Dogs are loyal companions, but when a dog is poorly trained or has an aggressive temperament, it can bite. Some dog bites barely break the skin, but others cause serious and even life-threatening injuries. If you have been bitten by a dog, you may have ongoing pain or be unable to return to your job. You may be one of the 27,000 bite victims who undergo reconstructive surgery each year. Or you may be the parent of a young child who was viciously attacked. If you or a close relative has been bitten by a dog in Albany, a personal injury lawyer can help you.
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping dog bite victims recover money for their injuries for more than 20 years. We began as a small aw office dedicated to assisting victims of accidents and attacks. Since then, we have grown in to the one of the largest and best respected law firms in the state, but our focus has remained the same: we want to help you get the money you need and deserve. Our Albany dog bite lawyers will sit down with you for free to discuss your case and explain your legal rights. Call us at 229-232-8678 and get your free consultation today.
What should I do if I’m bitten by a dog in Albany?
Any time you are attacked or have an accident, your first priority should be to get emergency medical help if you need it. If your injuries do not seem serious enough to call 911, you can stay at the scene and try to collect some basic information that will help you make a claim for your injuries. Here are some things to find out:
- The dog owner’s name and contact information.
- What shots the dog has had, and when.
- Whether the dog has attacked people before. Bystanders may recognize the dog and offer helpful information about its past behavior.
If the dog’s owner is at the scene, he or she may be unwilling to offer any information. Or the dog may be roaming around on its own. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a case. At John Foy & Associates, we will get the information even if you can’t. We will send our investigators to the area where you were bitten to talk to neighbors who may know the dog and its owner. We can also search public records that will show whether the dog has a history of biting people. Our investigation will help us create the strongest possible case.
How should I report a dog bite in Albany?
There are two separate agencies that collect dog bite reports in the City of Albany and Dougherty County. You should report your bite to both of them:
- The Dougherty Police Department. Contact the police immediately and officers will come to the scene. Officers will talk to you, the other witnesses and the dog’s owner and file an incident report. The report can be a crucial piece of evidence in your claim.
- Animal Control at (229) 431-2100. Animal control handles stray dogs, and they may have records showing whether the dog that bit you has also attacked other people. Animal control may also be able to help locate the dog’s owner or confirm the dog’s identity.
If I report a dog bite in Albany, will the dog have to be put down?
In the state of Georgia, dogs have what’s known as “one free bite.” If this is the first time the dog has bitten anyone, it usually won’t be taken from its owner or put down. However, if the dog has bitten people in the past or is a member of a highly aggressive breed, the “one free bite” rule may not apply. Aggressive breeds include:
- Put bulls
- Dog/wolf mixes
- Breeds created especially for fighting
Who is liable in a dog bite case?
Dog owners are always responsible for their animals’ behavior. Georgia law requires dog owners to control their canines. Depending on the dog, this might mean keeping the dog on a leash, closely monitoring it when it’s off-leash, or putting it in a crate at home when people are visiting. When a dog attacks someone, this means that the owner has failed in their legal duty, and the owner must pay for the consequences of the attack—including the cost of the victim’s medical care. Dog owners often have trouble believing that their animal could attack someone, and therefore they try to minimize the severity of the bite or even blame the victim for “provoking” the dog. But you should never blame yourself. The dog’s owner is the one responsible.
What financial recovery can I get in an Albany dog bite case?
You are entitled to 100 percent of the damages you suffered because you were bitten. The local courts in Albany frequently award money for:
- Medical costs
- Prescription medications
- Physical or rehabilitative therapy and related costs
- Mental health treatment for issues related to the attack
- Lost pay, if you had to miss time from work because of the attack
You may also be able to recover additional large amounts of money to compensate you for especially severe on long lasting injuries. We know that money alone is never enough to compensate for the mental trauma and serious injuries you’ve suffered because of a dog bite, but money has allowed many of our clients to remain stable financially while they focus on recovery.
What if the dog belongs to my friend or relative?
We talk to many people who are afraid to report a dog bite because they don’t want to get their friend or family member into trouble. It’s a natural feeling, but you should always report a dog bite. After you report the bite, your friend’s insurance company will handle the claim and pay the cost of treatment. You won’t have to make a claim or file a lawsuit against your friend personally. We see many instances where both the victim and the dog’s owner were relieved and happy that there was insurance money available to pay the victim’s medical bills.
What if I was a worker on the dog owner’s property?
You have the same rights as any other dog bite victim. In Georgia, property owners are legally obligated to provide a safe environment for people working on the property. This means that dogs must be kept under control while you are on the premises. In some instances, you may even be able to file a workers compensation claim that will make it quicker and easier for you to recover money for your injuries.
Is it expensive to hire an Albany dog bite lawyer?
It should never cost you money up-front to hire a lawyer to pursue your dog bite case. At John Foy & Associates, we will not charge you anything at all unless we are able to win money for you. We think this is the fairest and best way to make sure you get the legal help they need, when you need it most, without the added strain of worrying about paying legal fees.
Talk to an Albany Dog Bite lawyer for free
Lots of lawyers say they handle dog bite cases, but dog bite claims can be surprisingly complicated. At John Foy & Associates, we’re one of the few firms with a strong track record of winning dog bite cases. We offer a free consultation to talk about what happened to you and help you decide what to do next. Call us at 229-232-8678 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.