Dog Bite Lawyer Millstadt, IL
Strong and Compassionate
Millstadt, IL Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in Millstadt, IL. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are tough and no one else is there for you. However, sometimes man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the primal animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a top Millstadt, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Millstadt, 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 Millstadt, IL, 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 Millstadt, IL, you’re probably in a state of trauma and uncertain 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 the incident has happened. Our Millstadt, IL dog bite lawyer suggests 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 provide info about the dog’s veterinarian, tag, and their personal homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. You should also take pictures of the immediate area like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to tell 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 chat with the Millstadt police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Millstadt, 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 as soon as you can. Dog bites can easily lead to infection, so rapid treatment is critical.
- 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 you can to file a claim so they can benefit you with medical bills and other costs. You should also obtain, if possible, the dog owner’s insurance information.
Dog Bite Laws In Missouri and Illinois
Since the year 2009, Missouri and Illinois have both operated under the same legal principle regarding 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 before 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 judges 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, whether on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for any and all damages. On top of that, Missouri law mandates dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, in addition to 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 far-reaching than Missouri’s dog bite law as it also includes guidelines about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is reserved for local jurisdictions. Most crucially, 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 largely matching procedures 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 towns in Missouri specifically ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol after a dog bite is identical.
After the report of a dog bite, Millstadt, IL 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 watched for that time and inspected for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are permitted to exit 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 viewed the dog to be safe, they can be released 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 returned to the custody of its owner, it is also enrolled into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Millstadt, 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 a second time, they are once again placed 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 Millstadt, IL Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can differ in their size, 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 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 Millstadt, 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
A skilled Millstadt, IL dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering money 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, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological services you need. If the Millstadt dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit while riding a bike and the dog also broke part of your frame–a Millstadt, 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 put you through.
Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance companies 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 award 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 marginally higher at $48,100.
Contact A Millstadt, IL Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients
Attorney 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 a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Millstadt, IL, do not wait to contact an experienced dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-risk case evaluation.