Millions of dog bites happen in the United States each year, with many cases requiring medical care. If a dog or animal bit or attacked you in Riverdale, you have legal rights. You’ll want to talk to a dog bite lawyer in Riverdale about your compensation options as soon as possible.
While dogs can make excellent pets in many households, they are also animals that can bite if they feel threatened or scared or not adequately contained. At John Foy & Associates, we are dedicated to helping dog bite and animal attack victims pursue compensation for their medical costs, lost wages, and more.
Why Dog Bites Happen in Riverdale
If a dog owner fails to restrain their dog in a way that doesn’t put others at risk, they can be legally liable if a bite or attack happens under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-2-7. Dog bites can happen for many different reasons. Some of the most common are:
- Feeling threatened, scared, or startled
- Reacting to a stressful situation
- Being protective of themselves, their owners, or puppies
- Not feeling well or
- Playing too roughly
Dog psychology isn’t the same as human psychology. They cannot voice how they are feeling or explain why they are feeling like biting or attacking. It’s the responsibility of a dog’s owner to maintain and restrain their dog to ensure there’s no risk of them hurting other people.
If you got hurt in a dog bite or animal attack in Riverdale, you have legal rights. You can file a personal injury claim with the owner’s insurance company for compensation for your damages. The best way to do this is by contacting an experienced Riverdale dog bite attorney for help.
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Why You Need to Retain a Riverdale Dog Bite Lawyer
There are many reasons why you need a dog bite lawyer. Our Riverdale dog bite lawyers can assist you in many different ways, such as:
- Getting experts to support your case.
- Collecting and retaining critical information and evidence.
- Obtaining animal control records, police records, the dog’s history, and other essential documents.
- Talking to witnesses to get their testimony.
- Taking your claim to court if necessary.
- Calculating all your economic and non-economic damages accurately.
With the injuries you’ve sustained, you won’t be in any good condition to fight hard for your settlement. Instead, focus on healing and recovering while we handle the legal grunt work involved in getting you compensated for your damages.
Hiring a lawyer to help you is a critical part of getting a settlement. Insurance companies will always try to challenge you and downplay your injuries. Don’t let them win. Get the money you rightfully deserve with assistance from oa lawyer.
How to Handle Animal Attacks on Someone Else’s Property in Riverdale
Here are some steps you can take to start legally protecting yourself after a dog bite in Riverdale.
If you can, use your phone or a camera to take pictures of the dog or animal that harmed you. Also, get photos of your injuries and the area where you were bitten or attacked.
Find Out More About the Animal
If the dog’s owner is at the scene when the dog bites you, ask if the dog has had its shots and whether or not it has shown aggressive behavior in the past. Ask for copies of the vet records.
Unfortunately, dog owners are often not at the scene when a dog bite happens. Negligent owners may allow their dogs to roam freely without thinking about the consequences. If you cannot find the owner, ask people nearby or talk to neighbors who might recognize the dog and know to whom it belongs to.
If an animal on someone’s property attacks you, find out as much as you can about that animal too. The property owner might be nearby for you to ask questions.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone else saw you get bitten or attacked, talk to them and ask for their contact information. Your dog bite and animal attack lawyer will reach out to them later for eyewitness statements to help your case.
Witnesses might also live nearby and be able to give you more information about the dog or animal that bit you.
Contact Animal Control
After a dog bite, call 911 or the local animal control as soon as possible. You want to do this so that there’s an established record of your dog bite occurring. Animal control and local law enforcement can also assist you in locating the dog should it have run away and get you medical attention if your injuries are severe.
See a Doctor
Get your injuries checked out as soon as possible. This will prevent your injuries from worsening, give you an idea of what your treatment will look like, and show the insurance company that you did not wait too long to seek treatment. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurer may try to say that your injuries are not as bad as your claim portrays them to be.
Damages You Can Claim from a Dog Bite in Riverdale
In your dog bite or animal attack claim, you can include damages like:
- Medical costs, including doctor bills, hospital bills, prescription medications, physical therapy, and more
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage and
- Pain and suffering damages
Don’t underestimate or undervalue how devastating dog bite injuries can be. According to 2018 national plastic surgery statistics, there were 26,906 reconstructive procedures for dog bites. This fact alone should illustrate how terrible a dog bite injury is and how much it can impact your life. Therefore, always strive for the maximum amount of compensation possible.
How Much Is the Average Dog Bite Settlement?
Average settlements for dog bites range around several thousand dollars. However, this can drastically increase depending on various factors:
- Whether or not you have solid legal representation.
- How severe your injuries are.
- How much of an impact your injuries have had on your life.
Unfortunately, we can’t give a specific amount to your unique dog bite case unless you come in for a free consultation. Remember, every dog bite case is different. So, while some can recover potentially millions, others can recover a settlement substantially less.
Don’t Settle for Less than What Your Injuries Are Worth
An insurance adjuster may reach out to you to convince you to forego obtaining legal representation and filing a claim in exchange for a quick settlement. Unfortunately, these offers are often one-sided towards the insurance company. Never accept their initial offer or settle for less.
Remember, insurance companies are businesses. Paying you the full amount of compensation you deserve isn’t good business for them. They will always try to get away with giving you only the bare minimum. Don’t talk to the insurance companies or let them convince you of anything until you talk to our Riverdale dog bite lawyers first.
How Much Time do I Have to File a Dog Bite Injury Claim?
Dog bite claims have a statute of limitations of two years. Essentially, you have two years from the date of your dog bite injury to pursue financial compensation. After these two years are up, there’s nothing you can do under the law to get a settlement. Time isn’t on your side. Don’t wait until the last minute to explore your legal options.
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Riverdale, GA, for Free Today
Get help with your case after a dog bite in Riverdale. The Riverdale dog bite lawyers at John Foy & Associates have been helping injury victims all throughout Georgia for more than two decades, and we’re ready to help you too.
For a free consultation, please schedule an appointment by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call. There are no upfront fees and no risks when you reach out.