Dog Bite Lawyer Waterloo, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Waterloo, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Waterloo, IL. Dogs can be treasured 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, sometimes man’s best friend is not exactly friendly, and the base animal tendencies of dogs can take over. If that ever happens to you or someone you know, a top Waterloo, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Waterloo, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a substantial record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Waterloo, IL, sustained injuries, and are looking 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 Waterloo, IL, you’re most likely in a state of disbelief and confused about what to do next, just like any other accident. And just like any other accident, there’s a few steps you should immediately take after your accident has happened. Our Waterloo, IL 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 getting shots 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 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 provide 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 local area will need to be contacted to begin their tasks after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Waterloo police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Waterloo, IL authorities also keep records of 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. No matter 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 quick treatment is important.
  • 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 as soon as possible to file a claim so they can benefit 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 used the same legal principle when it comes to 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 never 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 was passed, which completely altered how Missouri judges viewed dog bites. No longer could dog owners get away with it the first time their pet bit another person. 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 all applicable 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 must owe. 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 rules about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is delegated to local jurisdictions. Most crucially, it does mention 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 mostly matching guidelines 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 policies are determined by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some localities 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, Waterloo, IL 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 observed for that time and inspected 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 pet is spayed or neutered. If animal control has regarded the dog to be safe, they can be sent 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.

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. Waterloo, IL 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 once again, 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: if not, it will be euthanized.

How Much Can I Get For My Waterloo, IL Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their size, but one thing is for certain: they are no joke. 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 legacies of their predator ancestors. While, for instance, being bit by a shih tzu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a rottweiler, the most common injuries our Waterloo, IL 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 Waterloo, IL dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering money 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 mental health counseling required. If the Waterloo 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 Waterloo, IL 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 companies do not want to chance having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid drawn-out court cases and put 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 slightly higher at $48,100.



Contact A Waterloo, IL Dog Bite Lawyer Who Fights For Her Clients

Lawyer Amanda Hayden knows that getting 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 ensure 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 operate 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 Waterloo, IL, do not hesitate to 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

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