Dog Bite Lawyer Maryland Heights, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Maryland Heights, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Maryland Heights, MO. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and no one else is there for you. However, every so often man’s best friend is not very friendly, and the base animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a highly-rated Maryland Heights, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Maryland Heights, 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 vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Maryland Heights, MO, sustained 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 Maryland Heights, MO, you’re probably in a state of disbelief and uncertain about what to do next, just like any other accident. And similar any other accident, there’s a few steps you should immediately take after it has happened. Our Maryland Heights, 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 getting pictures of everything around you. If you can, take photos 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 too. Request that they give you info about the dog’s veterinarian, tag, and their personal homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. You should also take photos 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 process after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Maryland Heights police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Maryland Heights, MO authorities also keep files on 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 rapid treatment is crucial.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are most always covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are seen as “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 had the same legal principle when it comes 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 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 came into force, which completely altered 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. 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, without warning, either on public property or private property they are lawfully allowed to be on, their owner can be sued for all applicable damages. On top of that, 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 pay out. 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 sections 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 jurisdictions. 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 mostly the same procedures they follow after a dog bites a human being. The primary difference is that Illinois’ dog bite mandates 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 expressly ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol following a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, Maryland Heights, MO animal control will impound the dog 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 permitted 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 animal control has 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.

After a dog is returned to the custody of its owner, it is also placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Maryland Heights, 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 placed back 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 Maryland Heights, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their size, 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 passed down from their predator forebearers. 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 Maryland Heights, 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 Maryland Heights, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover funds for all of your medical costs 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 required. If the Maryland Heights 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 Maryland Heights, 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.

Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. 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 pocketbooks as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute found 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 Maryland Heights, 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 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 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 financial reward.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Maryland Heights, 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