Getting bitten by a dog is a painful and traumatizing experience with long-term effects such as disfigurement, scarring, and PTSD. Although dogs are generally friendly and wild-mannered household pets, the reality of dog bite injuries is more horrific than you may think. Nearly 800,000 dog bite cases require medical attention every year.
If you get bitten by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation. The personal injury lawyer in South Fulton at the law offices of John Foy & Associates in South Fulton are available 24/7 to help you determine whether you qualify for compensation. We will use the initial case review to evaluate your circumstances and explore your legal options.
Dog Bite Law in Georgia
Georgia doesn’t have the so-called “One Bite” law. According to this law, owners of domesticated pets can be held strictly liable for injuries and losses caused by their pets, provided they know about the animals’ vicious or dangerous propensities. In this case, the burden of proof is on dog bite victims to show that the pet owners knew about their animals’ aggressive tendencies.
Since Georgia doesn’t have this law, you only need to prove that the dog owner was negligent in a way. For instance, if the owner is aware of their dog’s vicious nature and doesn’t take the necessary measures to protect the public, they can be held liable if the dogs injure someone.
Georgia’s Responsible Dog Ownership Law got enacted in 2012 and safeguards the public from potentially dangerous dogs. Similarly, the law protects dog owners from trivial lawsuits. It outlines rules for responsible dog ownership and sets guidelines for the regulation and control of dogs.
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Proving Liability in Dog Bite Cases
Under Georgia law, dog owners are liable for any damages or losses suffered by a person who gets bitten by their dogs while in public or lawfully in a private place. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. For instance, the owner won’t be liable if you instigated the attack.
After sustaining a canine-related injury, you must prove liability. The stipulation is commonly referred to as having the burden of proof. Claimants must prove the dog owner’s liability to recover damages.
Recovering compensation from negligent dog owners and their insurers can be difficult because these cases are usually complicated. You may hurt your chances of recovering damage, especially if you decide to pursue compensation on your own. The legal team at John Foy & Associates knows what it takes to hold negligent dog owners liable for their pet’s actions and can help you build a successful compensation claim.
Why Hire a South Fulton Dog Bite Attorney?
In Georgia, the key to winning a dog bite compensation claim is proving that the dog had either been aggressive before or the owner disregarded fencing or leash law. That’s where the attorneys at John Foy & Associates come in. Thanks to our contacts in local animal control offices, we can retrieve records that prove the aggressive dog’s reputation.
If you hire a dog bite attorney in South Fulton, they can explore all legal possibilities and bring a compensation claim against the at-fault party. Our attorneys can help you gather the necessary evidence, file a compensation claim, and fight for a fair settlement. Since the statute of limitations for dog bite claims is two years, we can file your case early and ensure you get compensated when you need the money.
Sources of Compensation in Dog Bite Claims
When seeking compensation for dog bites in South Fulton, the attorneys at John Foy & Associates can help you identify possible sources of compensation. Most homeowners have liability insurance that covers dog attacks, which could be a source of compensation.
In some cases, landlords may be held liable if their tenants’ dangerous dogs attack someone. For instance, if a vicious dog escapes through a damaged fence that the landlord knew of, they may be held responsible for the attack.
What Damages Can You Recover?
Our dog bite lawyers in South Fulton can help you recover both monetary and non-monetary expenses after a dog attack. The three types of damages you can recover after suffering a dog bite are:
These damages cover the actual financial losses related to the dog bite. The special damages you can get awarded include medical costs, property damage, lost income, and funeral and burial expenses in case of a death. It’s best to calculate both present and future medical costs, including the cost of reconstructive surgery.
These damages cover non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional stress resulting from the attack. The compensation amount often gets decided by the court or through negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company. It’s calculated as a multiple of the special damages awarded.
These are intended to punish a dog owner if the court rules that they got intentionally negligent or reckless, leading to the attack incident. The punitive damages also warn other dog owners against acting negligently or recklessly. Georgia law caps punitive damages related to dog bites at $250,000.
If your child gets bitten by a dog, you can recover the damages on their behalf. Our attorneys can collect all the evidence needed to support the claim. We can also prepare you for a comparative negligence defense if the dog owner claims your child initiated the attack.
Talk to a South Fulton Dog Bite Lawyer Today
At John Foy & Associates, we’re committed to protecting the rights of dog attack victims in South Fulton and the surrounding areas. We understand the risks of dog bites, from debilitating injuries to illnesses such as rabies and tetanus.
Thus, we fight to ensure dog attack victims receive the compensation they deserve to seek treatment and move on with their lives. So, if you or a loved one gets bitten by a dog, contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced law