Dog Bite Lawyer New Melle, MO

Strong and Compassionate

New Melle, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in New Melle, MO. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are tough and nobody else is there for you. However, every so often man’s best friend is not very friendly, and the natural animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a friend, a top New Melle, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran New Melle, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that she does. She has a winning record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in New Melle, MO, sustained injuries, and are seeking 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 Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in New Melle, MO, you’re most likely 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 a number of steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our New Melle, MO dog bite lawyer asks that you 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 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 around, get pictures of them and their info too. Ask them to provide 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 tell people living nearby about the danger of a dog on the loose.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your city or county will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the New Melle police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other New Melle, MO authorities also keep info on dogs who have bit other people before. If it turns out 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 speedy treatment is critical.
  • 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 benefit you with medical bills and other costs. You should also acquire, 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 in regard 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 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 came into force, which completely changed how Missouri law viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it 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, unprovoked, 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, 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 law 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 county or city-level authorities. Most notably, 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 identical procedures they follow after a dog bites a human being. The sole difference is that Illinois’ dog bite procedures are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s procedures are set by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some towns in Missouri expressly prohibit 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, New Melle, MO animal control will impound the dog 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 allowed to exit the facility, a tracking microchip is implanted in the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the dog is spayed or neutered. If authorities have 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 placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. New Melle, 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 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 New Melle, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their severity, but one thing is for certain: 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 ancestors. 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 New Melle, 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

A top New Melle, MO 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 expenses, you can get money for any prescription medications, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological counseling required. If the New Melle 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 Melle, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to repair that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the process of being bit by a dog put you through.

Research has shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance companies do not want to chance having to potentially pay a large jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long court cases and get them money in their pockets 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 Melle, MO Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Attorney Amanda Hayden knows that being bit by a dog is an experience no one should be subjected to. She spends time to get acquainted with all her clients and ensure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique blend of both business and legal knowledge 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 a friend has recently been bit by a dog in New Melle, MO, 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 review.

Dog Bite Lawyer

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