Dog Bite Lawyer Mascoutah, IL
Strong and Compassionate
Mascoutah, IL Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in Mascoutah, IL. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are rough and no one else is there for you. However, sometimes man’s best friend is not so friendly, and the natural animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a top Mascoutah, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Mascoutah, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a winning record of representing her dog bite clients with compassion as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Mascoutah, IL, 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 Do I Need To Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?
If you have recently been bit by a dog in Mascoutah, IL, you’re probably in a state of trauma and not sure about what to do next, just like any other accident. And similar any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Mascoutah, IL dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:
- Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping photographs 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 blurry 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 pictures of your immediate surroundings like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to tell people living nearby about the danger of a unleashed dog.
- Call 911. Animal Control in your local area will need to be contacted to begin their process after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should chat with the Mascoutah police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Mascoutah, IL authorities also keep info 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. No matter 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 speedy treatment is important.
- 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 without delay 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.
Dog Bite Laws In Missouri and Illinois
Since the year 2009, Missouri and Illinois have both used the same legal principle in regard to dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated on 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 never before 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 courts 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, without warning, 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, in addition to 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 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 notably, it does mandate 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 matching guidelines they follow after a dog bites a human being. The sole difference is that Illinois’ dog bite mandates 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 explicitly 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, Mascoutah, IL 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 checked for illnesses, most notably rabies. Before they are allowed to leave the facility, a tracking microchip is implanted in the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the pet is spayed or neutered. If animal control has 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.
After a dog is returned to the custody of its owner, it is also entered into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Mascoutah, IL 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 again, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and show that they can maintain safe ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be put to sleep.
How Much Can I Get For My Mascoutah, IL Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can vary in their size, but one thing is for sure: 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 twice a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both passed down from 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 Mascoutah, IL dog bite lawyer sees include:
- Surface-level cuts and bruises
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Infections from canine saliva
- Broken or cracked bones
- Avulsion injuries (when skin or body parts are torn off)
- Nerve damage
- Emotional trauma
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
An experienced Mascoutah, IL 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 expenses, you can get money for any prescription medications, required rehab or physical therapy, and any mental health services needed. If the Mascoutah dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit and the force of his bite tore an expensive article of clothing–a Mascoutah, IL 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 caused you.
Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance companies do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and put money in their pocketbooks 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 Mascoutah, IL Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients
Lawyer Amanda Hayden knows that getting bit by a dog is an experience no one should have to go through. She spends time to get acquainted with 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 knowledge 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 friend has recently been bit by a dog in Mascoutah, IL, do not wait to contact an compassionate dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation.