There are over 4.5 million dog bites in the United States every year. While many of those bites are not serious, some can be deadly. Even if the bites themselves are not that bad, they can become infected and cause other severe health issues. In fact, roughly 900,000 of those 4.5 million bites will become infected. Too many of these dog bites are caused by dogs that are not appropriately restrained. When owners fail to keep their dogs away from you—and they end up biting you—you need to talk to a Grayson dog bite lawyer.
John Foy & Associates has been helping victims with their personal injury cases for over 20 years. We have handled numerous dog bite cases in Grayson, and we can help you with your situation as well. Many dog bite victims know the owner of the dog, and they’re concerned about suing a friend or neighbor. But, many homeowners’ insurance policies will apply to dog bite cases. That means that you aren’t really suing someone you know—you must deal with an insurance company instead. John Foy & Associates can help you with your case by talking with the insurance company, gathering evidence, and much more.
Does the reason the dog bit me matter?
Dogs bite for a wide variety of reasons. Some are just aggressive in general, and others bite for entirely different reasons. A dog may bite because:
- It is reacting to a stressful situation
- It is defending its property or owner
- The dog is trying to protect itself or puppies
- It feels scared or threatened
- The dog is ill or was startled
- They think you are playing
In the City of Grayson, the reason that a dog bites can matter in your personal injury case. For example, if a dog is responding to being provoked or teased, the owner may not be liable for the bite. Regardless, the dog’s owner must still keep the dog restrained. If the owner lets the dog run freely, you may still be able to get money damages.
Does it matter whose property you are on when the dog bite occurs?
Yes. In Georgia, a victim must show that the dog’s owner didn’t restrain the dog properly and that the dog was dangerous or vicious. Local courts will automatically assume that a dog is vicious if the owner is violating local leash laws. That means that if there is a leash law in place, but the dog’s owner is not following it, that is enough to show that the dog was vicious.
Leash laws commonly affect public places like parks and sidewalks. That also means that it is often easier to get money damages from a dog bite that occurred in a public area, especially if the dog was off of its leash. But, a dog’s owner can still be legally responsible if the bite happened on private property, too.
Legal responsibility for a dog bite only arises if the person who was bitten was “lawfully present” on the property where the bite occurred. That means that if someone trespasses on the property where the dog lives, that dog can protect that property by biting an intruder. Of course, there are situations where a dog thinks you’re an intruder, but you’re actually on someone’s property with their permission. As long as you’re not trespassing, you may be able to get money for your injuries and related damages.
What should I do if a dog bites me or a loved one?
If you have been bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. A medical professional will be able to not only treat your wounds, but also test you for rabies. Getting prompt medical care can cut down on the likelihood that your bite will get infected as well. Be sure to follow the treatment the doctor recommends and attend follow up appointments.
You should also report a dangerous dog to animal control, particularly if it’s running loose in Grayson. You can do this by contacting animal control directly or calling 911 and letting them know what happened. Likewise, Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement has resources they can use to determine who the owner of the dog may be. But you do not have to figure this out on your own—at John Foy & Associates, our investigators can track down the dog owner for you.
It’s always a good idea to report the incident. Reporting the dog bite is not only helpful for your personal injury case, but it can also save someone else from being bitten by the same dog. Catching the dog and keeping it from harming others is very important.
How can I get money damages after a dog bite?
To prove a dog bite case in Georgia, you must show that the dog was not restrained properly. That means that the dog’s owner was careless or reckless in the way that they kept the dog. That could mean that the fence they used wasn’t tall enough or that the dog was not on a leash at all, for example.
You also have to prove that the dog owner knew that the dog was vicious or dangerous. This portion can be tricky because a dog’s owner may not know that the dog is prone to biting unless it has bitten someone else in the past. This is often referred to as the “one free bite” rule. The dog essentially gets “one free bite” before an owner knows that the dog is dangerous. But viciousness isn’t always as hard to prove as you might think.
If you can show that the dog’s owner knew the dog was dangerous and the owner did not act reasonably to keep the dog restrained, you can often get money damages for your dog bite injury. And nothing helps you do this more than a lawyer does. Having the right lawyer on your side can make a dramatic difference in whether you recover money.
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Grayson for Free
If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog in Grayson, you need to talk to the team at John Foy & Associates. We can help you gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and file your lawsuit while you focus on recovering from your dog bite—we will do the legwork for you. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.