Millions of Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and while dog bites can be “just a nip” that doesn’t break the skin, they can also cause severe injuries. About 27,000 people a year suffer dog bites so serious that they need reconstructive surgery. Many of these victims are young children, while others are adults who have trouble returning to work. If you or a loved one is bitten by a dog in Decatur, you must talk to a lawyer right away.
John Foy & Associates has been helping victims of dog bites and other tragic events for more than 20 years. We started as a small law office dedicated to representing accident victims, and we have never lost that focus—even as we have grown into one of the largest and most well respected law firms in Georgia. We never take the side of insurance companies or owners of vicious dogs. And our Decatur dog bite lawyers offer a free consultation to talk about your case. Contact us today at 404-400-4000 to schedule your free consultation.
I’ve been bitten by a dog in Decatur. What should I do?
First and foremost, get medical attention. In serious dog attack cases, that may mean calling 911. If you don’t need emergency medical care at the scene, try to get some information about the dog and its owner. We recommend that you try to find out:
- The name of the dog owner and/or where the owner lives
- The dog’s immunization history
- Whether the dog has a history of biting people
It’s common for dog owners to refuse to answer questions after the dog has bitten someone. Or the dog may be just roaming around on its own. If you can’t get any information, don’t worry. At John Foy & Associates, we have an investigative team that will go to the neighborhood and talk to people who live nearby. Often, someone recognizes the dog and knows something about its owner and its history. We also use public records of past dog bite incidents to help build evidence for your case.
Should I report a dog bite in Decatur?
If you are bitten by a dog in the City of Decatur, you should report the bite to two local agencies:
- The Decatur Police Department. The police will come to the place where you were bitten and prepare a report. The report is a critical piece of evidence that will help you make your claim.
- Animal Control. Animal Control prepares its own reports of all animal attacks. They may be able to help find or identify the dog, and their records will show whether the dog has a history of violence.
Will the dog be put down if I report the attack?
Many people worry about what will happen to the dog that attacked them, but most dogs are not put down after biting someone. In Georgia, dogs usually have “one free bite,” meaning that they won’t be punished if it’s the first time they’ve bitten someone. However, if a dog has a history of biting people, or if it’s from an aggressive breed, there may be consequences for the animal. Some common aggressive breeds are:
- Pit bulls
- Dog/wolf mixes
- Breeds created especially for fighting
Who is legally responsible for dog bites?
The dog’s owner is always liable for dog bite injuries. Georgia law requires owners to train their dogs and keep them under control. That might mean keeping a dog on a leash, crating it when visitors are around, or supervising it off-leash. When a dog attacks someone, the owner has failed to keep the dog under control, and the owner is legally responsible for the consequences. Dog owners can be quick to make excuses or blame you, but they are still legally liable.
What kind of financial recovery can I get in a dog bite case?
Decatur’s local courts follow Georgia state law, which allows you to recover all your costs and damages from the dog’s owners. This might include:
- Doctor, hospital and prescription drug costs
- The cost of physical therapy or rehabilitation
- The expenses of psychological treatment
- Lost pay if the bite caused you to miss work
If your bite was severe, you may also receive significant amounts of money for pain, suffering or disabilities. Of course, money can’t change what happened, but it can help you move forward without a heavy burden of financial stress.
What if I was bitten by my friend’s dog?
Always report a dog bite, even if the dog belongs to a friend or relative. We have assisted many dog bite victims and we know that you don’t want to get friends and family members in trouble or cause problems with loved ones. But we know how life-changing it can be to have someone else pay for the cost of the injury. Remember that your claim is not against your friend personally—it will be handled by their insurance company, usually a homeowners policy. Your friend will not have to pay your costs.
What if a dog bit me while I was working on someone’s property?
Your rights are the same as anyone else’s. Under Georgia law, homeowners must provide hired workers with a safe working environment. If someone is working on the property, dogs should be kept in a crate or under control. You may be able to file a workers compensation claim or you may file a regular dog bite claim.
What does a Decatur dog bite lawyer cost?
Your lawyer won’t cost you a cent out of pocket. At John Foy & Associates, you don’t pay anything unless we get you money. We take on the risk of winning your claim so you can get the legal help you need.
Speak to a Decatur Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
It’s easy to find a lawyer to handle your dog bite case, but hard to find one with a track record of winning them. At John Foy & Associates, we have over 20 years of experience in getting dog bite victims the money they’re entitled to. Let us give you a free consultation to discuss your case and explain your options. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.