Every year, millions of people are bitten by dogs, and some of those bites cause serious, permanent injuries. Bites that seem minor at first can get infected or leave you at risk for rabies. Moderately serious bites may need stitches, and about 27,000 people a year need reconstructive surgery because of a dog bite. Tragically, the victims are often young children or healthy adults whose injuries make it difficult to return to their jobs. If you or one of your family members is bitten by a dog in Douglasville, talk to a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible.
At John Foy & Associates, our lawyers know how to help people who have been injured by a dog. For the past 20 years, we have dedicated our law practice solely to helping victims of dog bites and other attacks and accidents. From our origins as a small local law office, we have become one of the state’s largest and best respected law firms. Our Douglasville dog bite lawyers offer a free consultation to explain your rights and your options. Contact us at 404-400-4000 to set up your free consultation today.
If a dog bites me in Douglasville, what should I do?
It’s important to get medical attention right away. However, if your injuries aren’t so severe that you need emergency medical care, it’s a good idea to stay at the scene and try to collect some information. If you can, find out these things:
- The dog owner’s name and address
- The dog’s history of shots, especially rabies shots
- Whether the dog has bitten or attacked people before
Getting this information may not be easy. The dog may be roaming around by itself, or the owner may be unwilling to answer your questions. Don’t worry. The investigative team at John Foy & Associates is trained to get to the bottom of dog bite incidents and build the evidence we need to pursue your claim. Our investigators will search the neighborhood, talk to people who may know the dog, and check public records to see if the dog has bitten anyone before.
What’s the procedure for reporting a dog bite in Douglasville?
The City of Douglasville has two agencies involved in dog bites, and you should report your bite to both of them:
- The Douglasville Police Department. The police will come to the scene of the attack and write up an incident report that will be important evidence to support your claim.
- Douglas County Animal Control. The Animal Control agency makes a report of any animal attack. They may be able to help you find and identify the dog that bit you, and their records will show whether the dog has bitten anyone in the past.
Will the dog be put down if I report the bite?
Dogs aren’t usually put down after they bite someone. Georgia has a law known as the “one free bite” rule, which says that a dog will ordinarily not suffer any consequences the first time it bites someone. There are exceptions for dogs that are repeat offenders or are from certain very aggressive breeds, including:
- Pit bulls
- Dog and wolf hybrids
- Dog breeds that were created specifically for fighting
Who is liable if a dog bites me?
In Georgia, state law says it is always the dog’s owner. Georgia dog owners have a legal duty to train and control their canines. That may mean that the dog is on a leash while outdoors, kept in a crate when visitors are at the dog’s home, or closely supervised when off leash at a dog park or in the countryside. When a dog bites someone, it means the owner neglected his or her duty to control it, and the owner must pay for the consequences. The dog’s owner may try to blame you, but remember, the owner is still liable.
What financial recovery can I get in a dog bite case in Douglasville?
Local courts in Douglasville and throughout the state follow Georgia law and allow bite victims to recover all of their costs and damages. In most dog bite cases, this includes:
- Doctor and hospital bills and other medical expenses
- Physical and rehabilitative therapy
- Treatment for emotional trauma and other psychological conditions
- Lost wages, if the bite caused you to miss work
The court may also award large amounts of money for disabilities, pain and suffering or other serious and long term losses. Money can never restore your sense of health and well-being, but it can give you the resources to support your family and get the treatment you need to heal as completely as possible.
What if the dog’s owner is my friend or relative?
Reporting a dog bite is the first step toward getting the money you need to deal with your injuries. For this reason, you should always report a bite, even if the dog’s owner is someone you’re close to. If you are worried about upsetting your friend or getting someone in trouble, remember that you are not attacking them, you are making a claim with their insurance company, usually their homeowner’s policy. Having your financial needs taken care of will remove a huge burden for you, and your friend does not have to pay out of pocket for your care.
Are the rules different if I was working on the dog owner’s property when I was bitten?
Hired workers are entitled to recover 100 percent of their costs and damages, just like everyone else. Georgia homeowners are required by law to keep their property safe for people who work there, and that includes taking steps to crate or otherwise control their dogs. You may file a dog bite claim, or you may be able to file a worker’s compensation claim.
What does a Douglasville dog bite lawyer cost?
Your lawyer shouldn’t cost anything up-front. At John Foy & Associates, we offer a free consultation, but we don’t stop there. We won’t charge you a cent unless we are able to get you money. We think this is the best way to give you the legal help you need, without forcing you to take on financial risk.
Speak to a Douglasville Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
Many lawyers say they handle dog bite cases, but John Foy & Associates is one of the few that has experience winning them. We have been successfully helping dog bite victims for more than 20 years. Set up a free consultation and we’ll sit down with you to discuss the case and your options. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.