Most dogs in Acworth are friendly, well-trained, and kept properly leashed. Unfortunately, that’s not true of all dogs, and it leads to numerous attacks, bites, and injuries every year. If a dog injured you, your child, or your loved one, you need to know that you have legal options. Talk to our Acworth dog bite attorneys.
John Foy & Associates is here to help you. We have built a career for over 20 years with just one mission: helping those who get injured. In that time, we’ve proven ourselves as some of Georgia’s most capable dog bite lawyers, with a long history of winning claims for dog bite victims and their families.
Does the Acworth Dog Owner Have to Pay for My Injuries?
The legal answer is “it depends,” but yes, the dog owner is liable in many cases. For example, in any dog bite case in Acworth, there will be a discussion about whether the dog was vicious or not. If the dog was vicious, the owner is more than likely liable for your injuries and damages.
So, how do you prove a dog was vicious? It’s not as hard as it sounds. In legal language, “vicious” is just a catch-all term that refers to any uncontrolled dog or dog that poses a clear risk to someone. By that definition, many dogs are vicious, even if they are sweet, kind animals most of the time.
The most common way to prove that a dog was vicious is to show that it was off-leash in an area where a leash is required. All off-leash dogs can be considered vicious in the right circumstances.
Georgia has strict leash laws. And Acworth has its own ordinances about keeping animals controlled, which means that many dogs in public areas are required to be on leashes whether the owner knows it or not.
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Damages You Can Collect After a Dog Bite
Our Acworth dog bite lawyers will help you recover compensation for several of your damages. Never pay for any of your damages out of pocket.
Dog bites often lead to expensive medical procedures, reconstructive surgeries, prescriptions, and physical therapy. These can all add up to be thousands of dollars in bills. You don’t have to pay for any of it as long as you file a claim for them.
Don’t skimp out on seeing a doctor for medical care. Your dog bite injuries weren’t your fault, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t get the best medical care at the dog owner’s expense. We can also get you compensated for continued medical care and any future complications as well.
A dog bite can cause you to miss out on long periods of work. While you recover from your injuries, you aren’t going to get paid. Whatever wages you lost as a result of your dog bite can get compensated in your settlement.
There are several non-economic damages you can compensate for in your settlement:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Wrongful death
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disability and disfigurement
Non-economic damages are damages that don’t have a fixed monetary value. We will ensure that they get calculated accurately and that none of your non-economic damages get left out of your final settlement total.
Ways a Dog Can Be Vicious
There are several ways a dog can be vicious under the law other than relying on leash laws:
- The dog has bitten someone at least once before
- The dog is a fighting breed
- The dog was wandering completely free and unsupervised
The first thing our dog bite injury lawyers in Acworth do in any dog bite case is to gather evidence to prove negligence and show that the dog was not adequately controlled and should have been. This helps make your claim strong from the start. Ultimately, it can help you win money.
What Can I Do If a Stray Dog Bit Me?
Since the owner is usually the one liable for a dog bite, getting bitten by a stray can leave you wondering if you can recover any money at all. However, in many cases, you still have a valid claim and could recover the same amount as any other victim.
When we first take on a stray dog case, our investigators will work on two fundamental questions.
Was the Dog Really a Stray?
Most dogs have an owner, even if the dog is wandering free. The dog may have escaped, it may be a farm animal, or its owner may simply be careless. In other cases, the owner is just a short distance away, perhaps a few houses down from where the dog bit you. Dogs tend to stick to their territory, and it’s often possible to find the owner.
What Location Did the Dog Bite You?
Dogs that genuinely don’t live in the area may have been dropped off or abandoned by someone. Some people get rid of dogs they can no longer care for or extra puppies they don’t want to raise. Depending on what happened, the person who abandoned the dog may share liability in what happened.
Records from Animal Control and local shelters may help us identify the dog’s original owner. A straightforward way to identify a dog’s owner is to go door to door in the neighborhood and ask. This is a step you can take yourself if you feel up to it, or our investigative team can do it for you.
What If My Child Was Bitten By a Dog in Acworth?
Dogs can attack both adults and children, but it’s more common with children. 2017 statistics on dog bite liability show that nearly 10,600 non-fatal dog bite injuries are children two years old or younger. Your rights are the same as any other dog bite victim, but when a child gets bitten, it does change things. For example:
- Your family can recover money on your child’s behalf. The child does not have to get involved in the claim other than answering a few questions in a safe, reassuring environment.
- Dog bites against children tend to be more severe than those against adults. Children are smaller and more vulnerable. As a result, you are likely to have a claim for a much larger settlement amount than an adult would get in similar circumstances. The financial recovery is proportionate to how severe the injuries are.
- You may have a claim for psychological trauma. Children are much more likely than adults to be traumatized by a dog attack. We can add the cost of therapy to the other damages we request in your dog bite claim.
Seeing a child go through this horrible, frightening event is extremely painful for the adults in the family. We’re here for you in what we know is a difficult time, and we are ready to help you get the financial recovery you deserve.
Statute of Limitations in Georgia for Dog Bites
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 9-3-33 gives dog bite victims two years from the date of their injury to file a claim. Don’t waste any time getting started on building a strong case. Insurance companies won’t give you a fair settlement easily. You’ll have to negotiate and fight for it.
If you take too long to file your claim, it becomes easier for the insurance company to fight against your requests. Even though filing blindly isn’t good, neither is waiting too long. Get in touch with our experienced dog bite lawyers in Acworth to help you today.
Talk to an Acworth Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
No one deserves to be the victim of an uncontrolled dog. John Foy & Associates charges you nothing if we don’t recover money for you and we have the experience necessary to get you results. Let us give you a free consultation. Don’t hesitate to call us or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment with a dog bite attorney in Acworth, GA.