Dog Bite Lawyer Wood River, IL

Strong and Compassionate

Wood River, IL Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Wood River, IL. Dogs can be beloved members of the family, close companions, and a friend even when times are tough and no one else is there for you. However, sometimes 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 someone you know, a top Wood River, IL dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is a veteran Wood River, IL personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a long record of representing her dog bite clients with empathy as well as strength. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Wood River, 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 Wood River, IL, you’re most likely in a state of shock and not sure about what to do next, just like any other accident. And as in any other accident, there’s a number of steps you should immediately take after it has happened. Our Wood River, IL dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently had a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start snapping photographs of everything around you. If you can, take pictures 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 also there, 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 photos 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 unleashed dog.
  • Call 911. Animal Control in your jurisdiction will need to be contacted to begin their process after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should call the Wood River police: not only should you obtain a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Wood River, IL authorities also keep files on 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 as soon as possible. Dog bites can easily result in infection, so rapid treatment is important.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are usually covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are viewed as “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 operated under 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 previously bitten another human being–thus giving Missouri dog owners a free bite before they could be held liable for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 was passed, which completely altered how Missouri law 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 responsible for the actions of their pets at all times. If a dog bites someone, unprovoked, 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 statute as it also includes sections 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 jurisdictions. 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 identical procedures they follow after a dog bites a human being. The primary 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 differences in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some towns in Missouri explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol following a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Wood River, IL animal control will impound the dog 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 watched for that time and checked for diseases, most notably rabies. Before they are allowed 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 authorities have viewed 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.

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. Wood River, 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 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 ownership of their pet: if not, it will be euthanized.

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

Dog bite injuries can differ in their severity, but one thing is for sure: 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 twice a human’s bite) and sharp teeth, both passed down from their predator ancestors. While, for instance, being bit by a shiba inu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a Doberman Pinscher, the most common injuries our Wood River, 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 Wood River, IL dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering funds for all of your medical bills 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 psychological counseling required. If the Wood River 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 Wood River, IL 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.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance firms do not want to chance having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid long court cases and put money in their pocketbooks as soon as possible. Data from the Insurance Information Institute found 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 Wood River, 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 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 combination of both business and legal experience 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 reward.

If you or a loved one has recently been bit by a dog in Wood River, IL, 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-risk document review.

Dog Bite Lawyer