Dog owners like to minimize the effect of dog bites, calling them “playful,” or “just a nip.” But dog bites can be serious injuries. Even a small flesh wound can grow infected, and a vicious dog attack can lead to a lifelong condition or even death. Dog bites affect millions of Americans every year, and about 27,000 of them are hurt so badly that they need reconstructive surgery. Sadly, many of the worst cases involve young children. If a dog has bitten you or someone you love in Savannah, you need to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
At John Foy & Associates, we have a long history of helping animal bite victims get money to help them pay for treatment and move past the tragic effects of an unprovoked attack. For over 20 years, we have put our focus solely on helping people who have been injured—never taking the side of insurance companies who want to deny your claim. Our Savannah dog bite lawyers will consult with you for free and show you how we can help you. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What should I do if a dog bites me in Savannah?
Your number one priority is to get emergency medical care if you need it. If it’s possible, however, it’s helpful to find out as much as you can about the dog and its owner. Ask these questions of the owner or anyone else at the scene:
- Whose dog is this, and where do they live?
- Has the dog had its shots? Which ones, and when?
- Does this dog have a history of aggression or biting people?
Don’t be surprised if you can’t get much information out of the dog’s owner—if the owner is even around. At John Foy & Associates, we’re used to handling dog bite cases where there’s not much information to go on. We will send our investigators out to the scene of the bite to talk to neighbors who might have seen something or might recognize the dog or know its owner. We will also look through public records to find out if the dog has bitten people before. Our investigation gives us the critical information we need to develop your case.
Should I report my dog bite?
Yes. If you’re bitten in the City of Savannah, you should call two different agencies:
- The Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. Officers will come to the scene, talk to you and any witnesses, and write up an incident report. The report is important evidence that will help your claim.
- Animal Control. This is actually part of the police department, and the officers you call first may be able to call animal control for you. Animal control may be able to identify the dog that attacked you—or capture it if needed—and they may have records showing any history of biting people.
If I make a report in Savannah, will the dog have to be put down?
Most dogs aren’t put down just because they bit someone. Georgia follows the “one free bite” rule, which means that a dog isn’t usually punished for a first offense. However, the rule may not apply if a dog has a history of biting people or is a member of a breed that’s known for its aggression. Examples of aggressive breeds are:
- Pit bulls
- Dogs that are part wolf
- Any breed created for fighting
Who is liable in a dog bite case?
Animals aren’t held legally responsible for their actions, but their owners are. Under Georgia law, dog owners must train their dogs and keep them under control. Depending on the circumstances, an owner might control a dog by keeping it on a leash, using a muzzle, or placing it in a crate when visitors are around. Dog attacks usually happen because the dog’s owner didn’t meet his or her legal duty to control the animal. And this means that the owner is liable for your injuries, even if the owner tries to claim that the bite was your fault.
How much money can I recover for a dog bite in Savannah?
The local courts in Savannah will allow you to recover the entire cost of your injury. We commonly see dog bite victims recover money for:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy or other long-term rehabilitation
- Treatment for psychological injuries
- The pay you missed if you couldn’t go to work because of the dog bite
Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for far more. The court can award additional money for pain, suffering, disability or the loss of a loved one. Judges know that money can never undo a traumatic attack or return you to full health, but it is our legal system’s best way of helping you regain financial stability and pay for medical care after an attack.
What if the dog belongs to my friend?
You have the same rights, no matter who owns the dog that bit you. Still, it can be hard to blame your friends or ask them to pay for your injuries. Remember, though, that you are not making a case against your friend personally—you are filing a claim with their insurance company. That means they will not have to pay for your treatment out of their own pocket. And the money you receive can make an enormous difference in your life and put you or your loved one on the road to a faster recovery.
What if I was bitten while working on someone’s property?
You can still recover money for your injuries. In fact, in some cases you can recover through a workers compensation claim which may make the process quicker and easier for you. Property owners are supposed to make their premises safe for workers and visitors, and that includes crating or otherwise controlling their dogs.
How much does a dog bite lawyer cost?
You shouldn’t have to pay a penny out of pocket to get good legal help. At John Foy & Associates, we start every case with a free, no obligation consultation. If you decide to hire us, we won’t charge you up-front for our services, and we won’t charge you at all unless we win money for you. We think this is the best way to get you the help you need without asking you to take on any financial risk.
Talk to a Savannah Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
It’s easy to find a lawyer who will take your dog bite case, but much harder to find a lawyer with a solid track record of winning. At John Foy & Associates, we’ve been getting dog bite victims the money they need for more than 20 years. We’d like to give you a free consultation to explain your rights and help you decide if you have a case. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.