Dog Bite Lawyer Lake St. Louis, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Lake St. Louis, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Lake St. Louis, MO. Dogs can be valued members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and no one else is there for you. However, sometimes man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the primal animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a highly-rated Lake St. Louis, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Lake St. Louis, 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 Lake St. Louis, MO, suffered 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 Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Lake St. Louis, MO, you’re probably in a state of disbelief and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And similar any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after your accident has happened. Our Lake St. Louis, MO dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently suffered a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start getting pictures 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 nearby, 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 shots 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 unleashed dog.
  • 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 chat with the Lake St. Louis police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Lake St. Louis, 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 as soon as you can. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so quick treatment is important.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are often covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are viewed as “personal property”. Call them as soon as possible to file a claim so they can help 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 regarding 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 giving 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 law viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it 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, unprovoked, either on public property or private property they are lawfully allowed to be on, 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, 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 guidelines about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is delegated to local jurisdictions. Most importantly, 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 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 procedures are set by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some localities in Missouri expressly prohibit 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, Lake St. Louis, 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 inserted into the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the pet is spayed or neutered. If authorities have regarded 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.

Once 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. Lake St. Louis, 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 another person 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: if not, it will be euthanized.

How Much Can I Get For My Lake St. Louis, 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 (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 ancestors. While, for instance, being bit by a shiba inu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Lake St. Louis, 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 Lake St. Louis, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering damages for all of your medical expenses and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription drugs, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric services required. If the Lake St. Louis 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 Lake St. Louis, 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 caused you.

Studies have shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance providers do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and get them money in their bank account 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 a little higher at $48,100.



Contact A Lake St. Louis, MO Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Attorney 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 make sure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique mix of both business and legal experience into the courtroom, which means that she knows how insurance companies work 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 Lake St. Louis, 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 consultation.

Dog Bite Lawyer