Dog bites in Newnan can be severe. They leave the victims at risk of infection, disease, and tons of medical bills. Animal attacks can also lead to years of emotional trauma and phobias that make it hard to cope with daily life. If you or a loved one was injured or bitten by a dog, it’s time to talk to an experienced Newnan personal injury lawyer.
Our lawyers at John Foy & Associates have been representing dog bite victims for 20 plus years. We understand what it takes to win compensation after an animal attack, and we’re not afraid to do what it takes. Call or contact us online to get started.
Dog Owners Are Responsible for Bites in Newnan
In almost all cases, when a dog bite occurs, the owner is responsible and legally liable for the damages under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-2-7. If the owner knows their dog has vicious tendencies or has been aggressive before, the owner must not allow their dog outside of a proper enclosure unless a leash properly restrains the animal.
When the owner does not follow Georgia laws, resulting in the dog biting someone, the owner is legally responsible. Although the owner is liable, it’s on the victim to show their damages and file a claim for compensation. A claim gets filed against the dog owner’s insurance company.
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Proving a Dog Bite When Filing a Claim
To file a personal injury claim for damages, you must be able to prove that:
- The dog owner did not act in a reasonable way to keep the dog from harming others.
- You did not provoke the dog to bite.
- Your injuries and other damages directly resulted from owner negligence and the dog attack.
If the dog has also been considered vicious, such as if it has bitten someone before, that can almost automatically show the owner was negligent. A dog owner is also negligent if they let their dog roam freely, outside of any fence or enclosure, without any attempt to stop the bite from occurring.
You will also need to show that the dog was not on its owner’s property when the bite occurred. Although the owner can still be found negligent in these types of situations, they are less likely to be found negligent if the dog was defending their property and they had a “beware of dog” sign present, for example.
What You Should Do After a Dog Bite in Newnan
After a dog bite happens, you will need to take action immediately to protect both your legal rights and your physical health. Unfortunately, in most cases, you will not know much at all about the dog that bit you. If you have no idea whether the dog has had their shots or carries any sort of disease, the situation is extremely risky.
Get Medical Treatment
If you don’t know anything about the dog that attacked you or your injuries are serious or life-threatening, seek medical attention right away. Call an ambulance or have someone take you to a doctor immediately. You do not want to risk your injuries worsening or getting sick from the bite.
Even if your dog bite injuries don’t seem serious, see a doctor as soon as you can. You may need to get tested and have your injury evaluated. Many dog bite injuries can worsen with time, and prompt treatment will help prevent more extensive costs down the road.
Look for the Dog’s Owner
If you are well enough to stay at the scene to gather information, you can look for the dog’s owner. First, ask any witnesses if they know who the dog belongs to. If you find the owner, tell them that the dog bit you and ask them whether or not they have had their shots.
People are protective of their pets and often worry that admitting a bite means the animal will get put down, so the dog owner may say you provoked the dog or did something else to make it bite. Stand firm, though. Do not admit any fault or apologize for anything. Your dog bite lawyer in Newnan can help you research the facts, which likely indicates the owner was at fault.
Report the Bite to Animal Control
In Newnan, dog bites should be reported to Coweta County Animal Services. Animal Services may also have records on the dog if it has bitten or been in trouble before or if it is a stray. Making a report is essential since it’s the official documentation of your dog bite occurring and will act as a critical piece of evidence when you negotiate for a settlement.
Talk to Witnesses
Talk to anyone who saw your dog bite or animal attack happen. Witness testimony can be powerful in any personal injury case. Get the person’s name and contact information so you can reach out to them later.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
During your initial treatment, follow-ups, and any ongoing care, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice and treatment plans. Not only will this ensure you get better sooner and have fewer overall expenses, but it will also show the insurance company that you are taking your treatment seriously. This makes them more likely to offer a fair settlement for your medical costs.
Get a Newnan Dog Bite Attorney on the Phone
You should also call a local dog bite attorney in Newnan as soon as you can. They can help you investigate the attack, build a strong insurance claim, and fight for the financial recovery you need and deserve.
The Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites in Newnan
OCGA §9-3-33 only gives dog bite victims in Newnan two years to file their claim. You may think that two years is plenty of time, but you’d be surprised just how many people let the statute of limitations expire for their claims. If you pass the two-year mark, you won’t be able to recover any financial compensation for your damages.
This is why we urge all dog bite victims to take action immediately. Don’t wait until the last minute to file or start building a strong case for your claim. Every second you waste only strengthens the insurance company and their arguments against you.
Never Settle for Anything Less
The dog owner’s insurance company will try to contact you quickly to get you to accept a fast settlement offer. They may claim that hiring a lawyer is a waste of time and that they’re willing to get you money fast for your damages. While this may seem like a nice gesture, always be skeptical of what an insurance company offers you.
If you settle and their offer turns out to be a lowball settlement, there’s next to nothing you can do to recover any further compensation. Insurance companies want you to settle for less fast so they can save money and avoid paying you what you rightfully deserve. This is why you need to get help from one of our experienced dog bite lawyers in Newnan today.
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Newnan, GA for Free Now
Taking on a dog bite case alone is possible, but it’s not recommended, especially if you face high costs for your medical treatment and more. At John Foy & Associates, we can handle all of the legal details for you and fight for your right to fair compensation.
Call us today or contact us online to get a free consultation and go over the details of your case. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to take your call and get started.