Dog Bite Lawyer Wright City, MO

Strong and Compassionate

Wright City, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Lawyer in Wright City, MO. Dogs can be treasured members of the family, near and dear companions, and a friend even when times are difficult and no one else is there for you. However, every so often 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 someone you know, a highly-rated Wright City, MO dog bite lawyer can be your best friend.

Attorney Amanda Hayden is an experienced Wright City, MO personal injury lawyer who puts her clients first in everything she does. She has a long record of representing her dog bite clients with compassion as well as vigor. If you have been recently bit by a dog in Wright City, MO, sustained injuries, and are wanting 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 Do I Need To Do After I’ve Been Bit By A Dog?

If you have recently been bit by a dog in Wright City, MO, you’re probably in a state of disbelief 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 your accident has happened. Our Wright City, MO dog bite lawyer encourages you to do the following if you’ve recently sustained a dog bite injury:

  • Take pictures. Get out your camera or phone and start taking pictures 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 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 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 pictures 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 process after a dog has bit a human. In addition, you should talk to the Wright City police: not only should you get a report for your insurance records, but the police and other Wright City, MO authorities also keep info 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. No matter 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 rapid treatment is critical.
  • Call your insurance company. Dog bites are usually covered as part of a homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy, as they are considered “personal property”. Call them as soon as you can to file a claim so they can help you with medical bills and other costs. You should also acquire, 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 had the same legal principle in regard to dog bites. Prior to 2009, dog bite law in Missouri operated on 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 sued for negligence.

However, in 2009 Missouri Revised Statute 237.036 was passed, which completely altered how Missouri courts 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 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. On top of that, 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 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 rules about what happens to dogs after they bite another human, a part of the law that in Missouri is reserved for county or city-level authorities. Most notably, 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 widely matching guidelines 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 policies are set by each county or city. While this allows for some variation in other matters relating to dogs (for example, some cities in Missouri explicitly prohibit certain dog breeds like pit bulls), by and large the protocol after a dog bite is identical.

After the report of a dog bite, Wright City, MO animal control will take the dog into custody for ten days. The dog will be taken to a central location such as an animal shelter or a veterinarian’s office. They will then be observed for that time and inspected for illnesses, 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 pet is spayed or neutered. If animal control has deemed 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. Wright City, 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 someone 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 Wright City, MO Dog Bite Lawsuit?

Dog bite injuries can differ in their severity, but one thing is undoubtable: they are no laughing matter. 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 shih tzu will not cause as many injuries as being bit by a German shepherd, the most common injuries our Wright City, 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 Wright City, MO dog bite lawyer can assist you in recovering money for all of your medical costs and more. In addition to standard hospital or doctor’s bills, you can get money for any prescription medications, required rehab or physical therapy, and any psychiatric services you need. If the Wright City 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 Wright City, 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 caused you.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dog bite lawsuits never go to trial. Insurance providers do not want to run the risk of having to potentially pay a substantial jury award, while plaintiffs like settlements as they avoid lengthy court cases and put 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 a little higher at $48,100.



Contact A Wright City, 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 be subjected to. She takes the 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 mix 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 someone you know has recently been bit by a dog in Wright City, MO, do not wait 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 document review.

Dog Bite Lawyer

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