Dog bites happen quickly but can lead to serious injury and even death. For example, in July 2019, a 22-day-old baby girl was killed by her family’s husky, as theGainesville Times reports. Even dog bites that do not end in death can cause devastating wounds that require extensive medical treatment. Families can quickly become overwhelmed by the bills from a dog bite, especially if the victim requires ongoing care or multiple treatments.
If you or your family member was bitten by a dog, you may be able to recover damages from the dog’s owner and his insurance company. You can seek damages on your own, but if you lack legal experience, you may prefer working with a lawyer. A Gainesville dog bites lawyer with Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help you recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Is the Dog’s Owner Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury?
A dog owner may be responsible for a dog bite injury, but that is not always the case. Dogs are animals, and animals can act in unexpected ways, especially when provoked.
However, owners of dogs that have been classified as dangerous or vicious have an obligation to prevent their dogs from attacking others. If they fail to do so, they can be considered negligent and responsible for any injuries resulting from the attack.
How Does Georgia Classify Dogs?
Here is how O.C.G.A § 4-8-21 classifies dogs that pose a threat to others:
- Dangerous dogs include dogs that have punctured a person’s skin without causing serious injury, aggressively attacked in a way that caused a reasonable fear of serious injury, or killed an animal off the owner’s property.
- Vicious dogs are dogs that have seriously injured a person.
Should Vicious or Dangerous Dogs Be Restrained?
O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7sets forth the rules for owners of a dangerous or vicious dog. These owners may be required by a government ordinance to keep their dogs at heel or on a leash. Even without an ordinance, they must take steps to manage their dogs.
Any owner whose dog bites and injures someone because of careless management is liable to the injured person. The injured person can seek damages from the dog owner for direct and indirect expenses related to the dog bite injury.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Gainesville, call (404) 888-8888
Recovering Damages After a Dog Bite
The value of your damages depends on the severity of your injuries and the extent of your losses. In general, more serious injuries result in greater damages. Our lawyers will evaluate your case and collect evidence to determine how much your damages are worth.
You may be able to recover:
Economic Damages for a Dog Bite
Economic damages cover direct expenses such as:
- Medical bills, including emergency treatment, surgery, wound treatment to prevent infection, and more
- Future medical treatment, if you require ongoing treatment for wound care or if you will require future surgeries like plastic surgery
- Lost wages, if you must take unpaid time off work
Non-Economic Damages for a Dog Bite
Non-economic damages cover indirect losses such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Mental anguish
Wrongful Death Damages in a Dog Bite Case
If you lost a loved one, you may be entitled to damages for:
- Medical expenses, for treatment your loved one received before he passed away
- Pain and suffering your loved one experienced
- Funeral and burial expenses, including embalming or cremation fees, casket or urn, the memorial service, flowers, transportation, and more
- Loss of income, for your loved one’s expected future income
- Loss of services, for the chores, household maintenance, childcare, and other tasks that your loved one would have performed
Gainesville Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
How a Lawyer on Our Team Can Help with Your Dog Bite Case
Our lawyer can help you in many ways if you sustained dog bites from a vicious or dangerous dog in Gainesville.
- Investigate the dog bite incident: We will look into the dog’s history of dangerous or vicious behavior and collect evidence of negligence showing that the dog’s owner is liable for your injuries and expenses.
- Estimate the value of your damages: We will use evidence such as your medical bills and records, your prognosis and expected recovery, pictures of your injuries, and more to estimate how much your damages are worth.
- Negotiate a settlement with the dog owner’s insurance provider: We will file an insurance claim for you, submit supporting documents, and negotiate a settlement that provides you with fair compensation.
- Sue the dog owner: Much of the time, it is faster and easier for all parties to settle out of court. However, if we cannot come to a reasonable agreement with the dog owner and his insurance provider, we will seek compensation through litigation.
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Time Limits in a Dog Bite Case
If you or your family member was bitten by a dog, you only have a limited amount of time to act against the dog owner. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33sets the statute of limitations for both personal injury and wrongful death at two years. In general, this law means that you usually have two years from the date of the injury or two years from the date your loved one passed away to file a lawsuit.
There are some exceptions to these time limits. Our lawyers will go over the details of your case, determine how these laws affect you, and make sure that you meet important legal deadlines.
Our Team Can Represent You in a Dog Bite Case
Injuries from dog bites can lead to staggering medical bills, disfigurement, disability, and more. If you or your loved one was bitten by a vicious or dangerous dog in Gainesville, our personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover damages for these expenses and more.
Call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today at (404) 888-8888 for a free case consultation. We work on contingency, so you pay nothing unless we win your case.