Dogs are supposed to be “man’s best friend.” Sometimes, however, dogs can be aggressive and violent, leading to a painful and debilitating bite. Often, attacks are the fault of the owner. If that’s the case, they should be responsible for paying for the damage their dog caused, not you.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you should call the police to get an official report, contact Doraville Animal Control, and go to the hospital. Once you’re safe and have notified the authorities, a personal injury lawyer in Doraville can help you get compensation for your medical bills and other expenses that stem from your attack.
Learn more about how dog bites work in Georgia. If you have any questions about your specifics, or if you need someone to talk to you about your legal options, someone from John Foy & Associates is available for a free initial consultation.
Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in Georgia?
Yes, in some cases, you can sue for a dog bite. Not every attack is grounds for a lawsuit. Sometimes, a dog is a stray and there is no owner at fault. Other times, a dog is provoked or does not have any history of violence.
However, in cases where a dog owner or handler is at fault for the attack, you can sue them for a dog bite. For someone to be liable for your bite, the following must be true:
- The owner knew that their dog had a history of violence or knew that their dog would act aggressively.
- The owner was negligent in the way they handled the animal. That can include not properly keeping the dog locked up or not properly leashing their pet.
- The dog bite caused specific damages to you and your quality of life.
- You did not provoke the animal.
The truth is, though, that most dog bite claims settle out of court. That’s because, as long as the other party has some kind of insurance, their insurance company will want to settle. That way, both you and the other party can avoid a lengthy, complicated, and expensive lawsuit.
You have the best chances at a fair settlement with an experienced dog bite attorney in Doraville. A lawyer will be able to handle your case from beginning to end and make sure the insurance company gives you what you’re owed.
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Comparative Negligence for Dog Bites in Georgia
It’s important that, when around a dog, especially those that may be aggressive, you do nothing to startle it or work it up. That’s for your own personal safety, as well as Georgia’s comparative negligence rule.
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) 51-12-33, if you are found to be partially at fault for an injury, the compensation that you get could be reduced. If you are even partially to blame for your dog bite, you could lose out on compensation in proportion to the amount of negligence you exhibited.
That’s why it’s also important to have a dog bite lawyer by your side who knows how to investigate your case and prove that you had no fault in what happened. By gathering solid evidence and negotiating with the insurance company, your lawyer will get you the compensation you deserve.
How Much Is a Dog Bite Claim Worth?
Every dog bite case, every injury, and every person’s recovery is different. Because of that, the amount of money that victims receive from dog bite claims varies widely, and it’s impossible to say how much your claim may be worth without knowing the details of your situation.
In general, claims like yours depend on the damages that you incurred because of your injury. Those damages can be both economic (meaning financial costs) or non-economic (those being more abstract tolls on your life that your injury caused). Your lawyer will tally up your damages to show exactly how much you’re owed.
An easy way to find out how much you might be able to get in a dog bite settlement is to talk to a personal injury lawyer. Someone from our firm can give you a free initial consultation, during which they will assess your dog bite case and provide an estimate of your compensation.
Compensation You Can Get from a Dog Bite Claim in Doraville
When a Doraville dog bite attorney calculates your damages, they will take into account both those that you’ve already suffered and those that you’ll continue to pay into the future. Damages that you could receive compensation for in a dog bite claim include:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish or PTSD
- Wrongful death, in the event that someone in your family was killed in a dog attack
To calculate your damages, your lawyer will use your bills, receipts, and other documents that show how your life was affected by your dog bite. You should always go to a doctor after being bit by a dog and receive an official medical diagnosis for your claim.
Talk to a Dog Bite Attorney in Doraville Today
Even if it was your friend’s dog that bit you, you should not have to pay for your own medical treatment when you weren’t at fault. It’s likely that the owner’s insurance company will pay anyway, not the owner. And in many cases, the dog is returned to its owner safely.
In any case, as long as an owner or handler was at fault for your bite, the Doraville dog bite lawyers at John Foy & Associates can help you recover compensation for your treatment. There is a deadline on dog bite claims, so don’t wait too long to get in touch.
Call us or contact us online today to get a FREE consultation with a member of our team. We’re on call for you 24/7.