help you with medical bills and other costs. You should also get, 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 in regard to 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 giving Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be taken to court for negligence.
However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 was passed, which completely altered how Missouri law viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it the first time their pet bit another person. 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, without warning, either on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for all applicable damages. On top of that, 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 extensive than Missouri’s dog bite statute as it also includes guidelines 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 notably, it does outline 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 matching procedures 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 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 expressly 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, Highland, IL animal control will impound the dog for ten days. The dog will be taken 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 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 pet is spayed or neutered. If animal control has deemed 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.
After a dog is returned to the custody of its owner, it is also entered into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Highland, 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 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 Highland, IL Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can differ in their impact, but one thing is undoubtable: 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 passed down from their predator forebearers. 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 Highland, IL 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 Highland, IL dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages for all of your medical expenses and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s expenses, you can get money for any prescription drugs, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric services required. If the Highland 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 Highland, IL 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 to trial. Insurance firms do not want to run the risk of having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and get them money in their pockets as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute revealed 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 Highland, IL Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients
Attorney Amanda Hayden knows that being bit by a dog is an experience no one should be subjected to. She spends time to get acquainted with 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 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 someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Highland, IL, 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-risk consultation.