Dog bites sound minor, but often they are not. Small bites can sprout infections, and a severe dog attack can alter your life forever. About 27,000 people nationwide undergo reconstructive surgery because of dog bites each year. And unfortunately, many bite victims are young children or adults whose injuries will affect their work and earnings. If you or a family member has suffered a dog bite in Duluth, you should talk to a lawyer as quickly as possible.
At John Foy & Associates, we have a long history of successfully helping dog bite victims. When we opened our small law office more than 20 years ago, we committed ourselves to aiding victims of injuries and attacks. To this day, we only represent injured people—never insurance companies—even though we are now one of the largest and best known law firms in Georgia. Our Duluth dog bite attorneys would like to sit down with you and discuss your case. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What should I do after a dog bite in Duluth?
After any injury, get emergency medical care if you need it. If you do not need to rush to the emergency room, however, you can stay at the scene and try to get some information about the dog and its owner.
If a dog bites you, collect this information right away:
- Step 1: The name and address of the dog’s owner
- Step 2: The dog’s history of shots
- Step 3: Whether the dog has bitten people before
Don’t be surprised if the dog’s owner doesn’t want to give you this information. Or you may have been bitten by a dog wandering around on its own. This does not mean you don’t have a claim. At John Foy & Associates, the first thing we will do is send an investigator to look for answers. We can go to the neighborhood, talking to people who may know the dog or its owner. And we can search public records to see if the dog has a history of bites. The information we gather will help build a strong case for you.
Where do I report a dog bite in Duluth?
Dog bites in the City of Duluth should be reported to the following agencies:
- The Duluth Police Department. Call the police right away so they can come to the scene and make an incident report. You can call the non-emergency number if there is no urgent medical situation. The police report will help you prove your claim.
- Gwinnett County Animal Welfare. Animal Welfare handles all animal attack reports. They can send a Duluth Animal Control officer to capture the dog if needed, and their records will help show whether there have been reports of violence by this dog in the past.
You can still file a claim even if you did not report the attack. Reporting it simply creates a record that can help improve your case.
What will happen to the dog if I report it?
It’s natural to worry that a dog will be punished or put down because it bit you, but most of the time that won’t happen. Georgia has a “one free bite” rule, which means that most dogs don’t suffer any consequences if this is the first time they’ve bitten anyone. However, dogs with a history of violent behavior and dogs from certain aggressive breeds are exceptions. Highly aggressive breeds include:
- Pit bulls
- Hybrids of dogs and wolves
- Breeds created specifically for fighting
Who is liable for my injuries if I’m bitten?
Owners are legally responsible if their dogs bite people. Dog owners in Georgia are required to keep their canines under control. That might mean keeping it on a leash, using a muzzle, keeping it in a crate while visitors are around, or supervising it off-leash. If a dog attacks someone, it means the owner has failed to keep the dog under control, and the owner is responsible for any damages that occur. A dog’s owner may try to make excuses or blame you for what happened, but legally the owner is responsible.
How much money can I get in a dog bite claim in Duluth?
The Duluth local courts use Georgia law to decide how much money you are entitled to. The money you receive will depend on your situation, but in general you are entitled to recover ALL your costs and damages related to the bite. This might include:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy or other types of rehabilitation
- Mental health treatment
- Lost wages, if you had to miss work because of the bite
In some cases, the courts award additional money for pain and suffering or serious losses like a permanent disability. We know that money can never reverse the traumatic effects of an animal attack, but it can help you pay for the treatment you need to recover as completely as possible.
What if my friend’s dog bit me?
You should still seek medical treatment, report the bite, and get whatever information you can about the dog. We understand that you may be reluctant to file a report when the dog belongs to a friend or relative. But we have seen the huge difference it can make to get the money you need to pay for your bite treatment. Remember that you are not accusing your friend of anything—you are just making a claim with their homeowners’ insurance policy. Your friend may be relieved to learn that he or she will not have to pay out of pocket for your treatment.
What if a dog bit me while I was working on someone’s property?
Workers have the same rights as anyone else. Property owners are required by law to make their property safe for people who work there. That means that dogs must be kept under control. You should report the bite and you can file a claim. In some cases you may even be able to make a workers compensation claim that could lead to a speedier financial recovery.
How much will a dog bite lawyer cost me?
A good lawyer shouldn’t cost you anything up-front. At John Foy & Associates, our policy is that you don’t pay a dime unless we win you money. We take the financial risk of handling your case, so you can get the legal help you need right away.
Talk to a Duluth Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
John Foy & Associates is one of the few law firms with a solid track record of winning dog bite cases. Sit down with us for a free consultation and we’ll talk about your situation and tell you whether you have a case. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.