Dog Bite Lawyer Stephens, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Stephens, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Stephens, MO. Dogs can be valued members of the family, near and dear 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 Stephens, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Stephens, 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 vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Stephens, MO, suffered 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 Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Stephens, MO, you’re probably in a state of trauma and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And just like any other accident, there’s several steps you should immediately take after it has happened. Our Stephens, MO dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start taking 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 around, get pictures of them and their info as well. Request that they 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 dog on the loose.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your local area will need to be contacted to begin their work after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Stephens police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Stephens, 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 lead to infection, so rapid 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 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.

Contact Us

Dog Bite Laws In Missouri and Illinois

Since the year 2009, Missouri and Illinois have both used 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 never before bitten another human being–thus giving 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 a free pass for the first time their pet bit a human being. 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 liable for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, without warning, either on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for any and all 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 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 local jurisdictions. Most notably, 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 largely matching requirements 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 procedures are set by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some towns in Missouri specifically 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, Stephens, MO animal control will impound the dog 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 watched for that time and inspected for illnesses, 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 authorities have deemed the dog to be safe, they can be released 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.

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. Stephens, 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 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 ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be put to sleep.

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

Dog bite injuries can differ in their impact, 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 double a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both legacies of their predator forebearers. While, for instance, being bit by a shiba inu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Stephens, 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

An experienced Stephens, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering damages for all of your medical bills and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s charges, you can get money for any prescription drugs, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any psychological counseling required. If the Stephens 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 Stephens, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the ordeal 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 large jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and award them money in their pockets as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute revealed 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 Stephens, 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 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 mix 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 someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Stephens, 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-obligation case review.

Dog Bite Lawyer