Dog Bite Lawyer Jennings, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Jennings, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Jennings, MO. Dogs can be valued members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are tough and no one else is there for you. However, sometimes man’s best friend is not so friendly, and the natural animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a friend, a top Jennings, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Jennings, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that she does. She has a long record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Jennings, MO, 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 Do I Need To Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Jennings, 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 several steps you should immediately take after your accident has happened. Our Jennings, MO dog bite lawyer suggests you do the following if you’ve recently had a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start taking 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 around, get pictures of them and their info as well. 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 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 city or county will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Jennings police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Jennings, 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 without delay. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so rapid treatment is critical.
  • 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 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 had 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 previously 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 law viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get a free pass for the first time their pet bit a human being. 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, unprovoked, 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 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 local governments. 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 widely identical procedures 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 policies 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 specifically ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol following a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Jennings, 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 diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are allowed to leave 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 authorities have viewed 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 enrolled into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Jennings, MO owners of dogs entered 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 someone once again, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and show that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: if not, it will be put to sleep.

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

Dog bite injuries can differ in their impact, but one thing is for certain: 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 legacies of their predator ancestors. 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 Jennings, 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 top Jennings, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering damages for all of your medical bills and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription medications, required rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological counseling you need. If the Jennings dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit and it also destroyed or damaged your mobile phone or tablet–a Jennings, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to repair that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the debacle of being bit by a dog put you through.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance companies do not want to chance having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and get them 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 slightly higher at $48,100.



Contact A Jennings, 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 be subjected to. She spends time to get to know all her clients and ensure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique mix 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 compensation.

If you or someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Jennings, 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-risk consultation.

Dog Bite Lawyer