Dog Bite Lawyer Irondale, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Irondale, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Irondale, MO. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and no one else is there for you. However, every so often man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the base animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a highly-rated Irondale, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Irondale, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a proven record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Irondale, MO, suffered injuries, and are looking 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 Irondale, MO, you’re most likely in a state of shock and uncertain about what to do next, just like any other accident. And just like any other accident, there’s a number of steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Irondale, MO dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start getting photographs of everything around you. If you can, take pictures of the dog that bit you: even if the animal 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 around, get pictures of them and their info as well. 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 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 process after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should chat with the Irondale police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Irondale, 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. 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 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 assist 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 when it comes to dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated on 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 held liable for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 became law, which completely altered 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, whether on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for any and all damages. In addition, 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 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 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 widely matching guidelines they follow after a dog bites a human being. The only difference is that Illinois’ dog bite procedures are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s policies 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 explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, Irondale, MO animal control will take the dog into custody 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 inspected 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 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.

After 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. Irondale, 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 another person once again, they are once again placed under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and show that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: otherwise, it will be put to sleep.

How Much Can I Get For My Irondale, MO 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 (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 ancestors. While, for instance, being bit by a chihuahua will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our Irondale, 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 Irondale, 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 expenses, you can get money for any prescription drugs, required rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological services required. If the Irondale 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 Irondale, 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.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance firms do not want to chance having to potentially pay a large jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long court cases and put money in their pocketbooks as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute revealed that the average dog bite lawsuit settlement in Missouri is about $47,400, while in Illinois the average is a little higher at $48,100.



Contact A Irondale, 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 have to go through. 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 combination of both business and legal experience 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 award.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Irondale, 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-risk case evaluation.

Dog Bite Lawyer