Dog Bite Lawyer Park Hills, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Park Hills, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Park Hills, 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, sometimes man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the natural animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a top Park Hills, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Park Hills, 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 compassion as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Park Hills, 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 Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Park Hills, MO, you’re probably in a state of shock and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And as in any other accident, there’s a few steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our Park Hills, MO dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently suffered 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 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 also there, 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 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 jurisdiction will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should chat with the Park Hills police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Park Hills, MO authorities also keep records of 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 most always covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are seen as “personal property”. Call them as soon as possible to file a claim so they can assist 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 regarding dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated under 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 before bitten another human being–thus granting Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be taken to court 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 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 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 all applicable damages. On top of that, 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 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 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 widely matching procedures 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 determined by each county or city. While this allows for some differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some localities in Missouri specifically prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol following a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, Park Hills, MO animal control will take the dog into custody 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 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 animal control has regarded 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 enrolled into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Park Hills, MO owners of dogs listed in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they are obligated 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 custody of their pet: if not, it will be euthanized.

How Much Can I Get For My Park Hills, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their size, but one thing is for sure: 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 shih tzu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a German shepherd, the most common injuries our Park Hills, 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 Park Hills, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering money for all of your medical bills and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s charges, you can get money for any prescription medications, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any mental health services needed. If the Park Hills 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 Park Hills, 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 put you through.

Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance firms do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and get them money in their pockets 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 a little higher at $48,100.



Contact A Park Hills, 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 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 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 financial reward.

If you or someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Park Hills, MO, do not hesitate to contact an experienced dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-obligation document review.

Dog Bite Lawyer