At times, the seemingly gentle dog to their owners will be quick to attack if they feel threatened or perceive their owner is in danger. Situations are serious when dealing with vicious canines. Dog bites can leave emotional and physical scarring. The incident can also be traumatic for the victim. Injuries from dog bites can be severe and require months of treatment and recovery. The law does not technically hold the dog liable for the injuries, the owner is held responsible. Hence, you can file a compensation claim seeking recompense for the damages.
You may be entitled to compensation if bitten by a dog, and the sooner you get in touch with an Atlanta dog bite lawyer at Herro law, the better your chances of getting fair compensation. We shall take you through the legal steps to take when filing a lawsuit against the dog owner. We are a law firm with an impeccable record of winning personal injury cases and guarantee yours will not be any different. Visit our office in Atlanta, GA, or call (404) 433-6876 to book a free initial case assessment and learn more about how we can help.
What Should I Do If I Was Bitten By A Dog?
Incidents of being bitten by a dog can be unexpected. It can happen at your neighbor’s place, at a friend’s home, or be an attack by a stranger’s dog. Whatever the case, you can secure your chances of recovering damages if you take the following measures after being bitten:
Seek Medical Attention
Get checked immediately after being bitten by a dog. Do not trivialize your injuries because you also can develop serious complications like rabies. The attending physician will treat you and compile a medical report that we can use as evidence when building your compensation claim.
Document The Incident
Use your smartphone or ask a bystander or witness to use theirs to take pictures and short footage of the incident. Focus on elements that help prove liability.
File A Report
Let the dog’s owner know about the attack if there were not present when it happened. Also, report the incident to animal control if you are dealing with a vicious dog that the owner has not adequately tamed. Notifying animal control also means you will have an official record of the dog attack and subsequent injuries.
Speak With An Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bite lawsuits are uniquely different from other personal injury cases. They can be challenging since the animal is not held accountable but its owner will be answerable for the attack and injuries. Still, the complex and burdensome nature of such civil actions requires an experienced professional to help you fight for your rights and interests.
Herro Law has law professionals who will represent you aggressively and ensure you are compensated for your injuries, losses, pain, and suffering.
Who Do I Report A Dog Bite To In Georgia?
Reporting a dog bite or attack to the police or animal control in Georgia is not mandatory. Still, it is highly advisable to do this because you need an official record stating the incident happened. We can use the report as evidence supporting your claim.
Moreover, you can withhold informing the insurance providers about the attack until you start the filing process. It is a wise move because it ensures they do not reach out to sway you into accepting a lesser settlement. After all, you do not have a dog bite lawyer fighting for you. In short, we advise people to report a dog bite incident to the police, animal control, their attorney, and the insurers to be the last to know.
Why Should I Hire A Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer?
The law does not require dog attack victims to hire a dog bite lawyer, but it is best to do so if you want to improve the odds of getting a favorable outcome in your lawsuit. We highly recommend retaining an experienced and dedicated dog bite lawyer before you start the legal process or talk with insurers about the dog bite. The benefits of working with an Atlanta dog bite lawyer include:
- You work with legal professionals with vast knowledge, experience, and skills needed in dealing with dog bite claims. The dog bite lawyer from Herro law will highlight the different statutes in Georgia regarding dog attacks to help you understand the requirements and ensure you take the necessary steps to safeguard your rights.
- You get a dedicated team of Atlanta dog bite lawyers who will handle all legal aspects of the litigation, including facing the insurance companies to ensure they do not offer a lowball offer.
- The dog bite lawyers will be ready to take the matter before a judge and jury if negotiations are unfruitful. We shall ensure that we cover all requirements when filing the lawsuit and aggressively represent you when fighting for your rights and interests.
Who is Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries?
The situation can be complicated if you are dealing with a stray dog and the owner cannot be tracked. Often, dog attacks that occur in public places are difficult to handle because the animal’s owner does not want to be held liable for damages. However, Georgia laws stipulate that the dog’s owner shoulders responsibility for the animal’s actions.
The court and animal control will ensure the canine cannot attack and injure another person. But our work when fighting for you in the lawsuit is to prove the following factors which will help the judge hand down a favorable ruling.
- The dog belonged to the offender
- The attack happened when you were lawfully on a public or private property
- You were bitten and sustained injuries when the dog attacked you
- The dog is the cause of your injuries and not any other thing
What Type Of Compensation Can I Expect In A Dog Bite Case?
The financial impact of dealing with a dog bite in Georgia can be overwhelming, especially when you suffer severe injuries. Georgia laws give victims the right to take legal action against dog owners. The Atlanta dog bite lawyer at Herro Law will help you recover punitive, economic, and non-economic damages. The damages available include:
- Medical expenses and other costs associated with your treatment and recovery care. Hence, we also will include the costs related to rehabilitative therapy, doctor’s visits, and prescription drugs.
- Lost earnings and other wages you may have missed because you would not report to work during treatment and recovery. We also will consider the loss of earning capacity if you cannot engage in any income-bringing venture in the future due to the injuries.
- The pain and suffering you endure are a loss even if they have no fixed monetary value. Hence, we shall include them in the claim.
- The dog attack may be a traumatizing incident that will make you fear canines and other aggressive animals. Hence, it is emotional anguish and a significant loss that we cannot overlook when valuing the claim.
- The attack might leave you with severe injuries that require months of treatment and recovery, leaving you with permanent scarring and disfigurement. Georgia laws recognize this loss and allow you to claim compensation.
What Does Georgia Law Say About Dog Bites?
Georgia State enacted the “responsible dog ownership” law defined under OCGA 4-8-1 through 4-8-33 that safeguards the dog owner and victim’s rights. It means you can recover compensation from negligent dog keepers and owners. The key points to note about dog bite cases in Georgia are:
- Dog bite and dog attack victims can file claims against the animal’s owners and keepers.
- Victims must prevent evidence to help prove their case, which allows them to consider witness accounts, and documentation from animal control, local officials, and doctor’s medical report.
- The state has modified comparative negligence which means compensation can be shared between the victim and dog owner if both are found to shoulder some blame for the incident. And a victim can void the claim if they have more than 50% liability in the attack.
- Dog bite claims must be filed adhering to the statute of limitation in Georgia.
Dog Bite Injury Statistics in Georgia
Data from the CDC shows that 17% of dog attacks and dog bite cases are reported and 80% of these cases involve a family-owned pet or a neighbor’s dog. Furthermore, 8% of the reported dog attacks involve the aged and people between 16 years and 18 years. 16 people die from dog bite-related injuries.
The CDC ranks Georgia as one of the top ten states in America with the highest rate of dog bite or dog attack cases. However, the figures suggest there is a less than 1.5% chance of a person getting bitten. Still, it is best to get in touch with Herro Law if you are attacked and bitten by a dog in Atlanta, Georgia. We shall ensure you get the best legal representation and are awarded the maximum compensation.
Are There Time Limits For Filing A Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite victims have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit against the animal’s keeper or owner. This is known as the statute of limitations. Consider taking such legal action with an experienced dog bite lawyer to ensure you cover all requirements. The sooner you retain our services, the sooner we begin the legal process and ensure you recover damages.
Contact Our Dog Bite Lawyers in Atlanta, GA, Today
The facts surrounding a dog bite attack determine the potential liability the victim and animal’s owner might shoulder. Our mission is to ensure you are absolved of any blame by proving the accused acted recklessly or negligently and should be held accountable for your injuries and losses. Hence, we recommend hiring the best legal counsel in Atlanta to fight for you.
At Herro Law, we shall take you through the legal steps to cover when filing a lawsuit against the dog owner. We are a law firm with an impeccable record of winning personal injury cases and guarantee yours will not be any different. Visit our office in Atlanta, GA, or call (404) 433-6876 to book a free initial case assessment with our seasoned Atlanta dog bite lawyer and learn more about how we can help.