If you have been bitten by a dog in Alpharetta, you are not alone. There are about 78 million dogs in the U.S., and some of them are prone to aggressive behavior or are simply poorly controlled. About 27,000 people need reconstructive surgery each year because of dog bites. Dog bites can lead to infections, may require surgery or stitches, and may dramatically change lives, especially when the victims are young children. You do not have to absorb the cost of your dog bite. But you need to talk to an Alpharetta dog bite lawyer.
John Foy & Associates has a long history of helping dog bite victims recover money for their injuries. When we started a small law firm two decades ago, we committed ourselves to helping people who had been injured or attacked, never siding with insurance companies or the owners of aggressive dogs. Today we are one of the largest and most respected firms in the state of Georgia, but we still stick to our original mission of helping victims. Our Alpharetta dog bite lawyers will give you a free consultation to talk about your case. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation
I’ve been bitten by a dog in Alpharetta. What should I do next?
If you need immediate medical attention, call 911. However, if you are able, you can do some things at the scene to protect yourself and begin gathering evidence to help your case. Try to get the following information about the dog that bit you:
- The dog owner’s name, and where the owner lives
- Whether the dog has had its shots, and when
- Whether the dog has bitten other people in the past
Don’t be surprised if the dog’s owner doesn’t want to answer your questions—if you can even find the owner. Just get as much information as you can, and the investigative team at John Foy & Associates will take care of the rest. We will go back to the place where you were bitten and talk to neighbors who may know the dog, its owner and its history. We can also research public records that may reveal past dog bites.
Should I report a dog bite in Alpharetta?
Yes. In the City of Alpharetta, you should report any dog bite incident to two different agencies:
- The Alpharetta Police Department. Call the police right away, so that officers can come to the scene, interview any witnesses, and prepare an incident report. The report is an important piece of evidence in your claim.
- Fulton County Animal Services. Animal Control keeps records of all animal attacks. They can help you identify the dog that attacked you and whether it has a history of violence.
What will happen to the dog that bit me in Alpharetta?
Most of the time, the dog won’t be punished or put down for biting you. Georgia’s laws ensure this by giving most dogs “one free bite,” meaning they won’t suffer any consequences the first time they bite someone. However, if a dog is a repeat offender or is from a breed that’s known for its aggression, the one free bite rule won’t apply. Examples of aggressive breeds are:
- Pit bills
- Dog and wolf mixes
- Breeds created especially for fighting
Who is legally responsible when a dog bites someone?
Dog owners are always liable for the behavior of their animals. Under Georgia law, dog owners must train their dogs and keep them under control at all times. Depending on the dog and the circumstances, this might mean putting the dog on a leash, crating it, or watching it closely while off-leash. When a dog bites someone, it’s a sign that the owner didn’t fulfill his or her duty to control the dog. This makes the owner legally liable for your bite, period—no matter how much the owner tries to excuse the dog’s behavior or blame you for “provoking” the dog.
What financial recovery can I get if I’m bitten by a dog in Alpharetta?
The local courts in Alpharetta follow Georgia law, which permits you to recover all your costs and damages. In a typical dog bite case, this might include:
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy
- Mental health treatment
- Lost pay, if you had to miss work because of the attack
In some cases, the court will award significant additional amounts of money as damages for pain and suffering or other severe losses. We know that money cannot undo the traumatic effects of a dog attack, but we have found that money eases financial stress and makes it easier for our clients to continue with their treatment and healing.
What if the dog’s owner is my friend?
If the dog’s owner was a friend, neighbor or family member, you should do the same things you would do if the dog was owned by a stranger. That means getting medical attention and reporting the bite to the appropriate agencies. We have seen many dog bite victims who were afraid to report a bite because they didn’t want to get their friend in trouble or cause problems in the relationship. But we have also seen the benefits of getting badly needed money to pay for treatment. Remember, in most cases your claim will be handled and paid by your friend’s insurance company. You won’t have to take your friend to court and they will not have to pay out of pocket.
Can I recover money if I was bitten while working on the dog owner’s property?
Yes. Hired workers have the same rights as everyone else. Under Georgia law, homeowners must provide a safe environment for people who work on their property. That means that dogs must be kept under control. You can file a dog bite claim and you may even be eligible to file a workers compensation claim.
What does an Alpharetta dog bite lawyer cost?
You don’t have to pay anything out of pocket to get the legal help you need. At John Foy & Associates, we start every case with a free consultation. If you hire us, we won’t charge you anything unless we win money for you. This lets you get the help you need, when you need it most, without worrying about paying legal fees.
Talk to an Alpharetta Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
It’s easy to find a lawyer to handle a dog bite case, but it’s hard to find a firm with more experience winning them than John Foy & Associates. Our 20-year track record ensures that you’ll have a lawyer on your side who understands the law and knows how to work with insurance companies. Schedule a free consultation so we can talk about your options. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.