Dog Bite Lawyer St. Clair, MO

Strong and Compassionate

St. Clair, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Clair, MO. Dogs can be valued members of the family, near and dear 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 so friendly, and the natural animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a highly-rated St. Clair, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced St. Clair, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything 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 St. Clair, 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 St. Clair, MO, you’re probably in a state of trauma 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 it has happened. Our St. Clair, MO dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping pictures of everything around you. If you can, take shots 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. 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 warn people living nearby about the danger of a dog on the loose.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your jurisdiction will need to be contacted to begin their work after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should chat with the St. Clair police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other St. Clair, 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. No matter 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 result in infection, so quick treatment is critical.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are often 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 help 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 had the same legal principle when it comes to dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated on 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 not previously bitten another human being–thus giving Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be taken to court for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 came into force, 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 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 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 far-reaching than Missouri’s dog bite statute as it also includes sections 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 crucially, it does mandate 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 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 procedures 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 expressly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

Following the report of a dog bite, St. Clair, 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 checked for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are allowed to leave 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 deemed 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. St. Clair, MO owners of dogs placed 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 once 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 put to sleep.

How Much Can I Get For My St. Clair, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can vary in their size, but one thing is for certain: they are no laughing matter. Dogs have strong jaws (a study found that on average, a dog’s bite exerts 320 psi of force, more than twice a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both passed down from their predator forebearers. While, for instance, being bit by a shiba inu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a German shepherd, the most common injuries our St. Clair, 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 St. Clair, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering damages for all of your medical expenses and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s expenses, you can get money for any prescription medications, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological services required. If the St. Clair 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 St. Clair, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the process of being bit by a dog caused you.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance firms do not want to chance having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and put 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 marginally higher at $48,100.



Contact A St. Clair, MO 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 make sure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique combination of both business and legal experience into the courtroom, which means that she knows how insurance companies operate 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 St. Clair, 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 review.

Dog Bite Lawyer

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