Dog Bite Lawyer Washington, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Washington, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Washington, MO. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are rough 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 tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or a friend, a highly-rated Washington, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Washington, 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 vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Washington, MO, suffered injuries, and are seeking to recover damages from 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 Washington, MO, you’re probably in a state of shock and not sure 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 the incident has happened. Our Washington, MO dog bite lawyer asks that you do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:

  • Take photos. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping pictures of everything around you. If you can, take photos of the dog that bit you: even if the animal 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 as well. Ask them to 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 process after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should talk to the Washington police: not only should you ask for a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Washington, MO authorities also keep records of dogs who have bit other people before. If they determine 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 result in 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 benefit you with medical bills and other costs. You should also acquire, 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 regarding 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 previously 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 changed how Missouri judges 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, 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, 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 statute 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 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 largely identical guidelines 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 policies are set by each county or city. While this allows for some differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some towns in Missouri explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), for the most part the protocol following a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Washington, MO animal control will take the dog into custody 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 leave the facility, a tracking microchip is inserted into the dog, and if their owner has not done so already the animal is spayed or neutered. If authorities have regarded 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.

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. Washington, MO owners of dogs entered 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 someone once again, they are once again placed 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 put to sleep.

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

Dog bite injuries can vary in their severity, but one thing is undoubtable: 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 twice a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both legacies of their predator ancestors. 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 Washington, 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 Washington, MO dog bite lawyer can help you recover money for all of your medical expenses and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription drugs, needed rehab or physical therapy, and any mental health services required. If the Washington 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 Washington, 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 put you through.

Research has shown that the vast majority of dog bite lawsuits never see a courtroom. Insurance companies do not want to be exposed to having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long 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 Washington, MO Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Attorney Amanda Hayden knows that getting bit by a dog is an experience no one should have to go through. She takes the 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 knowledge into the courtroom, which means that she knows how insurance companies do business 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 Washington, MO, do not hesitate 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-obligation document review.

Dog Bite Lawyer

[wdac-linkblock parent="/dog-bite-lawyer/" exclude="Dog Bite Lawyer " button-class="uk-button uk-button-primary button-block" class="uk-grid-small uk-child-width-1-3@l uk-child-width-1-2@m"]