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O’Fallon, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

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

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran O’Fallon, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that she does. She has a proven record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in O’Fallon, IL, sustained injuries, and are looking 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 O’Fallon, IL, you’re probably in a state of disbelief and uncertain 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 your accident has happened. Our O’Fallon, IL 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 taking photographs of everything around you. If you can, take photos of the dog that bit you: even if the dog 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 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 dangerous dog nearby.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your city or county will need to be contacted to begin their work after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the O’Fallon police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other O’Fallon, IL 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. 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 rapid treatment is important.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are usually covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are considered “personal property”. Call them as soon as possible 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.

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Dog Bite Laws In Missouri and Illinois

Since the year 2009, Missouri and Illinois have both operated under the same legal principle when it comes to 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 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 altered how Missouri courts 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, unprovoked, either on public property or private property they are lawfully allowed to be on, their owner can be sued for all applicable damages. On top of that, Missouri law mandates dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, {as well as|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 extensive than Missouri’s dog bite law 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|delegated to| county or city-level jurisdictions. 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 largely 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 differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities in Missouri explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), {by and large|for the most part| the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, O’Fallon, IL 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 observed for that time and inspected for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are permitted to exit the facility, a tracking microchip is inserted into the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the animal is spayed or neutered. If animal control has regarded 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. O’Fallon, IL 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 someone a second time, they are once again placed under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and prove that they can maintain safe ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be euthanized.

How Much Can I Get For My O’Fallon, IL Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their impact, but one thing is undoubtable: they are no joke. Dogs have strong jaws (studies have found that on average, a dog’s bite exerts 320 psi of force, more than double 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 German shepherd, the most common injuries our O’Fallon, IL 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

An experienced O’Fallon, 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 medications, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological counseling required. If the O’Fallon 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 O’Fallon, IL 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 overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance providers do not want to run the risk of having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and get them 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 marginally higher at $48,100.



Contact A O’Fallon, IL Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Lawyer Amanda Hayden knows that being bit by a dog is an experience no one should be subjected to. She takes time out 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 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 O’Fallon, 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-risk case evaluation.

Dog Bite Lawyer

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