Many people in Clarkston love their dogs. They can be amazing pets and, in many households, are treated like another member of the family. However, when an owner is negligent, dog bites can happen at any time. They can lead to serious injuries, infection, and years of emotional trauma. If you were hurt by a dog, even if you know the owner, you are entitled to make a personal injury claim for damages. A dog bite and animal attack lawyer in Clarkston, GA, can help you do this.
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping dog bite victims get the compensation they need for over 20 years. We’re always on the side of the victim after a dog attack. We can take on the legal side of things while you focus on healing and recovering. To schedule a FREE consultation today, call us at (404) 400-4000.
Six Things to Do if You Were Bitten by a Dog in Clarkston
What you do after a dog bite and animal attack can help protect your legal rights and well-being. Here are six steps we recommend taking.
1. Get Medical Attention
Dog bites can be extremely serious. They can lead to a lot of blood loss and injuries that take many months or years to heal. Victims may need reconstructive surgeries because of their injuries, and dogs can spread germs that cause infection. That’s why you shouldn’t delay getting medical treatment.
If your injuries are serious or fatal, call 911 for an ambulance or have someone get you to the hospital right away. If you are okay enough to stay at the scene, complete the following steps but make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible. You will need a record of treatment soon after the attack for your dog bite injury claim.
2. Report the Dog Bite to Animal Control
Contact DeKalb County Animal Services to report the dog bite. Their field services handle animal bites, and you can reach them after hours by calling 911. Tell them what happened and where you were bitten or attacked.
3. Get the Names of Witnesses
If anyone else saw the animal attack happen, talk to them and ask what they saw. Get their name and contact information. Your Clarkston dog bite and animal attack lawyer will reach out to them later for statements.
4. Ask Questions
While you’re at the scene, find out what you can about the dog and its owner. If the owner was present during the bite, get their name and contact information. Many times, though, dog bites happen when the owner is not present or the dog is a stray. Either way, get as much information as you can.
Ask anyone around the area about details like:
- Who the dog belongs to
- Where the owner lives and if they’ve let their dog run free before
- Whether the dog has had its shots (and when)
- Whether or not the dog has been vicious towards others before
Answers to any of these queries can help you get information for your injury claim. Your lawyer will seek this information, as well, but getting it at the scene can help a lot.
5. Take Pictures
Picture evidence can be very powerful in an animal attack injury claim. Take pictures of your injuries, the dog, and the scene where the attack happened.
6. Call a Clarkston Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer experienced in dog bites and animal attacks can help you with the next steps. They will gather the information you need about the dog and owner. That might include sending investigators to the scene, talking to neighbors, and accessing public records to see whether or not the dog has a violent history.
The Dog Owner Is Usually Liable
Although there can be exceptions, the dog owner is almost always at fault after an attack. Dog owners are legally required to ensure their dogs do not hurt others. Dog attacks often happen because the owner failed to keep their dog leashed, crated, or fenced in away from the public (and assuming the dog was not provoked). This is especially bad if they know their dog has violent tendencies but still allows them to roam.
Even if you personally know the dog owner, it’s important to report the bite. It does not mean you’re trying to get the owner in trouble. You must protect your rights to compensation for the damages you now face. Plus, most of the time, the owner themselves will not be paying for your costs. Their homeowners or renters insurance probably covers dog bites.
What You Need to Prove a Dog Bite in Clarkston
To make an injury claim for a dog bite or animal attack in Clarkston, you will need to show that:
- The dog owner acted negligently, such as letting the dog roam or not leashing them in a county with a leash law.
- They knew the dog was aggressive or had dangerous tendencies.
- You or someone else did not provoke the dog to attack.
Each of these points can be difficult to prove, which is why finding an experienced dog bite and animal attack lawyer in Clarkston is so important.
Damages You Can Claim After a Dog Bite in Clarkston
If you held no fault in the dog bite, you can claim damages for any and all costs resulting from your injuries. Those include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy
- Lost wages from missing work
- Pain and suffering damages
Dog bite cases often leave victims with more than physical injuries. The trauma of getting bitten by a dog, especially for young victims, can cause years of phobia or other psychological issues. If these are accompanied by physical injuries from the bite, they can be included in the injury claim.
The damages from a dog bite can be very severe. Making a personal injury claim for the costs of your attack can help it easier to pay for your expenses, heal, and begin to move on from this overwhelming situation.
Talk to a Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer in Clarkston, GA for Free
Most dog bite victims have little experience with personal injury law and aren’t sure where to turn next. Plus, the shock and pain of a dog attack can make it hard to think clearly. This is where we at John Foy & Associates can help you.
Dog bite injury cases are one of our top areas of expertise in Georgia. With over 20 years of experience helping victims of dog attacks, we know how to win cases. Our goal is full compensation for your damages. To get started with a FREE consultation, call us any time today at (404) 400-4000.