Many of us love our dogs. But what happens if a dog in Lilburn bites or attacks a person and leaves them with serious injuries and huge medical bills? In most cases, the owner is legally liable, and no victim should have to pay. If you were bitten by a dog or attacked by an animal, an experienced Lilburn dog bite and animal attack lawyer can help you build a case for compensation.
At John Foy & Associates, we can help you file a personal injury claim to seek the money needed to recover your costs. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers are here to assist you and your family at no-risk. There is no fee unless we win you money, and the consultation is FREE. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get your FREE consultation today.
Two Elements You Must Prove in a Dog Bite or Animal Attack Case in Lilburn
In Georgia, a dog bite or animal attack case works in pretty much the same way as other personal injury claims. If someone has been negligent in your injury accident, you can file a claim for compensation for your damages (Georgia Code § 51-12-4). Dog bites or animal attacks are typically covered by a homeowners’ insurance policy.
To have a valid case, you will need to prove these two things.
1. The Dog Owner’s Negligence
Any injury claim in Georgia depends on negligence, which is basically another word for carelessness. Everyone in Lilburn has a “duty of care” to act in a reasonable way that does not harm others. When someone owns a dog or other animal, they are usually responsible for that animal’s actions if they harm someone else.
In most bites or attacks, the animal’s owner has been negligent. They might have known the dog has bitten or exhibited aggressive behavior before, but they still allowed the dog to roam freely or be in a location where it might feel threatened.
Sometimes, it’s enough to show that the dog should have been restrained, but was not, to demonstrate negligence in your attack. It’s best to work with a Lilburn dog bite and animal attack lawyer when demonstrating the owner’s negligence in your claim. Your lawyer will know how to best gather evidence and present the facts.
2. You Had Injuries and Damages Because of the Attack
Besides proving negligence, you’ll also need to demonstrate the injuries and losses you experienced because of the owner’s negligence and the dog bite.
You’ll want to start gathering information to show you damages right away. That includes:
- Taking pictures of the dog or animal that attacked you (if you can), your dog bite injuries, and the scene of the dog or attack
- Reporting the bite or attack to Animal Control
- Keeping track of all expenses you face because of the bite, including medical bills
- Getting your injuries evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible after the incident, especially if your injuries are very serious or life-threatening
Your lawyer can also help you gather this information and present it in the best way to show what happened and calculate your damages.
What Happens to the Dog and Its Owner After a Dog Bite
It’s normal to worry about what will happen after a dog bite is reported. Many victims are concerned about the dog being put down after the bite. Thankfully, most dogs are not euthanized unless they have a previous history of dangerous or vicious behavior.
The dog’s owner will be responsible for all damages from the bite if they are found to be liable. However, this will rarely come out of their pocket. Most dog bite claims are handled by the owner’s insurance company. If the down owner has been in violation of state or local laws, they may face more serious penalties like fines or even jail time (however, this is rare).
Also, if the dog owner’s insurance company contacts you, do not accept any money or give any recorded statements before speaking to a dog bite and animal attack lawyer. Insurance companies are skilled at trying to get information that can be used against you later, so make sure you have a lawyer on your side first.
How to Build a Case if the Dog Was a Stray
If you can’t find the owner of a dog after a bite or attack, you might begin to worry that you won’t have anyone to seek compensation from. However, we find that dogs often have an owner—they just allowed it to roam freely and weren’t present at the scene of the bite.
After the bite happens and you have gotten medical attention, contact Animal Control and your dog bite lawyer. They will help you investigate the scene and talk to those who live in the area. They might be able to uncover more information about the dog and find an owner. This is the best step to take before assuming that the dog is definitely a stray.
Damages You May Recover in a Dog Bite and Animal Attack Claim in Lilburn
When you file a personal injury claim for compensation after a dog bite or animal attack, you can include damages like:
- Medical costs like doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, tests, and prescription medications
- Future medical care costs
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental health treatment
Your lawyer will take all losses into account when building your claim. They’ll consider how the bite or attack will impact you now and in the future. The goal is full compensation for the damages you have suffered (and may continue to experience).
Talk to a Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer in Lilburn for Free Today
Dog bites and animal attacks can be really scary and overwhelming, but you have options. At John Foy & Associates, we know what is required to win these types of cases—as we’ve been doing for injury victims over the past 20 plus years.
Reach out today and we’ll give you a FREE consultation to discuss the details of your case. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your FREE consultation now.