Dog Safety and Liability for Dog Bites
Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019 at 5:55 pm
Even if you do not own a dog, you are likely to encounter one at a friend’s house, at the park, or even simply walking down your street. Dogs can be cute, lovable creatures, but approaching a strange dog is not wise. Instead, you should not approach any unfamiliar dog and, if you feel you must approach the dog:
- Ask the owner for permission before attempting to touch the dog
- Curl your hands into fists to protect your fingers
- Allow the dog to sniff you before attempting to interact with the dog
Stray dogs or dogs running loose should be reported to animal control; do not attempt to restrain the animal on your own.
Dog Bite Compensation
Dog bites can be serious injuries, resulting in expensive medical bills and recovery times limiting your ability to work. You may be able to recover compensation for these expenses, including payment for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Any other expenses connected to the injury
However, this compensation is not automatic. In order to receive compensation, you must be able to prove a few things about your dog bite case. Georgia law requires that, in order to hold the owner liable, you demonstrate that:
- You did not provoke the dog
- The owner knew the dog was dangerous
- The owner intentionally allowed the dog to be unrestrained
Additionally, if the bite or other injury occurs in an area in which dogs are legally required to be leashed and the dog was unrestrained, you do not have to show that the owner knew the dog to be vicious or dangerous since the owner’s disobedience of the law allowed the injury.
Building Your Case
You have only two years from the date of the attack to file suit in Georgia. While this may seem like ample time, remember that you may still be recovering from your injuries and that your attorney will have to conduct research before filing your case with the courts.
While you can file your suit prior to healing completely from your injuries, it may be wise to wait, if possible, since it is easier to prove your need for compensation for actual past costs rather than potential future medical bills. Your attorney will help you to determine when you should file suit and how to handle ongoing medical expenses at that time.
The investigation of your attack may be the most time-consuming portion of preparing to file your case. The attorney will need to know a number of things, including:
- Ownership of the dog
- Local laws regarding leashing
- Prior aggressiveness by the dog
- Your precise location and actions prior to the attack
- Owner’s location and actions prior to the attack
These factors will help your attorney to determine who was at fault and build a case to help you recover compensation. The investigation may uncover, for example, that the dog was registered as a dangerous animal with the state, so the owner’s failure to leash the dog will strengthen your case.
Contact an Attorney
If you have been bitten or otherwise injured by a dog, contact the attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, a Personal Injury Law Firm, immediately. You can get help paying your medical bills.