Being bitten or attacked by a dog or other animal is a painful, and other traumatic, experience. Children are often unsuspecting victims of dog bites or attacks in Dawsonville, but they can happen to adults too. Being attacked is shocking, scary, and it often leads to costly treatments for the wounds suffered.
If you or someone you love was the victim of a dog attack, you need experienced Dawsonville dog bite lawyers in your corner. At John Foy & Associates, our lawyers have over 20 years of experience working with victims of dog bites or animal attacks to recover money for their injuries.
What to Do If a Dog Bites You in Dawsonville
If a dog or other animal attacks you, the most important step is getting medical attention as soon as possible. If you’re able, get to the doctor or an emergency room—or call an ambulance if you can’t drive yourself. If you don’t require immediate medical attention following the attack, it’s best to find out whatever you can about the dog or animal that hurt you. That includes:
- Who the dog’s owner is and where they live
- If the animal has ever bitten people before
- If the dog is up to date on shots, and if so, which ones it has received
We know that most of the time, a dog’s owner will be reluctant to answer questions like this. That can be frustrating and make it harder to take action, but this is where working with a personal injury lawyer can help you.
Our team of investigators will visit the scene and work to track down the information you’re lacking about the animal that bit or attacked you. That includes speaking with people who live near where the incident happened, finding out who the dog owner is, and looking into the dog’s history—especially if it’s hurt anyone else in the past.
You’ll also want to report the dog bite or animal attack to two places:
Police officers will come to the scene and create an incident report, which is very important for helping you make a strong claim. When you call local animal services, Animal Control will also make a report on the attack. This allows them to create a record to help identify or find the dog—and also whether or not it’s the dog’s first bite.
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Can I Pursue Compensation for a Dog Bite?
Yes, if the owner was negligent, you can claim compensation for the dog bite. But owners aren’t always at fault. And sometimes, a dog bite can be a random accident, or could even be blamed on you.
A dog owner is negligent when they fail to carry out their duty to control their dog and keep other people safe. This usually occurs when a dog owner knows that their pet is dangerous but does not take measures to protect other people, including putting up fences, warning others, and leashing their dog.
It isn’t enough to prove that a dog owner should have contained their dog better, though. You also need to show that their negligence caused specific damages to you, whether those damages are financial, bodily, or non-economic (for example, mental anguish or pain and suffering).
The best way to pursue compensation is to get in touch with a dog bite attorney in Dawsonville. A lawyer from our team will meet with you for free to assess your case and tell you if you have a valid claim, as well as how they will be able to help.
How Much Is a Dog Bite Lawsuit Worth?
There’s no one-size-fits-all number for dog bite settlements. That’s because every case is different, and everyone suffers different damages after an injury. Your compensation will depend on several factors, including:
- How severe your injuries are
- How much negligence the dog owner exhibited and how much fault you had in the accident
- How much work you have to miss for your recovery
When you hire a skilled dog bite lawyer in Dawsonville, they will be able to calculate your damages to show exactly how much you’re owed. John Foy & Associates has been serving injury victims in Georgia for decades, and our attorneys know how to negotiate with the insurance company to get you the best deal possible.
What Happens to the Dog If I Report a Dog Bite in Dawsonville?
Georgia law grants most dogs “one free bite” in these situations. So, if the dog hasn’t bitten anyone before it bit you, the dog usually won’t get punished. This “one bite rule” is based on the idea that if a dog hasn’t bitten before, the dog owner doesn’t have reason to believe their dog is dangerous. That means they shouldn’t be held liable if the bite is a surprise.
There are exceptions to the one free bite rule for breeds known to be aggressive, such as:
- Pit bulls
- Any breeds created for fighting
- Dogs that are part wolf
But once the dog has bitten, the owner becomes “on notice” since now there is reason to believe the dog is risky.
Once the dog bites again, the owner is considered liable to the victim. Dog owners are legally responsible for training their pets and controlling them under any circumstance. When the owner doesn’t properly control their dog and it bites someone, that owner is responsible for paying the consequences.
If you’re worried about the animal being put down because of the bite or attack, this Is usually not the case unless the dog is already considered dangerous, has a history of biting, or is a breed deemed as aggressive.
What if the Owner of the Dog That Bit Me Is a Friend?
If you were bitten or attacked by the pet of a family member or friend, it can be awkward and difficult. You might worry about upsetting that person or creating a wedge in your relationship. This is understandable, but it’s always important to report a dog bite or attack to local authorities.
Reporting allows you to start the financial recovery process for any personal injury you sustained. Also, keep in mind animal attacks can be traumatic, leading to permanent physical injuries like scarring and even emotional trauma that affects you in the long term. You deserve comprehensive medical treatment and financial recovery to pay for it.
It might help to know the friend or family member who owns the dog won’t have to personally pay for treatment for your injuries. Their insurance company, usually as part of their homeowners’ policy, will pay you instead since it is meant for incidents like this.
Talk to a Dawsonville Dog Bite Attorney for Free
Whether you know the owner of the animal or not, dog bites or attacks can be tough to handle. You’ll want to be sure you recover enough money to deal with your pain and injuries from the attack. Don’t wait to get help.
The Dawsonville dog bite lawyers at John Foy & Associates know how to work cases involving dog bites and animal attacks. We’re on your side and our solid track record of success shows we care about winning what you deserve. We’d love to offer you a FREE consultation to get started.
As one of the largest and most respected law firms in Georgia, we’re known for focusing on our clients and never siding with insurance companies when they try to make recovery difficult. Let us give you a free consultation to discuss your case and help you figure out your next steps. Call us or fill out our online contact form for your no-risk free consultation.
706-400-4000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form