Dog Bite Lawyer New Florence, MO
Strong and Compassionate
New Florence, MO Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in New Florence, MO. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and nobody else is there for you. However, sometimes man’s best friend is not very friendly, and the primal animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a top New Florence, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran New Florence, MO 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 strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in New Florence, MO, 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 Do I Need To Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?
If you have recently been bit by a dog in New Florence, MO, you’re most likely in a state of disbelief and confused 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 Florence, MO dog bite lawyer suggests you do the following if you’ve recently suffered a dog bite injury:
- Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping shots of everything around you. If you can, take shots of the dog that bit you: even if the dog is 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 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 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 unleashed dog.
- Call 911. Animal Control in your local area will need to be contacted to begin their work after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should talk to the New Florence police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other New Florence, MO authorities also keep records of 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 possible. Dog bites can easily lead to 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 considered “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 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 used 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 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 became law, which completely changed how Missouri judges viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it 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 responsible for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, unprovoked, 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 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 far-reaching than Missouri’s dog bite statute as it also includes rules about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is reserved for local authorities. Most importantly, 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 largely matching 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), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.
After the report of a dog bite, New Florence, MO animal control will impound the dog for ten days. The dog will be transported 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 exit 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.
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. New Florence, MO owners of dogs listed 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 custody of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.
How Much Can I Get For My New Florence, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can vary in their impact, 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 double a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both passed down from their predator forebearers. While, for instance, being bit by a chihuahua will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our New Florence, MO 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 top New Florence, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages 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 psychiatric counseling needed. If the New Florence 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 New Florence, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace 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 vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance firms do not want to chance having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and put money in their pocketbooks as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute found 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 New Florence, 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 have to go through. 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 work and thus is a dog bite lawyer who fights for your maximum financial award.
If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in New Florence, MO, 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-risk case evaluation.