Dog Bite Lawyer New Athens, IL
Strong and Compassionate
New Athens, IL Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in New Athens, IL. Dogs can be valued members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are tough and nobody else is there for you. However, sometimes man’s best friend is not very friendly, and the primal animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a friend, a top New Athens, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced New Athens, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that 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 New Athens, IL, sustained injuries, and are wanting 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 Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?
If you have recently been bit by a dog in New Athens, IL, you’re most likely in a state of disbelief and uncertain about what to do next, just like any other accident. And as in any other accident, there’s a number of steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our New Athens, IL 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 taking photographs of everything around you. If you can, take shots 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 also there, get pictures of them and their info too. Request that they provide 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 tell 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 New Athens police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other New Athens, IL authorities also keep files on 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. Regardless of 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 result in infection, so speedy treatment is crucial.
- Call your insurance company. Dog bites are usually 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 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 had 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 previously 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 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 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 allowed to be on, their owner can be sued for all applicable 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 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 reserved for county or city-level authorities. 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 widely identical guidelines they follow after a dog bites a human being. The primary difference is that Illinois’ dog bite procedures are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s policies 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 explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol after a dog bite is identical.
Following the report of a dog bite, New Athens, 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 observed 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 dog is spayed or neutered. If authorities have deemed 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.
After 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. New Athens, IL owners of dogs entered in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they must keep them on a short leash and muzzled. If a dangerous or vicious dog bites another person once again, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and show that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: if not, it will be put to sleep.
How Much Can I Get For My New Athens, IL Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can vary in their severity, but one thing is for sure: 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 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 New Athens, 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 New Athens, IL dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering funds for all of your medical bills and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s charges, you can get money for any prescription drugs, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any mental health counseling required. If the New Athens 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 New Athens, 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.
Studies have shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance firms do not want to chance having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and put money in their bank account 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 New Athens, IL Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients
Attorney Amanda Hayden knows that getting bit by a dog is an experience no one should be subjected to. She takes time out 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 blend of both business and legal experience into the courtroom, which means that she knows how insurance companies do business and thus is a dog bite lawyer who fights for your maximum compensation.
If you or someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in New Athens, IL, don’t delay: 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.