Throughout the United States, almost five million people suffer from dog bite injuries on an annual basis. Dog bites can be catastrophic depending on the severity of the attack – especially if the victim is a child – and in rare cases, they can be fatal. Georgia has state laws surrounding dog ownership and dog bite attacks to help reduce the risk of these attacks, but unfortunately, they do still happen.
If a dog injured you or your child, you may be entitled to compensation for the losses and suffering you endured. A dog owner has a responsibility to keep their pet under control, and you shouldn’t have to suffer financial hardship as a result of your injuries, in addition to the trauma of the dog attack.
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., our award-winning Alpharetta attorneys represent victims of dog bite injuries and help them recover compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today at (855) 465-4407 to schedule your free consultation with our legal team and learn about your rights and legal options.
First, while you’re still at the scene of the dog bite, collect contact and insurance information from the dog owner. It’s often the case that people are bitten by the dogs of friends or family, and the thought of seeking compensation from that party may feel uncomfortable or stressful. In fact, in almost all cases, you don’t actually seek compensation directly from the dog owner. Instead, the dog owner’s home insurance policy will likely cover your dog bite incident and provide the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
If you were bitten in a public place and don’t know the dog’s owner, collect information from witnesses who saw the attack. Your attorney can use this information to help track the owner of the dog and build a case on your behalf. Take photos of the dog bite, as well, so that you have documented proof of the injuries that the dog inflicted on you.
If the bite is serious, call 9-1-1 immediately so they can get to you quickly and transport you to the nearest hospital. Even if the bite does not seem severe, you should still seek medical treatment so that you have it for your records. If you don’t know the dog, rabies may be a concern. Additionally, dog bites can easily get infected, and your doctor may want to prescribe medicine to mitigate that risk.
Next, make sure you also file a report about the dog bite with animal control. This documents your case legally so that you will have this evidence if you decide to file an injury claim.
Finally, contact an Alpharetta dog bite lawyer. They will be able to develop a strong case for compensation on your behalf. For example, they can determine if the dog has attacked anyone else before and is considered a dangerous dog. They’ll negotiate assertively on your behalf for the full compensation you need.
According to Ga. Code Ann., § 51-2-7, you must prove that:
In addition, owners of dangerous dogs or potentially dangerous dogs must adhere to the following restrictions:
While the state itself does not impose restrictions on any breeds, some cities within the state do. For example, Marietta prohibits breeds like Rottweilers and pit bulls from city dog parks and other off-leash areas, and the town of West Point has an extensive list of “vicious” breeds that include Presa Canarios, pit bulls, Rottweilers, Chows, German shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers.
Alpharetta itself does not have breed restrictions, but apartment complexes and homeowners’ associations may have their own restrictions, and if owners violate those, they could be facing even more liability.
Georgia has some of the most complex dog bite laws in the country, and, in addition, insurance companies will do all they can to deny your claim or minimize their payout to you.
An experienced, qualified dog bite attorney will know how to build the case that you deserve full and fair compensation. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the details and circumstances of your case. Your attorney will know what questions to ask and what evidence to seek to make a case for the maximum financial reward. They will be able to skillfully negotiate with the insurance companies and determine the best ways to solve your case efficiently, so that you can move forward with your life.
Your lawyer will also handle all the details related to your case, which may include obtaining witness statements, talking to neighbors to learn more about the dog and its owner, getting a copy of the animal control report, your medical records, and much more.
If you decide to file a dog bite claim, you can proceed under three different doctrines: scienter, statutory liability, or negligence. Information about these doctrines is below, but the lawyers at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. will help you understand the best approach for your case.
Your lawyer will try to present your case in a way that reduces any blame that may be assigned to you by using the evidence they gather to support your case.
Once you know you are eligible to seek damages, your lawyer will work with you directly to help determine the types of compensation you can claim, which may include:
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we help dog bite injury victims recover damages in Alpharetta and the surrounding areas of Georgia. If you have suffered from a dog bite injury, then give us a call at (855) 465-4407, so that we can explore the details of your case in a free initial consultation. We are here to help you.