Dog Bite Lawyer St. Martins, MO
Strong and Compassionate
St. Martins, MO Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in St. Martins, MO. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, close 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 base animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a top St. Martins, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran St. Martins, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a proven record of representing her dog bite clients with compassion as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in St. Martins, MO, suffered injuries, and are wanting 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 St. Martins, 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 few steps you should immediately take after the incident has happened. Our St. Martins, 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 getting photographs of everything around you. If you can, take photos 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 shots of your immediate surroundings like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to alert people living nearby about the danger of a unleashed dog.
- Call 911. Animal Control in your local area will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the St. Martins police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other St. Martins, MO authorities also keep files on dogs who have bit other people before. If they find 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 rapid 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 without delay 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.
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 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 not before 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 law 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, 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 requires dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, 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 far-reaching 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 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 mostly the same 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 determined by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities in Missouri specifically prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.
After the report of a dog bite, St. Martins, MO animal control will take the dog into custody 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 checked 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 deemed the dog to be safe, they can be sent back into the care of their owner, but not before they compensate them 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. Martins, MO owners of dogs listed 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: if not, it will be euthanized.
How Much Can I Get For My St. Martins, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can vary in their impact, 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 ancestors. While, for instance, being bit by a chihuahua will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our St. Martins, 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
An experienced St. Martins, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering damages for all of your medical costs and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s charges, you can get money for any prescription drugs, necessary rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological counseling you need. If the St. Martins 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 St. Martins, 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 providers do not want to run the risk of having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long court cases and put money in their pocketbooks as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute revealed 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 St. Martins, 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 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 work 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. Martins, 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-obligation document review.