Dog Bite Lawyer Olivette, MO
Strong and Compassionate
Olivette, MO Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in Olivette, MO. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are rough and no one else is there for you. However, every so often man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the base animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a top Olivette, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Olivette, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in all that she does. She has a long record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Olivette, 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 Olivette, MO, you’re probably in a state of shock and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And similar any other accident, there’s a few steps you should immediately take after your accident has happened. Our Olivette, MO 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 pictures 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 nearby, 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 shots of the immediate area like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to alert people living nearby about the danger of a dangerous dog nearby.
- Call 911. Animal Control in your local area will need to be contacted to begin their process after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should talk to the Olivette police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Olivette, 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 you can. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so speedy 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 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 operated under the same legal principle in regard 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 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 came into force, which completely altered how Missouri law viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it the first time their pet bit another person. 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 responsible for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, without provocation, whether on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for all applicable damages. In addition, 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 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 guidelines about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is delegated to county or city-level jurisdictions. 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 widely the same guidelines they follow after a dog bites a human being. The only difference is that Illinois’ dog bite mandates are part of the state Animal Control Act, while Missouri’s policies are determined by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some localities in Missouri explicitly ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.
Following the report of a dog bite, Olivette, 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 illnesses, 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 animal is spayed or neutered. If animal control has deemed 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.
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. Olivette, 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 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 put to sleep.
How Much Can I Get For My Olivette, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can vary in their size, but one thing is undoubtable: they are no laughing matter. Dogs have strong jaws (research has 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 German shepherd, the most common injuries our Olivette, 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 Olivette, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering funds for all of your medical costs and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s expenses, you can get money for any prescription drugs, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric counseling needed. If the Olivette 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 Olivette, 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 caused you.
Research has shown that the vast 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 average dog bite lawsuit settlement in Missouri is about $47,400, while in Illinois the average is marginally higher at $48,100.
Contact A Olivette, 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 have to go through. She takes the time to get to know 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 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 financial award.
If you or a friend has recently been bit by a dog in Olivette, MO, don’t delay: 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.