Dog Bite Lawyer Kirkwood, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Kirkwood, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Kirkwood, MO. Dogs can be valued members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are tough and nobody else is there for you. However, every once in a while man’s best friend is not so friendly, and the base animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a highly-rated Kirkwood, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Kirkwood, 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 compassion as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Kirkwood, MO, sustained 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 Kirkwood, MO, you’re most likely in a state of trauma 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 Kirkwood, 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 getting shots 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 nearby, get pictures of them and their info too. Ask them to give you 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 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 work after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should chat with the Kirkwood police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Kirkwood, 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. 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 result in infection, so quick 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 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 used the same legal principle when it comes 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 previously bitten another human being–thus granting Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be sued for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 was passed, which completely changed how Missouri courts viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it 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 responsible 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. In addition, Missouri law requires dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, as well as any civil damages they must owe. 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 rules 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 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 largely matching procedures 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 procedures are determined by each county or city. While this allows for some differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some localities in Missouri expressly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Kirkwood, 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 observed for that time and checked for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are allowed to exit 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 authorities have deemed 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.

Once 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. Kirkwood, 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 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 ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.

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

Dog bite injuries can differ in their severity, but one thing is undoubtable: they are no joke. 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 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 Kirkwood, 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 Kirkwood, 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 bills, you can get money for any prescription drugs, required rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological counseling required. If the Kirkwood 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 Kirkwood, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace 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 vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance firms do not want to chance having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long 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 Kirkwood, 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 be subjected to. She takes the time to get to know all her clients and make sure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique combination of both business and legal knowledge 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 reward.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Kirkwood, 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-obligation case review.

Dog Bite Lawyer

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