Dog bites occur every day in Georgia, and Powder Springs is no exception. Dog bites can result in serious injuries that can cause long-term damage. When a dog causes serious injuries, you may not know what to do next or where to turn. That is when a Powder Springs dog bite attorney is an absolute must.
Getting medical attention is always the first step after a dog bite. John Foy & Associates has the experience and skill you need to take the reigns from there. We can step in to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and more. You need to focus on recovering from your injuries—we will concentrate on the legal aspects of your situation for you. Give us a call at (404) 400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
What should I do if a dog bites me in Powder Springs?
You should always get medical attention right away if you need it. If possible, you should make a mental note of who the dog belongs to. You will need this information for your legal claim. Try to gather the following information:
- The name, address, phone number, or other contact information of the dog owner
- Whether the dog has had its rabies shot
- Names of witnesses or people nearby and their contact information
If possible, you should also try to determine whether the dog has bitten anyone else before. That may not be information you can get immediately. But, even if you can’t get that information right away, don’t worry—you can still get this evidence in the future, and your attorney can help. John Foy & Associates has the resources you need to determine the dog’s history and even who the dog’s owners may be.
How does the dog bite law in Powder Springs work?
In Georgia, the dog’s owner can be legally responsible for any damage their dog causes. To hold a dog owner accountable, a victim must prove two major facts under Georgia law.
- The dog is “dangerous” or “vicious.”
- The dog’s owner was careless or reckless in how they restrained (or didn’t restrain) the dog.
A dog is considered “dangerous” or “vicious” when it has a history of biting someone else. This rule is sometimes referred to as the “one bite rule.” Essentially, the dog gets to bite one person before the dog owner must know that their dog is dangerous.
The one bite rule is harsh for victims, so Georgia law attempts to address that issue by including an additional situation where a dog might be considered dangerous. Although there is no state-wide leash law, various cities in Georgia, including the City of Powder Springs, have locations where dogs must be kept on leashes at all times. If a dog’s owner violates a leash ordinance, then the dog is almost automatically considered vicious under Georgia law. Letting a dog run loose under those circumstances also usually means that the dog’s owner was careless in how they restrained the dog, too. When those facts combine, legal responsibility for your injuries results.
What are the most important questions to answer in a dog bite case?
Getting money damages for your dog bite case depends on the answers to a few questions. The team at John Foy & Associates will help you gather information and evidence to answer these questions:
- Was the dog restrained or confined when the bite occurred?
- Has the dog bitten anyone else in the past?
- Where did the bite take place?
- Did the owner know that the dog had vicious tendencies?
- Were there any witnesses that can talk about the event?
- Can neighbors tell you about experiences with the dog that show that it is vicious or dangerous?
The answers to these questions will help you determine if you have a legal case that you can bring to court. Your lawyer will be able to walk you through all of your options no matter what the answers to these questions may be.
What kind of money damages are available in a dog bite case?
Most dog bites will only cause minor injuries. But, there are situations where a dog bite can affect you for the rest of your life. When a dog’s owner is responsible for the bite, you can likely get the following damages.
- Medical expenses. In a serious dog bite cases, you’ll likely need to make a trip to the hospital, even if it’s not an emergency. You can recover medical expenses related to your initial visit and any follow-up treatment. As long as the care is related to the dog bite, the dog’s owner will have to cover that cost.
- Lost wages. In many dog bite cases, you’ll have to miss work while you recover from your injuries. The time that you have spent away from work should be reimbursed from the dog’s owner as well. You may also be able to get loss of earning capacity if you cannot go back to work or you cannot go back to the same job after the incident.
- Pain and suffering. Unlike the other types of damages, pain and suffering compensation is focused on a loss that you cannot put a price tag on. Unfortunately, there is no way for a dog owner to take back that physical or even mental pain and suffering that their dog caused. Instead, they simply have to pay for that experience in the only way that the law permits—by giving you money for your experience.
Your pain and suffering damages are somewhat tied to your medical expenses. In most situations, as medical costs increase, so does the amount for pain and suffering because higher medical bills often indicate that a more severe injury has occurred.
Talk to a Powder Springs Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
Our team has over 20 years of experience dealing with cases just like yours. We can take on your case so you can spend time recovering instead of worrying about your legal issues. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to schedule your free consultation today.