When owners do not properly monitor and control their animals, bites or attacks can happen. If you are bitten, you may be entitled to compensation for your treatment costs and more. An experienced dog bite lawyer in Ellenwood can help.
Dog bite injuries can leave you with serious, even life-threatening injuries. Some take months or even years to fully heal and require reconstructive surgery or physical therapy. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), roughly 5 million dog bites occur each year. If you’re one of those people, John Foy & Associates can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
How to Report a Dog Bite or Animal Attack in Ellenwood
Contact the Clayton County Police Department Animal Control Unit and let them know a dog in Ellenwood bit you. Animal Control officers are responsible for investigating dog bite cases. You will need to provide them with details like:
- Where the dog bite happened
- Where you got bit and how serious the injuries are
- What the dog looked like, including its breed, color, and markings
- Any information you have about the dog’s owner
Reporting a dog bite is very important in Ellenwood because only a tiny percentage of dog bite attacks actually get reported. This leaves vicious dogs and their negligent owners open to harming more people. It’s best to report the dog bite as soon as it happens.
Ellenwood’s Laws on Negligence in Dog Bite Injuries
Georgia is a fault state according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-12-33, which means the negligent party in an accident is liable for all damages. This applies to dog bite accidents as well. In order to prove the dog owner’s liability, you must demonstrate the following in an injury claim:
- The dog is dangerous or vicious.
- The owner was negligent, or careless, with the dog.
- The owner’s negligence caused your dog bite injuries.
- You did not provoke the dog to bite or attack.
If the area where you got bit has an ordinance that requires dogs to be leashed, simply proving that the dog was not on a leash before biting you may be enough to show that it is “vicious.” Either way, you will need to gather evidence of the dog bite and your injuries. This is where having an Ellenwood dog bite lawyer on your side is very beneficial.
What Kind of Damages Can I Compensate?
You can receive financial compensation for several of the damages that resulted from your dog bite, including:
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses such as surgery, ER visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, and psychological services.
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement or disability
- Wrongful death
As long as your dog bite injury caused your damages, you can file a claim for them. Our lawyers will account for all of the damages you sustained during settlement calculations and ensure nothing gets left out.
How to Legally Protect Yourself After a Dog Bite in Ellenwood
Below is what you should do to protect yourself and gather evidence after a dog bite in Ellenwood.
Get Medical Attention
If your injuries are severe or life-threatening, call 911 for emergency medical attention. Serious injuries can worsen quickly, so don’t delay in getting help if you need it.
If your injuries are not as serious, stay at the scene to compile further information.
Get Information About the Dog
If the dog’s owner is present during or after the attack, ask for their name and contact information. Then, find out if the dog has gotten its shots and when they were administered. Ask if the dog has ever bitten or shown aggressive signs before.
Be prepared if the dog’s owner tries to say you provoked the dog or that the bite wasn’t that serious. They will try to protect themselves, but the owner is usually at fault when a dog bite occurs.
If the owner is not forthcoming with information or isn’t present, ask anyone else if they recognize the dog and know about its past. Then, after you report the dog bite to Animal Control, they can also see if there are any records of the dog biting someone else.
Picture evidence can be beneficial in showing the details of what happened. If you can, take pictures of:
- Where the dog bite happened
- Your injuries
- Damage to any of your property, such as a watch or clothing
- The dog that bit you
- Talk to witnesses
If other people saw the dog bite, ask about what they witnessed and get their contact information. They might also be able to help you identify the dog or its owner.
Call an Ellenwood Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer
Schedule a consultation with an experienced dog bite lawyer in the Ellenwood area. They can help you by:
- Investigating the scene
- Gathering more information about what happened
- Scouring public records for any history on the dog
- Building a strong claim and
- Negotiating with the at-fault dog owner’s insurance company if they try to offer you a lowball settlement
You shouldn’t try to fight for compensation on your own against an insurance company. Hiring a lawyer will even the negotiation terms and help you get the best settlement possible.
Should I Accept the Initial Settlement Offer?
Never accept the initial settlement offer without first consulting with one of our Ellenwood dog bite lawyers. Unfortunately, insurance companies aren’t on your side and love to trick dog bite victims into accepting fast cash. Little do they know that the amount they receive is next to nothing compared to what they could’ve gotten.
Don’t let the insurance companies cheat you out of the settlement you rightfully deserve. Hiring a lawyer is making an investment to ensure that you get fairly compensated. Remember, we don’t take any payment unless we win your case. Nothing is charged upfront.
The Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites in Georgia
Like most other personal injuries, dog bites have a statute of limitations of two years in Georgia. This means you only have two years from the date of your dog bite incident to file a claim. Two years is more than enough time to get started on filing. Don’t delay and let evidence deteriorate over time. Start building your case today.
Talk to an Ellenwood Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
Many law firms say they are comfortable handling dog bite injury cases. However, dog bite claims can be very complicated. It’s best to work with a lawyer who has vast experience in this area and can guide you through the best steps toward fair compensation.
Let the Ellenwood dog bite attorneys at John Foy & Associates help you win a fair settlement. Contact us for a free consultation today.