Injuries from dog bites can be very serious and require many months of recovery. While you cannot technically hold the dog responsible, an experienced law firm can help you recover financially from the owner of the animal.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation. An Atlanta dog bite attorney can help you file a claim against the dog owner responsible for your injuries. If your claim is denied, your case can be taken to court to fight for damages.
What to Do Immediately After Being Bitten by a Dog
If a dog bites or attacks you, get as much information as quickly as you can and certainly get the medical help you need immediately. Take photos of the dog and your injuries, and talk to any witnesses and get their names. You will then want to call 9-1-1 and have the police make an official report, and call Fulton County Animal Control.
The most important piece of information is the name and address of the dog owner. Any compensation you receive should come from the dog owner’s homeowners insurance. If a stray or loose dog has attacked you and you can’t identify the owner, your attorney can hire investigators to return to the scene and try to find the owner.
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An Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
The dog owner may not agree to file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance company and make the incident out to be your fault to avoid paying your claim. A dog bite lawyer can protect your rights by helping you with your claim, gathering strong evidence that the other side can’t ignore, and making sure you account for all the damages to which you’re entitled.
A dog bite attorney in Atlanta can also investigate if the dog has bitten anyone else. State law says that unless the dog is a vicious breed, the animal is allowed “one bite” before it is considered dangerous.
Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
Deadlines for Filing a Dog Bite Claim in Atlanta
According to the statute of limitations, as per Georgia Code § 9-3-33, you have two years from the date of your injuries to file a dog bite claim. This clock starts to run whether you are the victim or are filing on behalf of the victim, such as your child or your deceased loved one.
If you do not file your claim by this deadline, the courts have the right to deny your claim, and you will be unable to receive compensation. An Atlanta dog bite attorney can ensure you file on time and that your claim is comprehensive enough to not get kicked back to you and you miss your time to file.
Who to Report Your Dog Bite to in the State of Georgia
Immediately after the bite, contact the local police to file a report. Call emergency services if medical care is needed. The police may also capture the dog and identify the owner. As a precaution, you should call Animal Control.
The next individuals who you should be contacting are personal injury lawyers so that you can get help collecting the financial compensation you will need to recover from your wounds. Don’t neglect your medical care. Remember that even non-scarring dog bites can lead to serious medical problems, such as rabies and tetanus.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Atlanta, call 404-400-4000
What Will Happen to the Dog After Filing a Claim?
The fate of the dog after the bite is dependent on many things. First, has the dog bitten another person? And second, is the animal considered a dangerous breed?
The law requires the owner to be aware of the dog’s propensity to attack or be aggressive. Atlanta dog bite lawyers will hire investigators to find out if Animal Control has been called previously for this particular dog. For a case to ensue, your attorney will need to prove that the dog owner was aware of the fact that their pet is aggressive.
Liable Parties in a Dog Bite Lawsuit
It can be very difficult to identify an owner of a stray or loose dog, especially if you have been bitten while at a public place or apartment complex. In most dog bite cases, the owner does not want to take responsibility for the victim’s injuries. The dog’s owner, however, is legally responsible for the injuries their animal causes.
With an experienced law firm on your side, the main goal is to have your rights protected and be properly compensated. Your lawyer will also want to ensure the dog is not able to injure another person.
Compensation You Could Collect From a Dog Bite Claim
A dog bite case is a personal injury claim that seeks to recover money for your reasonable and necessary damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damages
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
Often young children and young women are most damaged by the physical scarring and the psychological aftermaths of being attacked by an uncontrollable animal. An Atlanta dog bite lawyer can help you total your economic and non-economic damages and use this information in settlement negotiations.
What if You Were Bitten by a Friend or Neighbor’s Dog?
If a friend or neighbor’s dog bites you, the owner is still liable for the bite. It’s natural to underreact when something horrible has just happened. No matter how socially awkward the situation may be, it is important to follow the proper protocol.
Seek medical treatment immediately and report the incident to the police and Animal Control. Your friend may want to handle the matter privately without contacting authorities or insurance companies, but that’s the worst thing to do. When in doubt, contact a dog bite lawyer and they can walk you through next steps.
What if You’re Not Sure Who Owns the Dog That Bit You?
The number-one problem in dog bite claims is determining the identity of the dog owner. It can be very difficult to identify an owner of a stray or loose dog, especially if you have been bitten while at a public place or apartment complex. Your personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will do further investigation to determine who was the legal dog owner.
Your legal team can also talk to the neighbors to see if anyone knows the particular dog and then call Animal Control to see if there’s been any previous report.
What to Do if You Were Bitten While Working in Someone’s Home
You may have a personal injury claim if you are bitten while working at someone’s home. Any dog owner has a duty to control his or her dog and to create a safe environment, especially for visitors and workers.
Friendly dogs can get overly affectionate and hurt someone. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file a third-party claim against the dog’s owner. This situation is no different from getting into a car accident while you are working. Personal injury lawyers can help you with both claims.
Proving the Dog Had Aggressive Tendencies
To further strengthen your case, your dog bite lawyer in Atlanta will help you prove aggressive, or even vicious, tendencies that the dog may have had. A dog can be shown to have presented an unreasonable risk when there is a history of:
- Threatening behavior
- Attacks on other animals, or against you, others, and even the dog’s own family
Proof that an owner knew or should have known their dog was dangerous or vicious is sometimes proven through public information, such as local animal control records. Situations where the owner carelessly handled the dog or went around local law and allowed it off leash or to escape a yard due to a defective fence are considered negligence.
What to Do if Your Child Was Bitten by a Dog
If your child was the victim of the dog bite injury, you have the right to get justice on your child’s behalf. Your dog bite lawyer will still need to gather evidence against the dog owner to support the claim.
An Atlanta dog bite lawyer can help you prepare for a comparative negligence defense. This in case the pet owner claims your child instigated the attack. You should be able to combat this defense and prove your child’s claim to damages.
What to Do if the Dog’s Owner Wants to Talk to You About Your Injuries
If the dog owner is at the scene of the attack, keep the conversation as short and cordial as possible. Ask if they are the dog owner. Get their homeowner’s insurance information.
Do not start a fight and do not discuss your injuries with them. Like other personal injury cases, it’s common for the other party to want to handle things personally and avoid calling the police or insurance companies. These are often the cases that develop into something more serious.
Georgia Modified Comparative Negligence in Dog Bite Lawsuits
Situations where you possibly entered your neighbor’s yard despite the warning signs, or you put your hand through the fence to pet the dog could mean the owner has a legal defense to your dog-bite lawsuit. Your lawyer can help you prepare to counter those arguments.
If you, the plaintiff, also known as the person who was injured, share part of the blame for the accident along with the animal’s owner in your dog-bite case, you can still be eligible for compensation according to Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law. As long as you are less than 49% responsible for the accident, you can recover compensation.
Dog Bite Lawyers in Atlanta Can Help You Get Justice
If you suffered a dog bite injury, you need legal representation to help you collect compensation. It costs nothing to schedule a free consultation with an Atlanta dog bite lawyer at John Foy & Associates to discuss your case and learn how we can help.
Representing victims for over 20 years, our firm has the experience, skills, and resources needed to help you pursue the monetary damages you deserve. We do not require any fees unless you win compensation for your case. Contact us today to get started.