Dog Bite Lawyer Ste. Genevieve, MO
Strong and Compassionate
Ste. Genevieve, MO Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer in Ste. Genevieve, MO. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are tough and nobody else is there for you. However, sometimes man’s best friend is not so friendly, and the natural animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a loved one, a top Ste. Genevieve, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.
Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Ste. Genevieve, MO 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 compassion as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Ste. Genevieve, MO, 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 Ste. Genevieve, MO, you’re most likely in a state of trauma and confused 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 it has happened. Our Ste. Genevieve, 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 pictures 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 around, get pictures of them and their info too. 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 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 dog on the loose.
- 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 Ste. Genevieve police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Ste. Genevieve, MO authorities also keep files 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 without delay. Dog bites can easily lead to infection, so speedy treatment is crucial.
- Call your insurance company. Dog bites are often covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are considered “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 operated under the same legal principle when it comes to dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated on 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 held liable for negligence.
However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 came into force, which completely changed 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, without provocation, whether 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, in addition to 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 statute as it also includes rules 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 crucially, 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 requirements 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 explicitly ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol after a dog bite is identical.
Following the report of a dog bite, Ste. Genevieve, MO animal control will impound the dog for ten days. The dog will be taken to a central facility 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 exit 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 viewed 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 placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Ste. Genevieve, MO owners of dogs placed in these categories must keep them in secure pens or kennels, and when out in public they must keep them on a short leash and muzzled. If a dangerous or vicious dog bites another person a second time, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and prove that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: otherwise, it will be put to sleep.
How Much Can I Get For My Ste. Genevieve, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite injuries can differ in their impact, but one thing is for sure: 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 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 Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our Ste. Genevieve, 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 Ste. Genevieve, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages for all of your medical bills and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s expenses, you can get money for any prescription medications, required rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric counseling needed. If the Ste. Genevieve 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 Ste. Genevieve, 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 put you through.
Studies have 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 sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long 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 slightly higher at $48,100.
Contact A Ste. Genevieve, 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 the time to get to know all her clients and make sure 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 work 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 Ste. Genevieve, MO, do not hesitate to contact an compassionate dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.