Getting bitten by a dog in Covington is a scary experience at any age. Vicious dogs can cause injuries that require years of treatment. The bites can become infected if not treated promptly. Plus, the trauma from a dog attack can stay with you emotionally for a long time.
If you were attacked or bitten by a dog, you have rights that a dog bite lawyer in Covington can help protect. John Foy & Associates has been helping animal attack victims win the recovery they deserve for over 20 years. And we’re here to help you pursue and win compensation.
Dog Bite Injuries Can Be Very Severe
Some dog bites are fairly mild, but others can be very serious and even life-threatening. Dogs are powerful animals that can do a lot of damage if they feel threatened or are vicious. Dog bite injuries (or other animal attacks) may require:
- Stitches to repair open wounds
- Permanent scarring, even from minor bites
- Surgery to repair torn flesh or fix disfigurement from the injuries
- Rabies shots if the animal may have been infected
- Psychological treatment for phobias or trauma resulting from the attack
The more treatment your injuries require, the higher your hospital bills, prescription costs, and other expenses can be. Even if the bite is not severe, it can become infected if you don’t receive treatment right away. In some cases, an animal attack can be serious enough to kill someone.
This is why contacting a personal injury lawyer is so important after being bitten. They can help you calculate what your full medical costs may be, even if you are actively in treatment. Your insurance claim should include all expenses—present and future—resulting from the attack.
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How to Identify the Dog’s Owner
The dog’s owner is almost always at fault for a dog bite. They are legally required to prevent their dog from causing harm to others. They must follow their city’s or county’s Responsible Dog Ownership Laws, which may include keeping the animal leashed, fenced, or caged.
The owner is especially negligent if they knew their dog had vicious tendencies and did not take precautions to protect other citizens.
Dog owners are usually not quick to come forward after an attack. Many are not even present at the scene if they are letting their dog run while. Others may take their pet and quickly leave the scene. Either way, identifying the owner is important to your case.
Here are some ways you can find out who owns the dog that bit you.
Take Notes and Pictures
If the dog runs away after the attack, note what it looked like, including any specific colors, markings, its gender, and the breed. If the dog is still at the scene and you are well enough, take pictures of the dog and of your injuries.
Remember, the most important factor is your well-being. If your injuries are very serious or life-threatening, get medical attention before you do anything else.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone else was around when the dog bit you, ask if they know the owner. Maybe they have seen the animal with a person before. Any identifying information they can provide you is helpful. Also, ask for each witness’s name and contact information.
A loose dog usually spends time near the home of its owner. Ask around and see if anyone recognizes the dog or knows who it belongs to. Take down their names and contact information.
Call Animal Control
Contact Newton County Animal Control and let them know you were bitten by the dog. They can help you investigate and see if there were any former reports on the dog. If the dog is a stray, they might still have information on the animal’s past.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney in Covington
An experienced lawyer can help you do all the above while gathering the information that is vital to your claim. Contact a Covington dog bite attorney as soon as you can after the animal attack incident.
A Dog Bite Lawyer Helps Defend Your Rights After an Attack in Covington
Dog owners and their insurance companies (or even the doctor you see) may try to claim you provoked the dog in some way. Proving this could let the owner legally off the hook, which means their insurance company will not have to pay for your damages.
However, chances are the attack happened because the dog owner was being negligent in their duty. Even if the dog did feel provoked before it bit you, the attack may never have happened if the owner had exercised proper control.
To protect your legal rights, it’s best to get a dog bite lawyer in Covington as soon as you can after the attack. Insurance companies employ many tactics to make an accident look like your fault and reduce what they pay you.
However, an excellent lawyer can make sure your rights to compensation are protected. You should not have to pay a dime for your injuries if you were not at fault.
Will the Dog Need to Be Put Down?
In many cases, no. Georgia law usually allows a dog to bite someone once without the threat of getting put down. However, certain aggressive breeds may, at the discretion of the authorities, be put down if they bite someone just once.
If a dog bites people more than once though, that’s a risk to the public. The decision is out of your hands. If the state decides to put down a dog for biting, it’s not your fault. It is the fault of the owner for not training their dog properly.
What If I’m Attacked by a Dog on Someone’s Property? Can I Still Sue?
The answer depends on the reason you were there. If you were there as a guest, or allowed there as part of your job, you can still sue. Workers at a home may also be able to file a workers’ compensation claim if they’re bitten.
However, if you were on someone’s property illegally and their dog bit you, the odds are high that you will not be able to sue unless the owner deliberately sicced their dog on you. We recommend speaking with a dog bite attorney in Covington immediately if this is your situation.
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Covington, GA, for Free
If you were attacked by a dog or other animal in Covington, you are likely facing a lot of pain and uncertainty. At John Foy & Associates, we can help. Our attorneys bring over 20 years of experience of helping dog bite victims to the table. We also never take a fee unless we win you money.
Working with us is risk-free – and the consultation is always on us. To schedule your FREE consultation today, call us or visit our contact page at any time. We’ll be glad to help you recover from your dog attack.