Many people assume that dog bites are minor injuries—until the day they have been bitten. Every year, dog bite victims in Carrollton account for some of the most serious and brutal injuries that come into local emergency rooms. Many of these victims will require stitches or even surgery—and many will have scars or a disability for life. No matter how severe or minor your dog bite injuries are, you have rights under Georgia law, and you do not have to face your claim alone. If you or your loved one were bitten, take the time to talk to a Carrollton dog bite lawyer.
The attorneys of John Foy & Associates are here for you. For over 20 years, we have helped dog bite victims and their families in the Carrollton area. We have seen firsthand how devastating these attacks can be, both physically and emotionally—especially when children are involved. Our attorneys know how to help you and we know how to win cases. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Give us a call at (404) 400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
What should I do after a dog bite in Carrollton?
There are four things you should do after any dog attack:
- Call the police. Police can file a report and potentially issue a citation to the dog owner. You can also call Animal Control to capture a dog with no owner around.
- Identify the dog’s owner. If you don’t need to go to the emergency room immediately, take the time to find the dog’s owner if they are not around. In many cases neighbors will know whose dog it is. Get the owner’s name and contact info, as well as the contact info of any witnesses.
- Get to a doctor. Even if you don’t need emergency treatment, see a doctor or urgent care clinic immediately. You need to have your wounds cleaned to prevent infection. If the dog owner could not verify proper shots for the dog, you may also need to get a preventative rabies shot.
- Talk to a lawyer. Talk to a lawyer within 48 hours of your attack if possible. A good lawyer will give you a free consultation to help you understand your options with no obligation.
My child was bitten by a dog. What should I do?
Both adults and children get bitten by dogs, but unfortunately children are at much higher risk. You should still take all the steps above, but the following will also help:
- Remember that this is traumatic. For a parent, the physical wounds are often the most alarming, but a child may also be racked by fear—or even guilt, worried that they are going to get in trouble. Reassure them, comfort them, and make sure it’s not their fault.
- Help them understand what happened. It’s important for a child to hear that some dogs are bad, but most dogs aren’t. Try not to characterize it as “dogs are dangerous” or “stay away from dogs”—that can build an association that leads to a fear of all dogs. Children will be coping with enough fear and anxiety as it is after an attack.
- Help them avoid triggers. In the weeks after the accident, it may be helpful to walk with them to school in case they see a dog on the way, or keep them home from friends’ houses that have dogs. If you have a family dog, keep the dog separate until you can bring it in to see the child in a controlled way. Let the child know in advance that your dog wants to see them, and don’t do it if they’re not ready. Once they get to see their dog, you can reaffirm that this dog, like most, is friendly.
Children who are attacked by dogs will often go on to have a phobia or other stress reaction. Any counseling you need should be covered by your dog bite claim, along with the physical injury.
Will the dog’s owner be held responsible?
Yes, in many cases they can be, but it usually requires action from you, the victim.
In Carrollton, and all of Georgia, if a dog is classified as “vicious” and bites or injures someone, the owner may be in violation of state law. In fact, if they failed to control the dog with a leash, fence, or cage, they may actually face criminal penalties.
But the owner won’t always face these penalties unless the victim takes action. Here’s why:
- Police often have a hard time determining what happened at the scene of a dog attack. And, many officers aren’t very familiar with the local dog bite laws. In many cases, they won’t issue any citation at all if the victim doesn’t advocate for their rights.
- A dog has to be considered “vicious” for the owner to face consequences. Legally, any dog is vicious under Georgia law if it has attacked someone before. But the police won’t usually know the dog’s history. You, or your attorney, can easily determine if the dog has a violent history—which supports your own dog bite claim as well as the charges against the owner.
But the best way to hold a dog owner responsible is by fighting for your dog bite claim. Enforcement of Georgia’s laws for dog owners is spotty at best, and even if the owner is convicted, that alone doesn’t do anything for you or your family. The most important step you can take is to speak to an experienced dog bite lawyer and file a claim for the money you deserve.
Why should I file a dog bite claim?
A dog bite claim is the only way to recover the damages you suffered in the dog attack. It can help you avoid being set back by medical bills, and if you were seriously injured, it can also help you rebuild your life—especially if you cannot work.
Dog bite claims are usually just insurance claims. They are a type of personal injury claim, and in many cases they will be filed against the property insurance of the dog owner. In other situations, an insurance policy may not be available or the insurance company may try to refuse to pay. That’s why some claims become lawsuits and go through the Carroll County courts.
In most cases, your attorney can resolve your claim through negotiation and recover money for you without going to trial.
Your dog bite claim can pay you money damages, including:
- Medical costs
- Costs of long-term care or physical therapy
- Missed work time
- Money for your pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other forms of personal suffering
Talk to a Carrollton Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
When a dog attacks, the owner will almost always blame the victim—or try to avoid responsibility. Stand up for your rights. Let the attorneys of John Foy & Associates help you, and give you a FREE consultation. We charge nothing if we don’t recover money for you. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to schedule your FREE consultation today.