Dog bites are painful, expensive, and often require surgery. Sadly, they’re common in Brookhaven—and can happen to both children and adults. If you’ve been attacked by a dog, you do not have to pay your medical bills yourself. You may have a right to a financial settlement. You need to talk to a Brookhaven dog bite lawyer.
John Foy & Associates know how to help. For over 20 years, we’ve worked with dog bite victims and their families to get justice—and we know how to win cases. Let us give you a FREE consultation and help you. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What are my rights if I’m injured in a dog attack?
As the victim, you need to know that you are not at fault for what happened. Dog owners will often try to blame the person who was bit, claiming you “provoked” the animal or that it’s normally friendly. But that’s not how the law works. Legally, dog owners have a duty to control their dogs. If a dog was able to attack, it was not controlled. That means the owner is liable.
As the victim, you have a right to a settlement for all the damages you suffered. That means you can recover money for two kinds of losses:
- Your costs. Medical bills, missed work time, and other costs can all be covered by your settlement.
- Your personal losses. Physical pain, emotional suffering, disabilities, and loss of enjoyment of life should all be factored into your settlement.
Do I have to call the police for a dog attack in Brookhaven?
It’s not required, but it’s a good idea. There are three main reasons to call the police after you’ve been bitten:
- It documents exactly what happened. Police will take down the details of the attack and there will be proof of where it happened, when it happened, and all the details at the scene. This is valuable information for your claim.
- Insurers may want the police report. You have a right to file a claim with or without a police report, but having one makes the process much easier.
- Police can help you identify the dog or its owner. Ultimately, the owner is the one who’s liable and you will need to identify them.
In Brookhaven, there are two authorities you can call after being bitten by a dog:
- The Brookhaven Police to respond at the scene and create a police report.
- DeKalb County Animal Control if you need help identifying a dog, catching it safely, or discovering whether it has attacked people in the past. Animal Control is in charge of enforcing all animal-related ordinances in Brookhaven, and often have information on a problem dog even if the police do not.
What if I don’t know who owns the dog?
Finding the owner is important to your claim, as they’re the ones who bear ultimate responsibility for what happened. But this is not as hard as it may seem—and many dogs who appear to be strays actually do have an owner.
Beyond calling the police or Animal Control, here’s how you can find the owner of the dog:
- Ask witnesses. Someone may already know who owns it.
- Walk through the neighborhood. Dogs rarely travel far from home. You may even see it in a yard.
- Knock on doors. A neighbor may recognize the dog from description alone.
- Talk to a lawyer. At John Foy & Associates, we have an investigator we send out on behalf of our clients to get them the answers they need.
The dog owner is a friend. What do I do?
Many dog bites occur at a family gatherings, backyard barbecues or when going to visit at friend’s house. Often, the children will play with the dogs while the adults talk. This is a situation where the dog owner may not pay proper attention to what’s going on, or may not remember that dogs can behave erratically around new people, especially high-energy children. So the dog is not properly controlled and, suddenly, someone is hurt. Dogs can also attack friends of any age—especially when off-leash.
We’ve seen firsthand what a stressful situation this is. Many people are nervous about what will happen to their friend, or their friend’s dog. The good news is that you can get the financial recovery you deserve without causing problems for your friend.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Your settlement is usually paid by insurance, not out of pocket. That means you can get the money you need without your friend paying for it.
- Your friend’s dog should not be harmed. Of course, hopefully your friend will consider better ways to control their dog in the future. But it’s rare for a dog to be taken away or face any consequences. Unless the dog is a fighting breed, or has a history of past violence, the dog will not face any direct repercussions.
- You do not have to cast blame. Most claims never go to court, and can be handled without direct involvement by you or your friend. It does not have to become a personal matter.
Ultimately, the reason you have a right to a financial recovery is because you suffered losses—very real pain, suffering, and financial costs like medical bills. A good friend will want you to get the money you need to offset these losses. Especially when they face little if any direct costs.
Talk to a Brookhaven Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
Don’t miss out on your rights after a dog bite. Get the help and the money you need. John Foy & Associates will give you a FREE consultation, and help you decide if you have a claim. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.