Dog Bite Lawyer Sunset Hills, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Sunset Hills, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Sunset Hills, MO. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and nobody else is there for you. However, sometimes man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the primal animal instincts of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a friend, a top Sunset Hills, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Sunset 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 vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Sunset Hills, 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 Should I Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Sunset Hills, MO, you’re most likely in a state of disbelief 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 your accident has happened. Our Sunset Hills, MO dog bite lawyer encourages you to 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 dog is 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 too. Ask them to give you 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 dangerous dog nearby.
  • 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 Sunset Hills police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Sunset Hills, 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 as soon as possible. Dog bites can easily result in 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 viewed 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.

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Dog Bite Laws In Missouri and Illinois

Since the year 2009, Missouri and Illinois have both operated under 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 giving 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 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 responsible for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, without provocation, either on public property or private property they are lawfully allowed to be on, their owner can be sued for any and all damages. In addition, Missouri law mandates 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 governments. 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 widely the same guidelines 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 policies are determined by each county or city. While this allows for some differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some towns in Missouri explicitly ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Sunset Hills, MO animal control will impound the dog for ten days. The dog will be transported 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 illnesses, most notably rabies. Before they are permitted to leave the facility, a tracking microchip is implanted in the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the animal 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.

Once 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. Sunset Hills, MO owners of dogs placed 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 prove that they can maintain safe custody of their pet: if not, it will be put to sleep.

How Much Can I Get For My Sunset Hills, 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 (studies have 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 shiba inu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Sunset 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 skilled Sunset Hills, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering money for all of your medical expenses and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s charges, you can get money for any prescription drugs, required rehab or physical therapy, and any mental health services required. If the Sunset Hills 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 Sunset Hills, 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 put you through.

Research has shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance companies do not want to run the risk of having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and get them money in their pockets 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 slightly higher at $48,100.



Contact A Sunset Hills, 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 spends time 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 combination 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 financial award.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Sunset Hills, 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.

Dog Bite Lawyer