Dog Bite Lawyer Leadwood, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Leadwood, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Leadwood, MO. Dogs can be beloved 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 so friendly, and the base animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a highly-rated Leadwood, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Leadwood, 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 compassion as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Leadwood, MO, suffered injuries, and are seeking 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 Leadwood, MO, you’re most likely 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 a few steps you should immediately take after it has happened. Our Leadwood, MO dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently had a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping pictures of everything around you. If you can, take photos 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. Ask them to give you 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 dog on the loose.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your jurisdiction will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should chat with the Leadwood police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Leadwood, MO authorities also keep records of dogs who have bit other people before. If they find 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 lead to infection, so speedy 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 considered “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 used the same legal principle regarding dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated under 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 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 was passed, which completely changed how Missouri courts viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get a free pass for 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, 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 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 extensive than Missouri’s dog bite law as it also includes sections about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is delegated to local 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 widely matching requirements they follow after a dog bites a human being. The only difference is that Illinois’ dog bite mandates are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s policies are set by each county or city. While this allows for some differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some towns in Missouri expressly ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, Leadwood, MO animal control will take the dog into custody for ten days. The dog will be taken 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 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 dog 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 cover 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 placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Leadwood, 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 prove that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: if not, it will be put to sleep.

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

Dog bite injuries can vary in their impact, but one thing is undoubtable: 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 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 Leadwood, 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 Leadwood, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering money for all of your medical bills and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s charges, you can get money for any prescription medications, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological counseling required. If the Leadwood 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 Leadwood, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the ordeal of being bit by a dog caused you.

Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance firms do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long 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 marginally higher at $48,100.



Contact A Leadwood, 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 have to go through. 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 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 financial reward.

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

Dog Bite Lawyer