Dog bites are not minor injuries. Even a small bite can spread rabies or become infected, and more serious bites can require surgery or stitches. Every year, millions of people are bitten by dogs across the US, and roughly 27,000 will need reconstructive surgery. These numbers are even more tragic considering that many dog bite victims are children, and others are adults whose injuries will affect their ability to work. If you or someone in your family has been bitten by a dog in Gainesville, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.
At John Foy & Associates, we know how to help you. We have successfully represented dog bite victims for over 20 years. From our beginning as a small local law office, we have been dedicated exclusively to helping the victims of injuries and attacks—we never side with the insurance companies. This ethos has paid off and we have now become one of the largest, most respected law firms in the state. Let our Gainesville dog bite lawyers give you a free consultation to discuss your case. Contact us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What should if I’m bitten by a dog in Gainesville?
Your priority after any dog attack should be getting medical attention. If you don’t have to go immediately to the emergency room, however, it helps to get some basic information about the dog. Ideally, you should find out:
- Who owns the dog, and where do they live?
- What shots has the dog had, and when?
- Had this dog ever bitten anyone before?
Unfortunately, dog owners don’t always want to answer questions. In other cases, the dog was wandering with no owner in sight. It’s okay. John Foy & Associates has an investigative team and we can get the answers for you. We can comb the neighborhood and talk to people who live in the area. Often a neighbor will know who owns the dog. We can also pull public records about past dog bites and help you build your case.
How do I report a dog bite incident in Gainesville?
All dog bites that happen in the City of Gainesville should be reported to two different authorities:
- The Gainesville Police Department. The police can come to the scene and create an incident report, which you will need to make a strong claim.
- Hall County Animal Control. Animal Control service is responsible for reporting all animal attacks. They can help locate or identify the dog after the attack, and will also know if it has a history of prior violence.
If I report a dog attack in Gainesville, will the dog be put down?
In most cases it’s rare for a dog to be put down. Georgia state law gives most dogs what’s known as the “one free bite” rule. This basically means that a dog will not be punished if it’s the first time it has bitten anyone. Dogs that have a history of violent behavior, or dogs from certain highly aggressive breeds, are exceptions. Aggressive breeds include:
- Pit bulls
- Dog/wolf hybrids
- Any breed that was created specifically for fighting
Who is liable for a dog bite?
It’s always the owner. Georgia law makes liability simple in dog bite cases, because owners are required to keep their dogs trained and controlled. Controlling a dog can mean keeping it on a leash, crating it around visitors, or supervising it when it is off-leash. Anytime a dog attacks someone it means the owner failed in this duty, and they are the ones who are legally responsible for the fallout. Do not let a dog owner blame you—this may be an emotional time for them, but they are still liable.
What costs can I recover in a dog bite claim in Gainesville?
In Gainesville, the local courts follow state law and allow you to recover 100% of your costs and damages. Typical damages in a dog bite case may include:
- Medical expenses
- Long term rehabilitation or physical therapy
- Psychological treatment
- Lost wages if you missed work because of the dog bite
Additionally, the court may award you substantial amounts of money for pain, suffering, and serious losses like a disability. This money cannot undo what happened, but can help you and your family stay financially stable after a devastating injury.
What if it was a friend’s dog?
You should always report a dog bite, even if a friend or loved one is the dog owner. We’ve worked with many dog bite victims and we understand that you don’t want to get a friend in trouble or put strain on your friendship. But we’ve also seen what a difference it makes for dog bite victims when their claim pays for the cost of their treatment. Bear in mind that your claim is not against your friend personally—it’s with their insurance company, usually a homeowner policy. Your friend will not have to pay anything out of pocket.
What if I was working on the dog owner’s property when I was bitten?
Your rights are the same even as a hired worker. State law makes the homeowner responsible for providing you with a safe work environment. When a worker is on the property, dogs should be crated or otherwise controlled. You can still file a dog bite claim, or possibly even a workers comp claim, making it easier to get the financial recovery you need.
How much does it cost to hire a Gainesville dog bite lawyer?
It shouldn’t cost you anything out of pocket. At John Foy & Associates, we don’t just offer a free consultation—we also guarantee that you pay nothing unless we win you money. We believe this is the fairest, lowest risk way to provide dog bite victims with the legal advice they need.
Speak to a Gainesville Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
Lots of lawyers will accept dog bite cases, but few actually have experience winning them. At John Foy & Associates we have 20 years of experience and a track record of success helping dog bite victims. Sit down with us for a free consultation so you understand your legal options. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.