Dog Bite Lawyer Valley Park, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Valley Park, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Valley Park, MO. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and no one else is there for you. However, every once in a while 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 a loved one, a top Valley Park, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Valley Park, 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 empathy as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Valley Park, 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 Do I Need To Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Valley Park, MO, you’re most likely in a state of disbelief and uncertain 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 your accident has happened. Our Valley Park, MO dog bite lawyer suggests you do the following if you’ve recently suffered a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping shots 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 around, 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 shots of the immediate area like street signs, cars parked nearby, and house numbers–animal control needs to tell people living nearby about the danger of a unleashed dog.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your city or county will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should chat with the Valley Park police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Valley Park, 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 lead to infection, so rapid 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 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 get, 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 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 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 granting Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be taken to court for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 was passed, which completely changed how Missouri judges viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it the first time their pet bit a human being. 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, either on public property or private property they are lawfully standing, their owner can be sued for all applicable damages. In addition, Missouri law requires dog owners to pay a fine to the state of no more than $1,000, as well as 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 extensive than Missouri’s dog bite law as it also includes rules about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is delegated to local authorities. 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 widely the same procedures they follow after a dog bites a human being. The sole difference is that Illinois’ dog bite mandates 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 explicitly ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Valley Park, MO animal control will take the dog into custody 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 observed for that time and checked for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are allowed to exit 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 viewed the dog to be safe, they can be released back into the care of their owner, but not before they cover 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 placed into a statewide database of “dangerous” (in Missouri) or “vicious” (in Illinois) dogs. Valley Park, MO owners of dogs entered 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 once again, they are placed back under observation. However, this time owners must file an appeal and prove that they can maintain safe ownership of their pet: otherwise, it will be put to sleep.

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

Dog bite injuries can vary in their size, but one thing is for sure: they are no joke. Dogs have strong jaws (research has 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 rottweiler, the most common injuries our Valley Park, 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 Valley Park, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover money 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 services needed. If the Valley Park dog that bit you also damaged your property–for instance, if you were bit while riding a bike and the dog also broke part of your frame–a Valley Park, MO dog bite lawyer can get you money to replace that, as well as damages for the pain and suffering the debacle of being bit by a dog put you through.

Studies have shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never go in front of a jury. Insurance providers do not want to chance having to potentially pay a sizable jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and award them money in their pocketbooks 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 marginally higher at $48,100.



Contact A Valley Park, 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 have to go through. She spends time to get acquainted with all her clients and ensure that they don’t have to go through the legal process alone. In addition, she brings a unique mix of both business and legal expertise 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 Valley Park, MO, do not wait to contact an highly-rated dog bite lawyer. Call Amanda Hayden today at [clickable-number] or contact her online to set up a free, no-risk case evaluation.

Dog Bite Lawyer