A dog bite is a traumatic experience that could quickly turn your love of these animals into a deep fear. Although certain dog breeds are seen as a higher risk for a dangerous bite, in reality, every dog has the potential to inflict serious injuries. Without careful supervision, even a seemingly loving pet can turn aggressive in a matter of seconds.
When you think about a dog bite, you may envision a strange dog running up and attacking you. Although a bite from an unknown dog is possible, these types of bites are surprisingly rare. Unfortunately, you are more likely to be bitten by a dog that you know and may have interacted with on many occasions. This dog may be a beloved pet that belongs to a family member, a friend, or a neighbor. However, when placed in a stressful situation or left unattended, even a dog you know can cause serious or even life-threatening injuries.
If a dog you know bit you or a loved one, you may feel countless conflicting emotions. You do not want a person you know to suffer serious financial damage after a dog bite. However, you also need compensation to ensure you can receive the necessary medical care.
The Carrollton dog bite lawyers at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. understand the stress you are feeling under these circumstances. We are prepared to help you file a dog bite injury claim that offers you financial support without burdening the people you know and love.
You need to take action as soon as possible after a dog bite, so you can receive the greatest compensation available. Contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. at (770) 205-8827 right now to discuss your case and your legal options.
Who Pays for a Dog Bite?
No matter whether a dog owner acted recklessly, or they made a simple mistake, their dog hurt another person, and they may be legally liable for any injuries caused. However, when you file a dog bite injury claim, you are not seeking money directly from the owner. Instead, you are filing a claim through the owner’s liability insurance.
Almost every homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy offers some type of liability insurance. This policy typically covers expenses associated with injuries that occur on your property. However, in most cases, liability insurance also covers expenses from a dog bite injury, even if the bite does not occur at your home.
Certain insurance providers may make exceptions to the dog breeds they will cover under a liability policy. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, and wolf-dog hybrids are a few of the breeds that insurance providers often view as an increased risk and may not cover. However, owners of high-risk dog breeds can purchase animal liability insurance to supplement their standard homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
By filing a dog bite injury claim through the owner’s insurance, you can ensure that you have the compensation you need to cover the expenses from this bite. Although filing a claim through insurance may increase the dog owner’s monthly premium, this amount is significantly less than the thousands of dollars of medical bills the insurance company pays.
Why You Need an Attorney
Although insurance is supposed to protect you after a serious accident or injury, at the end of the day, insurance companies are businesses that want to make money. Insurance providers make a profit when clients do not make any claims. Therefore, to protect their profits, these companies make it incredibly difficult to file and receive compensation for a valid claim. Even a single error or missing piece of evidence could jeopardize your right to compensation.
To ensure that you have the greatest possible chance of recovering fair compensation, you need to work with a skilled dog bite attorney. Your lawyer will work with you through every step of your case, answering your questions and advising you on the best action to take. They will help you gather all of the evidence you need, and they have access to expert witnesses who can offer additional support for your claim. An experienced attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance providers, and they will make sure you do not accept less than you deserve.
Why Choose Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. to Manage Your Case?
Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. was founded in Georgia in 2001, and since that time, our firm has been fighting for the people of Carrollton. We are a part of the Carrollton community, so we understand how to navigate Georgia laws and insurance policies to meet your needs after a dog bite. Through our dedication and personalized legal approach, Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. has helped our clients recover millions of dollars in settlements.
In addition to our track record of success, Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. takes pride in offering compassionate legal service. We take the time to get to know you and the circumstances behind your dog bite, so we can develop the best argument for your case. A serious dog bite can have a devastating impact on your health and your life, but with the help of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., you will have the financial support you need to recover.
Dog Bite Laws in Georgia
To determine the owner’s liability in a dog bite injury case, the state of Georgia uses a modified “one-bite rule.” Under the standard one-bite rule, a dog owner is not liable for a dog bite injury if the dog has no history of biting. If the dog has not bitten anyone in the past, this rule dictates that the owner had no reasonable reason to believe that the dog would be a threat and therefore are not liable for the injury.
However, the Official Code of Georgia section 51-2-7 makes some changes to the one-bite rule throughout the state. According to this law, the dog owner may be liable for a bite injury if their dog has shown dangerous behaviors in the past. Even if a dog has not bitten someone, the dog may be a danger if they:
- Bark aggressively
- Growl or snap
- Show their teeth
- Charge at people or animals
- Lunge away from their owner to attack
- Have attacked and killed a pet while off the owner’s property
All of these behaviors indicate a dog’s aggression and warn the owner that the dog is capable of biting. In cases when the dog has previously shown aggressive behavior, the owner is liable if their negligent or careless actions led to a dog bite.
Under Georgia dog bite laws, there are a few exceptions in which the dog bite victim may be held responsible for a dog bite injury. These special cases include:
- Trespassing on the dog’s property
- Teasing or taunting the dog
- Injuring or threatening the dog
These are all examples of behaviors that may provoke a dog to attack and bite. However, if the owner was negligent and the dog was not provoked, the owner is most likely responsible for any harm their dog caused.
Health Complications After a Dog Bite
Most dog bites occur in one of two ways: bite and release or bite and hold. During a bite and release attack, a dog may bite one or multiple times, but they let go of the person they are biting immediately after. These bites typically cause puncture wounds from the dog’s pointed teeth.
On the other hand, during a bite and hold attack, a dog bites and then refuses to release the person. While holding on after a bite, the dog may attempt to run, dragging the bite victim with them. These injuries are often more extensive and may cause skin or muscle to tear.
The dog’s size and bite strength play a significant role in the severity of your injuries. However, any type of dog bite can cause a variety of complications that may impact your health long after the attack. Some of the possible complications after a dog bite include:
- Infection from bacteria in the dog’s mouth
- Diseases such as tetanus or rabies
- Impaired mobility due to joint dislocation or broken bones
- Nerve or muscle damage
- Permanent disfigurement
After a serious dog bite, you may require extensive medical care and on-going rehabilitation to recover from the harm this dog caused. This bite may prevent you from working while you heal, or, in particularly severe cases, you may experience a permanent disability as a result of this bite.
The combination of medical bills and lost income after a dog bite can place an unmanageable financial burden on you and your loved ones. However, your dog bite injury claim can help you receive compensation that will allow you to provide for yourself and your loved ones, even during this difficult time.
Contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. Today
If you or a loved one experienced a serious dog bite, you have the right to seek compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial harm you have suffered. You cannot afford to wait any longer for the financial support you need, and the Carrollton dog bite lawyers at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. are ready to help. Set up a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys right now by contacting Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. at (770) 205-8827.