If you were attacked by a dog in Sandy Springs, you need legal assistance. Don’t get stuck with medical bills for a bite injury that wasn’t your fault. A Sandy Springs dog bite attorney can review your case for free and determine if you are owed compensation.
At John Foy & Associates, we’ve spent the past 20 years fighting for the money injured victims need to get treatment and remain financially stable. We are one of Georgia’s largest and most highly regarded law firms, and we are ready to help you. Learn more about what our team can do for you.
The Prevalence of Dog Bite Injuries
If you were injured by a dog but you’re not sure if you want to take legal action against the owner, bear in mind that you are not alone. Dog bites are all too common and if you don’t act, the dog may harm someone else.
Each year, about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by a dog. Some dog bite injuries are minor, but one in five bites gets infected, and an estimated 27,000 people need reconstructive surgery annually. Unfortunately, many of the victims of dog bites are young children who suffer serious or life-threatening injuries.
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What to Do If You Are Bitten By a Dog in Sandy Springs
The first thing you should do after any accident or animal attack is to get medical care for your injuries. However, if the attack is not so severe that you need to go to the hospital immediately, you can try to collect some information about the dog and its owner, including:
- The owner’s name, address, and contact information
- The dog’s vaccination history
- Whether the dog has bitten someone before
When a dog bites someone, it’s not unusual for the owner to become defensive, refuse to answer questions or even blame you for what happened. Or you may have been bitten by a dog that was roaming around on its own. Don’t let this worry you or discourage you from reporting the bite or making a claim.
At John Foy & Associates, our dog bite lawyers in Sandy Springs will build your case for you. We send investigators to the scene to talk to neighbors who might know the dog or its owner. We will also research public records to find out whether the dog has a history of biting.
Who Should You Report a Dog Bite to in Sandy Springs?
In the City of Sandy Springs, there are two agencies involved in dog bite cases. You should report your bite to both of them:
- The Sandy Springs Police Department may send officers to the scene. Otherwise, you can reach out to them to file a report. The officers will talk to you, the dog’s owner and any witnesses to prepare a report that can be used as evidence in your claim.
- Fulton County Animal Services handles reports of all types of animal attacks. Their records can locate or identify a dog or show whether the dog has bitten anyone in the past.
Will the Dog Have to Be Put Down if You Report a Bite?
It’s unusual for a dog to be put down after biting someone. In fact, Georgia’s laws give dogs “one free bite,” which acts as a warning to dog owners if the dog has never bitten anyone before.
However, the one free bite rule may not apply if the dog is a member of a highly aggressive breed that is often associated with attacks. These breeds can include:
- Pit bulls
- Dog and wolf hybrids
- Other breeds known to be aggressive
Who Will Be Liable for Your Dog Bite Injuries?
The dog’s owner will be liable. Unlike dogs, the owners do not get a “free bite”—they are always responsible for the actions of their pet. When a dog bites someone, it means that the owner failed to control the animal.
It’s common for dog owners to defend their pets and blame the victim, saying you did something to provoke the dog. Don’t fall for this. If the dog bit you, the owner is legally liable. And a Sandy Springs dog bite attorney can investigate the circumstances of your case to determine liability.
How Much Money Can You Recover in a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
The average dog bite lawsuit in Georgia settles for around $48,000. Keep in mind the dollar amount of your financial recovery will depend on the circumstances of your case. However, under Georgia law, the local courts can award you money for all your losses. This typically includes:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy or other rehabilitation services
- Treatment for mental health issues caused by the attack
- Lost wages to make up for missed work time because of the bite
Courts also may award substantially more money if you have a severe injury, ongoing pain, or a long-term disability. We don’t believe that money can undo the devastating effects of an animal attack, but it can ease the strain of large medical bills and lost time from work, helping you and your family to focus on the healing process.
Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering for a Dog Bite?
After a dog bite, you may be compensated for both financial and non-financial losses. If you suffered mental anguish and trauma as a result of the dog bite incident, you may be entitled to damages for pain and suffering.
Additionally, if the dog owner was found to be especially reckless leading up to your injury, you may be awarded punitive damages. These damages serve as punishment for particularly dangerous acts. A dog bite lawyer in Sandy Springs can advise you on what damages you may claim for your dog bite injury.
How Bad Does a Dog Bite Have to Be to File a Claim?
You may file a claim if a dog bite caused you significant bodily harm. So long as you did not provoke the dog, you are entitled to compensation for damages. That’s good news since nearly 40% of Americans would struggle to afford a surprise $400 bill.
Don’t hesitate to act because you think the dog bite is too minor. Be sure to seek medical attention right away to have it assessed and treated. The damage could be worse than you initially think.
Should I File a Claim if My Friend’s Dog Bit Me?
Yes. Many people find it hard to report a dog bite when the dog’s owner is someone they know and care about. You may feel pressure from your friend or may worry that your friend will get in trouble or have to pay your medical bills.
But your dog bite claim is with your friend’s homeowner’s insurance company, not a personal attack on your friend. The money you get will help you recover, and your friend will not pay out of pocket. In many cases, your friend may feel bad about what happened and will be happy to see you get the care you need.
What if I Was Bitten When I Was Working on the Owner’s Property?
Hired workers have the same rights as everyone else. Georgia’s laws require homeowners to make their property safe for people who work there. That means they must crate or otherwise control their dogs when workers are present. As a hired worker, you are entitled to file a dog bite claim, and you may even be eligible to file a claim under workers compensation.
What Will a Sandy Springs Dog Bite Lawyer Cost Me?
You should never pay anything up-front for a lawyer to help with your dog bite claim. The policy of our dog bite lawyers in Sandy Springs is to not charge anything unless we win you money. That means your consultation is free, and you won’t be charged any out of pocket fees. We want you to have quality legal help without worrying about how you’re going to pay for it.
How Long Do You Have to File a Dog Bite Claim?
In Georgia, dog bite injury claims are subject to a statute of limitations of just two years. If you do not initiate your claim within two years of the date of your dog bite injury, you will be unable to seek compensation for your injuries.
It may take you longer than expected to build a strong case so it’s best to get started as soon as possible. Working with a dog bite attorney in Sandy Springs can ensure your claim is filed promptly.
Consult With a Sandy Springs Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
There are a lot of lawyers who say they handle dog bite cases. However, few know how to win these cases. Dog bite attorneys in Sandy Springs from John Foy & Associates have been getting financial recovery for dog bite victims for more than 20 years.
When you meet with us for a free consultation, we’ll go over your case and explain your options. Call us 24/7 or contact us online and schedule your free consultation today.