Dogs are beloved pets in millions of American households, but when a dog bites someone, the consequences can be serious and life-changing. Every year, some 27,000 people have reconstructive surgery because of a dog bite. Small dog bites can lead to serious infections, or victims may have to undergo painful rabies treatment. Unfortunately, young children are among the most vulnerable to severe dog bites. If you or a close relative has been bitten by a dog in Macon, you do not have to accept the financial burden of your treatment. A Macon dog bite lawyer can help you recover money for your injuries.
At John Foy & Associates, our team of dog bite lawyers has been helping bite victims for more than 20 years. From our beginnings as a small local law office to our present-day practice with multiple offices throughout Georgia, we have never wavered from our central mission: to help accident and attack victims recover the money they need to pay for their treatment and rebuild their lives. Our Macon dog bite lawyers will give you a free consultation to discuss your case and help you understand your options. Call us at 478-217-7042 and get your free consultation today.
How should I respond if I’m bitten by a dog in Macon?
You should always get emergency medical treatment if you need it. If you don’t have to see a doctor right away, there are a few things you can do at the scene to protect your rights. We recommend that you try to get the following information about the dog that bit you:
- The dog’s owner’s name, address and telephone number
- The dog’s history of shots, and especially the date of its last rabies shot
- Information about the dog’s temperament and whether it has bitten other people before. Bystanders and people who come to your aid may know the dog and may have helpful information about its owner and its history. Get their names and contact information.
Don’t be surprised if the dog’s owner is defensive or refuses to answer questions. Or you may not be able to find the dog’s owner at all. Don’t let that discourage you. At John Foy & Associates, the first thing we do in any dog bite case is to send investigators to the area where you were attacked to interview people who live nearby. Often, someone knows the dog and who it belongs to, and this gives us the information we need to continue our investigation and search public records regarding the dog’s past bite history. Our investigation is a key step in building a strong case for you.
Do I need to report a dog bite in Macon?
Yes, you should to report the dog bite to two separate agencies in Macon-Bibb County. They are:
- The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. Always contact law enforcement immediately after a dog bite, even if the dog has disappeared and the owner isn’t around. Officers will come to the scene, examine your injuries, and talk to any witnesses. The police report is a key piece of evidence in your claim.
- Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare. Animal Welfare captures stray animals and keeps records of many animal attacks. They can search their system for past attacks involving this same dog, or their records may help you identify the dog or find its owner.
Will anything happen to the dog if I report a dog bite in Macon?
Georgia law has what’s known as a “one free bite” rule. This means that a dog that’s never bitten anyone before won’t usually be punished for biting you. However, the “one free bite” rule may not apply if the dog has a history of past bites or is part of a highly aggressive breed. Examples of aggressive breeds include:
- Pit bulls
- Dog and wolf hybrids
- Breeds that were created just for fighting
Who has legal liability for my dog bite?
Dog bites are not the victim’s fault, even if the dog’s owner tries to blame you for “provoking” the dog. In Georgia, dog owners have a legal obligation to keep their canines under control. That might mean that they must be kept on leash, muzzled, crated, or just closely supervised when off leash. When a dog bites someone, it means that the owner didn’t take the proper steps to control the animal. As a result, the owner is legally liable for all the damage that results, including your medical expenses. No matter what the dog’s owner says, never accept blame for a dog bite, and never minimize the extent of your injuries.
Can I recover money if I’m bitten by a dog in Macon?
Yes. The local courts in Macon follow Georgia law and allow you to recover all of your expenses and losses that result from the dog bite. Typically, bite victims are able to recover:
- The cost of medical treatment, including doctors, hospitals, surgery and prescriptions
- Rehabilitation costs, including physical therapy
- The cost of mental health treatment for issues related to the attack
- Lost wages, if you had to miss work because of the attack
In some cases, you are eligible for much more. Courts may award large amounts of money to people who were seriously injuries and suffer ongoing pain or disabilities. A dog bite can be a traumatic and life-changing event, and we know that money can never undo the damage. But money can help you stay on an even footing financially while you take the time to cope with your injuries and focus on recovery.
What if my friend’s dog bit me?
When a friend or family member owns the dog that bit you, you may be reluctant to report it to the authorities. We’ve represented many clients who were afraid of hurting a friend or damaging a relationship. But these same clients were relieved when they received money to pay for their medical care—often without ever going to court. Most of the time, your friend has insurance that will pay for your injuries, and your claim will be a private matter between you and the insurance company. You will not have to make a claim against your friend personally, and your friend will probably be happy to see you get the care and treatment you need.
Can I make a claim if I was working on the dog owner’s property?
Yes, workers have the same rights as everyone else. Property owners in Georgia must make their property safe for people who work there, and that includes keeping dogs under control. In some cases, workers are eligible to file workers compensation claims, which may make it easier to get a full financial recovery for your injuries.
Doesn’t a Macon dog bite lawyer cost a lot of money?
Medical care for a dog bite is expensive, and at John Foy & Associates, we believe you shouldn’t have to pay additional money just to get legal help. We never charge you any money up-front, and we’ll never ask you to pay anything at all unless we win money from you. We believe this is the fairest way to ensure that victims always have access to high quality legal help when they need it most.
Talk to a Macon Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
Lots of lawyers will tell you they take dog bite cases, but few have the experience and investigative skills to win them. At John Foy & Associates, we have a long track record of getting results for people who have been bitten by dogs. We’d like to show you what we can do for you. We’ll give you a free consultation to discuss your case and explain your options. Call us at 478-217-7042 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.