Dog Bite Lawyer Hillsboro, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Hillsboro, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Hillsboro, MO. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, near and dear 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 so friendly, and the natural animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a highly-rated Hillsboro, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Hillsboro, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a substantial record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Hillsboro, MO, 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 Hillsboro, MO, you’re most likely in a state of disbelief and not sure 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 it has happened. Our Hillsboro, MO dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently suffered a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping photographs 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 also there, 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 pictures 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 dog on the loose.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your local area will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should talk to the Hillsboro police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Hillsboro, MO authorities also keep files on 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. 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 lead to infection, so speedy treatment is critical.
  • 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 you can to file a claim so they can help you with medical bills and other costs. You should also acquire, 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 taken to court for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 was passed, which completely changed 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 warning, whether 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 mandates dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, as well as any civil damages they pay out. 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 sections 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 crucially, 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 matching requirements 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 differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some towns in Missouri specifically ban 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, Hillsboro, 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 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 regarded 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. Hillsboro, 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 placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and prove that they can maintain safe ownership of their pet: if not, it will be euthanized.

How Much Can I Get For My Hillsboro, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their size, but one thing is for sure: they are no laughing matter. 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 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 German shepherd, the most common injuries our Hillsboro, 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

An experienced Hillsboro, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages for all of your medical bills 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 psychological services needed. If the Hillsboro 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 Hillsboro, MO 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 put you through.

Research has shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance firms do not want to chance 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 found that the median dog bite lawsuit settlement in Missouri is about $47,400, while in Illinois the average is a little higher at $48,100.



Contact A Hillsboro, 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 have to go through. She spends time to get acquainted with 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 operate and thus is a dog bite lawyer who fights for your maximum financial award.

If you or someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Hillsboro, MO, don’t delay: contact an compassionate dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-risk consultation.

Dog Bite Lawyer