Dog Bite Lawyer Jefferson City, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Jefferson City, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Jefferson City, 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, sometimes man’s best friend is not very friendly, and the natural animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a top Jefferson City, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Jefferson City, 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 strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Jefferson City, MO, sustained injuries, and are wanting 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 Jefferson City, MO, you’re probably in a state of shock and confused 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 the incident has happened. Our Jefferson City, MO dog bite lawyer suggests you do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start getting shots 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 blurry 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 provide 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 dangerous dog nearby.
  • 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 call the Jefferson City police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Jefferson City, MO authorities also keep records of 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 speedy 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 considered “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 get, 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 in regard 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 granting 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 changed 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 any and all damages. In addition, 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 are assessed. 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 rules 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 authorities. Most crucially, 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 mostly identical requirements 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 determined by each county or city. While this allows for some differences 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.

Following the report of a dog bite, Jefferson City, MO animal control will impound the dog for ten days. The dog will be transported 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 permitted to leave the facility, a tracking microchip is inserted into the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the dog 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.

After a dog is back in the custody of its owner, it is also enrolled into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Jefferson City, MO owners of dogs entered in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they are obligated to keep them on a short leash and muzzled. If a dangerous or vicious dog bites someone a second time, 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: if not, it will be euthanized.

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

Dog bite injuries can vary in their size, but one thing is for sure: they are no laughing matter. Dogs have strong jaws (a study found that on average, a dog’s bite exerts 320 psi of force, more than twice a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both legacies of their predator forebearers. While, for instance, being bit by a chihuahua will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Jefferson City, 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 Jefferson City, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering money for all of your medical costs and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s charges, you can get money for any prescription drugs, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological services you need. If the Jefferson City 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 Jefferson City, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to repair that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the ordeal of being bit by a dog caused you.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming 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 substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy 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 slightly higher at $48,100.



Contact A Jefferson City, MO Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Attorney Amanda Hayden knows that getting bit by a dog is an experience no one should be subjected to. She takes time out to get acquainted with 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 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 Jefferson City, 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 case review.

Dog Bite Lawyer