A bite from a dog can be a serious injury. Often, even the smallest bites lead to infection or diseases like rabies. A severe bite can end up requiring reconstructive surgery, or even cause lifelong damage. Millions of people are attacked or bitten by dogs every year in the United States, and of those, 27,000 will end up needing surgery. Many of these victims are children, and many others will suffer injuries that affect their ability to work and support their family. If you or one of your loved ones have been bitten by a dog in Dalton, you need to speak to an attorney.
John Foy & Associates can help. We have a long history of successfully representing the victims of dog bites. For over 20 years we have been one of the most respected law firms in Georgia, with some of the best dog bite lawyers in the Dalton area. We understand the types of injuries you’re facing—and the costs that come with them. And we know how to take on even the toughest insurance companies to get you the best possible recovery in your case. Let us give you a free consultation and show you what we can do for your case and your family. Contact us at 706-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What should I do after a dog bite in Dalton?
Your main priority after any dog bite is to get emergency medical attention if needed. However, if it’s possible, it also helps to gather information at the scene of the attack. The more information you have about the dog and its owners, the easier it is to start the claim. Basic questions to ask include:
- Who owns the dog, and how can you contact them?
- Has the dog had shots? How long ago?
- Has this dog bitten anyone else?
Obviously, many dog owners will not want to answer your questions. Others may not know all the answers, or may not even be present at the scene. Don’t panic if you can’t get the answers you need. At John Foy & Associates, we can send out an investigator to find out who owns the dog and what history it has. Often, simply asking neighbors in the area will lead to someone who recognizes the dog, and we can get an address for the owner. From there we can check public records to see if the dog has ever bitten anyone before.
Should I report my dog bite? Who do I report it to in Dalton?
Yes, you should report any dog bite that breaks the skin, no matter how minor it may seem at first. In the City of Dalton, it’s best to report dog bites to two different agencies:
- The Dalton Police Department. Police can come to the scene and make an incident report, which is useful in initially approaching the dog owner’s insurance company with your claim.
- Whitfield County Animal Control. Animal control is the official agency in charge of all animal attacks and dangerous animals in the county. They can track down the dog that attacked you or help locate the owners. They may also have a record of whether this particular dog has ever attacked someone before.
What happens if I report a dog bite in Dalton? Will the dog be put to sleep?
No, it’s uncommon for a dog to be put down because of a single incident. In Georgia, the dog owner is considered responsible for the bite, and the dog will usually not be punished. There are two exceptions to this:
- Dogs with a history of violence. Georgia state law uses the “one free bite” rule, which means a dog can bite someone once and not be formally punished. Only dogs who have a repeat history of attacking people are put to sleep.
- Dogs from certain highly aggressive breeds. Some dogs are from breeds that are known to be aggressive or violent, including wolf hybrids, fighting dogs, Rottweilers and pit bulls. These dogs do not get the “free bite” that most dogs do.
Who is legally responsible for the dog bite?
The dog owner is always liable for the bite. Georgia law states that dog owners have a duty to make sure that their animal is:
- Properly trained, and
- Controlled at all times
Controlling a dog can come in many forms. At home, it may mean keeping the animal inside a dog proof fence or kenneled indoors. On the street it means using a leash. In a no-leash dog park it may simply mean supervising the dog. But in all cases, the owner must have the dog trained and controlled. Any attack by the dog is considered to be a failure of the owner, period.
What damages can I win in a dog bite claim in Dalton?
The local courts in Dalton can award dog bite victims 100% of the costs related to the bite, and additional damages in some cases. We often see claims that include:
- All medical expenses, including hospital visits, medicine, surgery and more
- Physical therapy or any rehabilitation needed after the bite
- Psychological treatment for victims who were traumatized by the attack
- Replacement of any wages you lost because you could not work
You can also be awarded a large amount of money in consideration of physical pain and suffering. The law does not pretend that this can undo the injury, but we have often seen this money help keep families financially stable after a tragic injury.
What if a friend or neighbor owns the dog?
We always recommend you file a claim. Your claim is not against your friend loved one personally—they should not have to pay anything out of pocket. In most cases it’s against their home insurance policy, or another insurance policy they hold.
How much does it cost to hire a Dalton dog bite lawyer?
We believe legal representation should be as accessible and risk-free as possible. That’s why we use a simple fee structure:
- You pay nothing to consult with us
- You pay nothing out of pocket
- You pay nothing unless we win you money
If we secure a financial recovery for you, our fee will come out of it, leaving you with the lion’s share of the settlement. We believe this is the fairest and easiest way for dog bite victims to get legal help.
Speak to a Dalton Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
Not all lawyers have experience working on dog bite cases. At John Foy & Associates, we have over 20 years of strong success helping dog bite victims. Don’t face your injury alone. Let us give you a FREE consultation and discuss your legal options. Call us at 706-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.