The trauma of a dog bite or attack can have a lasting impact on your life. When you have suffered severe financial, emotional, and physical injuries due to someone else’s dog, you may have the right to restitution for your damages.
A dedicated College Park personal injury lawyer at John Foy & Associates could help you get the most out of your claim. Find out more about what to expect from the dog bite claims process in College Park when you contact our office for a free consultation.
Common Dog Bite Injuries to Sue for
You may be surprised to find that you have the opportunity to sue for dog bite injuries other than lacerations. Many people are quick to assume that dog bites can only include puncture wounds or scratch marks. However, this is not the case. Dog bite injuries can take many forms, some of which include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Compound fractures
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Herniated discs
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Lacerations that become septic
- Contusions or abrasions
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Internal bleeding
- Organ failure
- Loss of limbs
If you were attacked or bit by a dog and suffered another type of injury that was not listed above, you may still have the right to financial compensation. The best way to find out whether you have grounds for a claim is to contact a dog bite lawyer in College Park for legal guidance and support.
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Georgia Dog Bite Laws
Every state has its own laws when it comes to how dog bites are handled. Under Georgia law, Georgia follows a strict liability system for dog bites and attacks. Here, dog owners will be held strictly accountable for the actions of their pets.
This is in contrast to states that follow the one-bite rule. Here, unless a dog has previously shown a propensity for violence or a history of aggression, the dog owner may be able to avoid having their pet classified as a dangerous dog or being ordered to cover the damages of any injury victims.
Fortunately, since Georgia follows a strict liability system, dog owners will be held accountable for the actions of their dogs, whether they have a history of violence or this is their first attack.
Dog Owner Liability Exclusions
Although dog owners are regularly held accountable for the injuries their pets cause, there are some instances in which dog owners may be able to escape liability or avoid having to pay out info on your claim. For example, dog owners may be able to avoid culpability if the injury victim provoked the dog into acting aggressively. Some examples of behaviors that could be considered provocation include:
- Throwing objects
- Aggressively touching the dog (tail-pulling)
Dog owners are also only required to protect the public and their invited guests from their pet. Anyone who is trespassing on their property or committing a crime may be less likely to obtain a favorable outcome in their case. If you have questions or concerns surrounding dog owner liability exclusions, be sure to contact your lawyer to discuss your concerns further.
How Shared Fault Works in Georgia Dog Bite Claims
It is more common than you might think for victims of dog bites in College Park to share liability for their injuries. For example, someone who provoked a dog into acting aggressively might be partially at fault for their injuries. However, since Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence system, sharing fault for your injuries does not necessarily mean you cannot collect compensation for your damages.
Georgia has a 49% threshold for liability. This means your portion of fault cannot exceed 49%, or you will lose your opportunity to seek compensation in the College Park civil court system. Sharing fault for your injuries will also result in the reduction of your injury settlement. The amount deducted from your injury settlement will correlate with your percentage of liability.
For instance, if you were found 30% responsible for causing your dog bite injuries after stepping on the dog, you could only expect to recover 70% of your injury settlement. Sharing even a moderate amount of liability can have a significant impact on your case. For this reason, it is important to have a dog bite lawyer in College Park handling the legal details of your case.
What Is Your Dog Bite Claim Worth in College Park?
To calculate the value of your claim, your College Park dog bite attorney will need to go over all of the ways your life has been affected by your injuries. To ensure every loss is taken into consideration, your lawyer will need to separate your damages into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are a good place to start. Economic damages include all of your financially-based losses. Some of the more commonly sought after types of economic damages in a dog bite claim include:
- Costs of medical care
- Loss of income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damages
- Loss of household services
Non-economic damages are often more impactful than economic damages. However, because they do not have a monetary value, they are more difficult to quantify. Some common non-economic damages you could sneak in your College Park dog bite claim include:
- Skin scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of love and companionship
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain and suffering
Get Help From a Dog Bite Attorney in College Park Today
When you are still recuperating from your injuries, the last thing on your mind may be pursuing legal action. However, the sooner your attorney can get started on your dog bite claim, the more likely you will obtain the favorable outcome you are hoping for.
Start working on your insurance and civil claims today when you contact our College Park dog bite attorneys at John Foy & Associates. Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today when you call our office or complete our contact form.