Dog bites are not always minor—and they are rarely cheap. Every year, dog bite victims in Kennesaw face injuries, the risk of infection, and expensive medical bills because of dog attacks. If you or someone in your family has bitten, remember that you are not at fault. In fact, you have rights and that usually includes the right to a financial recovery. You need to talk to a Kennesaw dog bite lawyer.
Let the attorneys of John Foy & Associates help. We have spent more than 20 years working to protect those who were injured through no fault of their own. We have experience with all types of dog attacks, from the most mild to the most severe. And we listen to our clients. Let us give you a free consultation to help you evaluate whether you have a case. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How severe are dog bites?
Each dog bite case is truly unique. Depending on what happened, you may have received a single bite that broke the skin, or could have severely attacked. The most common types of dog bite injuries are:
- Wounds that require stitches. Even a single dog bite will often require stitches, and all dog bites should be cleaned to prevent infection. Minor bites can heal quickly, but may leave scars, and may leave you with a hospital bill plus the cost of a rabies shot in some cases.
- Severe maulings. Dogs have an awful instinct to grab hold of a victim with their jaws and pull them to the ground. This “bite and pull” reflex can cause severe wounds including torn flesh. And they may continue attacking once the victim is on the ground. The result can involve surgery, permanent scars, and the possibility of a permanent injury.
- Death. In rare cases, a dog may actually kill someone. This is most common with small children.
A dog attacked my child. What should I do?
This is sadly common. Although people of all ages can be attacked by dogs, children are the most common victims for several reasons:
- Children aren’t always aware of the caution they should use around strange dogs
- Children are smaller and may seem more like prey to an aggressive dog
- Children may think a dog is playing even when the dog is actually getting ready to attack
Unfortunately, because of their small size, children also tend to suffer more severe wounds than adults do. This event is horrifying for both the child and the parents. If this is happened to your family, you need to know that you have rights:
- The dog’s owner is almost always the one liable for the attack, not your child
- Insurance is often available to pay for your medical costs and other losses
- Your lawyer can help you file a claim and force the insurance company to pay the full amount you are owed
Money cannot help restore peace of mind—or undo a child’s injuries. But you do not have to bear the financial burden of what happened.
How do I find out who owns the dog?
Dog owners often become scarce after an attack. Some dog owners will even take their dogs and leave the scene as quickly as possible to avoid accountability. In other cases, a dog may have been wandering freely with no sign of who owns it. But you can still find out who owns the dog.
There are several ways to get this information:
- Ask. Neighbors or passersby, especially at the scene of the bite, may know who owns the dog or where the dog lives.
- Look for the dog. Dogs have to go outside everyday. Walk through the neighborhood and look for the dog that bit you in someone’s yard. (Never trespass when doing this.)
- Call Animal Control. Cobb County Animal Controlis the agency that deals with stray and vicious dogs. They also help with dog adoption efforts. That means they may already know the dog in question, either from past incidents or because the dog passed through a shelter. Often, they will know who owns it.
A good lawyer can handle each of these steps for you and launch a more in-depth investigation if needed to find out who the owner is.
What if the dog was a stray?
Since the owner is normally the one who’s liable for an attack, it can be a problem if a dog is a stray. However, you have options:
- Often, the dog is not stray at all, or has only temporarily gotten away from its owner. In the town of Kennesaw, it’s rare for a dog to simply live wild for long periods of time without any owner at all. Some investigation will often turn up an owner, even if the dog mostly lives outside.
- In cases where no owner can be found at all, you may have alternatives. Depending on where the attack happened, for example, a property insurance policy could cover your costs.
The dog owner says the bite isn’t their fault. What should I do?
Don’t listen. In over 20 years of winning dog bite cases, it’s been rare that we’ve ever encountered a dog owner who blamed themselves—or their dog. But the law says that the owner is the one responsible for controlling the dog at all times. In other words, if the dog was able to attack you at all, the owner failed in their legal duty.
Likewise, doctors will often say that you (or your child) antagonized the dog in some way. This is rarely true, and the liability is almost always with the owner:
- Playing with a dog, touching a dog, or yelling at a dog do not make you responsible for the attack.
- If the owner had been controlling the dog, the dog couldn’t have attacked you even if it was “provoked.”
The reason we have laws about animals is simple: they’re unpredictable. It’s hard for anyone to tell what might provoke a dog, especially since some dogs can turn aggressive quickly. That’s why the local courts put the responsibility on the owner. It’s to protect those around them.
But that doesn’t mean you should argue with the owner—or the insurance company. These conversations are almost never fruitful and may even undermine your claim. Instead, let a lawyer do the talking. The law gives you the right to recover money for all of your costs, as well as additional money for pain, suffering, or any long-term injuries and losses. Your lawyer can help you get the money you’re entitled to.
Talk to Kennesaw Point Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
John Foy & Associates is one of the most experienced and capable personal injury law firms in Georgia. And we don’t charge anything unless we win you money. Let us put our lawyers to work for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.