Many injuries that result from dog bites can be extremely painful. A reputable Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer can help you recover compensation for your pain and suffering.
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of your injury (or the death of a loved one) to file a claim for compensation. An experienced attorney can ensure that you meet this deadline.
It is important for a dog bite victim to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will not only help protect the victim’s health, but it will also establish that the injuries were indeed caused by the bite.
It may also be necessary to call the local animal control or sheriff’s department and report the incident. This will get the bite on record and helps prevent other people from being harmed by the same dog.
If the pet owner is present, try to gather information as to their name, address, homeowner’s insurance and contact details. It is a good idea to ask the owner for a detailed description of the dog (size, shape, color, tail/no tail, etc) and their normal vet so they can check on vaccinations (especially rabies).
In some cases, it will be necessary to interview eyewitnesses. Some dog owners will attempt to blame the victim by claiming that they entered the property without warning or put their hand through a fence to pet the animal. Your Atlanta dog attack attorney will need to be able to counter such arguments.
Depending on your injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your future medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, pain and suffering, mental anguish, disruption of your quality of life, loss of consortium (spouse/partner’s relationship), and funeral costs. In calculating these “non-economic” damages, your attorney will use evidence such as your doctor’s notes, your medical bills and photos of your injuries.
In addition, your Atlanta dog bite lawyer will investigate the incident and contact police departments, animal control, and any potential witnesses to obtain information about the attacking dog and its history. He or she will also review photographs taken of your injuries immediately after the incident and at various stages throughout the healing process. This evidence strengthens your claim and makes it less likely that the insurance company will lowball you.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a limit, set by law, on how long you have to file a personal injury claim in court. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years. This means that if you do not file your claim before the deadline, you will be barred from recovering any damages.
To recover damages for a dog bite injury, you must prove that the owner of the dog knew that the animal posed an unreasonable risk to others. Generally, this requires that the dog have a history of aggressive or bite-prone behavior. Having been bitten once may suffice, but it may be necessary to have evidence such as past attacks on other animals or other threatening or aggressive behavior.
You must also prove that you did not provoke the attack. You can do this by saving clothing that was torn or ripped during the incident, and by having medical records from your injuries.
In Georgia, a dog owner is legally liable for his or her animal’s actions when it bites or attacks a person on their property. Most dog owners carry homeowners or renters insurance policies that can provide the coverage needed for victims of a dog attack.
Your attorney can help you identify a possible source of compensation for your medical bills, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, future medical expenses, disfigurement, lost wages, diminished quality of life and loss of consortium. Your Atlanta dog bite injury lawyer can also help you fight for your right to fair and full recovery of all damages that you are entitled under Georgia law.
A Georgia dog bite victim will likely be contacted by the dog owner’s insurance company soon after the incident. It is never a good idea to talk with an insurance company without an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer by your side. Our injury attorneys have experience dealing with these insurance companies and can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.