Dog bites and attacks can cause extremely traumatic injuries physically and emotionally. Survivors of an attack may be forced to endure months of recovery and long-lasting effects such as scarring, nerve damage, and post-traumatic stress disorder. For these conditions and others, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the dog’s owner or keeper or their insurance company.
Our Garden City dog bite lawyers represent a wide range of dog bite victims and their families, including children, adults, and utility or postal workers. We pursue maximum settlements for our clients and will work to help you win your claim and get the justice you are entitled to.
Dog Bite Laws and Liability
According to Georgia law O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7, an individual who “owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal of any kind” and “by careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty, causes injury to another person who does not provoke the injury by his own act may be liable in damages to the person so injured.”
The following factors must be provable to hold an owner or keeper liable for a dog bite under Georgia law:
- The dog was considered “vicious” or “dangerous”
- The owner was negligent in managing/handling the dog or allowed it to roam free
- The dog caused an injury
- The victim did not provoke the attack
In short, dog owners and keepers have a duty to protect society from potentially dangerous animals, so others are not injured or killed. Failure to do so can warrant that a victim may file a claim or initiate legal action to pursue compensation for various losses incurred. Exceptions to this might include situations in which the person was provoking, threatening, or hurting the dog, in which case it reacted in self-defense.
Georgia has also enacted statute O.C.G.A. 4-8-21 (2010) pertaining to previously established “dangerous or vicious” dogs. Owners or keepers of these dogs can also be subject to criminal prosecution and penalties if their animal injures or kills a person. You only have two years to pursue legal action starting from the time of the injury or the wrongful death according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33.
Less commonly, landlords and businesses might be liable for a person’s dog bite-related injuries. For example, because landlords are legally responsible for ensuring their premises are safe and not in disrepair, if a tenant’s dog escapes through a broken door or gate and injures someone, the victim might have a viable claim against the landlord.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Garden City, call (404) 888-8888
Damages are the basis of most civil legal claims, including those involving dog bites. Accordingly, a claimant seeks compensation based on their losses due to a defendant’s negligence. To this end, forms of payment that might be available include the following:
Economic damages are the financial losses incurred, such as medical bills, antibiotics, prescription pain medications, ambulance services, therapies, emergency room care, hospitalization, and lost income and wages.
Non-economic damages are often more challenging to calculate because they are not tied to bills or receipts and instead are based on the adverse effects to a victim’s quality of life. These damages might include emotional anguish, pain and suffering, permanent scarring or disfigurement, disability, and loss of life enjoyment or companionship.
Garden City Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
Dog Attacks: Causes and Victims
Among the most common circumstances that lead to a dog attack includes an owner’s negligence in keeping a potentially aggressive animal properly leashed, locked up, or contained. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, it is not the dog’s breed that determines if it will bite but instead its individual history and behavior.
Children are especially vulnerable to dog attacks due to their small size and naivety regarding the danger that dogs can pose. These facts can be compounded when dog owners fail to warn the child or the child’s parents that the animal has been aggressive or is prone to biting. As a result, children are the most common victims of dog bites and are much more likely to be severely injured.
Sometimes dogs bite without exhibiting past aggression, and multiple factors may increase the likelihood of a dog attacking, including the following:
- Lack of training or socialization
- History of neglect or abuse
- The dog is chained or tethered
- The dog is male and unneutered, or a female and unspayed
- The dog has sustained an injury or is sick
- Genetic predisposition, when breeders select for behavioral traits that increase aggression
While anyone can be the victim of a dog attack, besides children, another group at exceptionally high risk is delivery drivers, utility workers, and postal employees. This is because they come within close proximity of households regularly. For example, according to the United States Postal Service, in 2020, more than 5,800 workers were attacked by dogs.
If you were bitten while working, you might have a workers’ compensation claim through your employer in addition to a case against the dog owner or their insurer.
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Common Dog Bite Injuries
Although most dog bites do not cause significant injuries, many do. The following are some common injuries that victims of dog attack experience:
- Broken or punctured skin
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial injuries
- Leg, hand, and arm injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Nerve Damage
- Tissue damage
- Trauma and emotional distress
Compared to the more than 800,000 people in the U.S. per year who report requiring medical attention for dog bites, only about 30-50 people are fatally injured by dogs (46 people in 2020). However, this may be a small consolation for those who lose a loved one due to a dog attack. A wrongful death claim can be filed against the dog’s owner or keeper in such an event.
Contact Us If You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog and Sustained Injuries
Our Garden City dog bite attorneys are eager to represent you or a family member who has been harmed in a dog attack. Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we will seek maximum compensation for dog bite victims and handle all legal obligations while you are healing.
The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim for a dog attack in Georgia is just two years, so you should not delay. Please contact us and tell us your story, and we can get started on your case today.