Alpharetta Dog Bite Lawyers
We expect dog owners to properly restrain and train their dogs. However, they don’t always live up to this expectation. As a result, their dog can knock someone over and attack them. Some dog bites only call for at-home care and heal within a few days. Others can prove more severe, and victims may sustain traumatic brain injuries, infections, and broken bones. In any case, the dog owner could face responsibility for their negligence.
Knowing what steps to take to hold them responsible can prove tricky. Our Alpharetta dog bite lawyer has experience handling cases and securing fair outcomes. If you or a loved one sustained a dog bite, let Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group evaluate your damages and seek compensation for them. We’re here to help you make a financial recovery after going through such a traumatic event.
Reach out to Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group today. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to all potential clients.
Common Damages in Alpharetta Dog Bite Cases
The dog owner should provide compensation for the damages stemming from the dog bite incident. The compensation you can collect depends on what happened and your injuries. However, the more medical care you need, the more you may demand from the other party and the liable insurance company.
Possible forms of compensation you can recover include:
- Past and projected medical care costs: For emergency care, hospital stays, pain medications, diagnostic tests, surgeries, rehabilitation, home care, and follow-up doctor’s visits
- Pain and suffering: For the pain your injuries caused you
- Lost income: For the income you couldn’t earn while you were in treatment
- Reduced earning capacity: For making up the income you’ll miss if your injuries put you out of work for an extended period
- Disfigurement: For significant scarring from the dog attack
- Mental anguish: For any phobias, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, or other mental and emotional health complications you experienced due to the attack
- Wrongful death damages: For any burial and funeral costs, related medical bills, loss of financial support, and other damages your family sustained if your loved one passed away from their dog bite injuries
You could seek other damages beyond those listed here. When your attorney reviews your case, they identify all the compensation you could seek and pursue it on your behalf. This compensation aims to help you maintain your financial status while you cope with the aftermath of the dog bite incident.
Ways an Alpharetta Dog Bite Lawyer on Our Team Can Serve You
You may want to consider enlisting legal representation when you plan to file a case against the negligent dog owner. Navigating the related laws and learning their complexities and nuances can prove stressful—not to mention, it can take your focus off healing from your injuries.
Our attorneys at Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group have experience managing dog bite cases, having recovered a $100,000 award for a client in similar circumstances. Because every case differs, we cannot predict a specific result for you. However, when we evaluate your case, we get a good idea of how much you can receive and work toward a fair outcome.
In doing so, our lawyers may:
- Pick up a copy of the incident report
- Collect other forms of evidence
- Review your medical records
- Take on all communication for you
- Identify the responsible party
- Meet deadlines that the state enforces
- Engage in settlement negotiations
- Advocate for you in a trial, if needed
Remember that our firm is here to serve you. Although we give regular updates on how your case progresses, we encourage you to reach out to us immediately if you’re unclear or apprehensive about anything regarding your case.
Hiring Our Dog Bite Attorneys Serving Alpharetta Costs You Nothing up Front
We understand that you may face financially challenging circumstances right now. After all, medical bills can add up fast, and you may not be in a place to work at full capacity—let alone take care of other household obligations. So, our lawyers take dog bite cases on a contingency-fee basis to start your case immediately and limit your financial risks.
This payment structure doesn’t require out-of-pocket, hourly, or upfront fees. In addition, our team collects attorney’s fees only if we resolve your case.
The Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Lawsuits in Georgia
Usually, dog bite victims file a claim with the other party’s insurance provider. However, this route may not offer the best way for you to recover compensation. Instead, filing a lawsuit could be the better option. If so, you must comply with the statute of limitations, which marks the deadline by which you must file.
Under Georgia law, you have two years to take action in most cases. For personal injury claimants, the statute begins on the day of injury, whereas wrongful death claimants have two years from the day of the decedent’s death.
Some exceptions could shorten or lengthen the deadline, depending on the circumstances. However, all claimants should act quickly, no matter how much time they have. The longer you put off filing, the more you risk missing the deadline. That means the court could prohibit you from seeking compensation from the other party, making you financially responsible for your damages.
After sustaining injuries in a dog bite attack, taking the following measures can help protect your health and your right to seek damages.
Victims of dog bites can sustain various injuries, like:
- Infections: Cleveland Clinic affirms that feral or unvaccinated dogs carry bacteria that can lead to various infections.
- Rabies: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies is a viral infection that affects the central nervous system and could prove fatal if left untreated.
- Spinal cord injuries: Victims may lose some or all movement or sensation below the injury site, per Mayo Clinic.
- Broken bones and fractures: Dog bite victims may suffer broken wrists, arms, ankles, and legs if they brace themselves while falling.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): If the dog knocks down or bites the person they’re attacking, the victim could sustain a concussion or a serious TBI. These injuries range in severity and could come with symptoms affecting the victim’s cognition and mental and physical capabilities.
- Nerve damage and paralysis: Depending on how deeply the dog bites, it can cause damage to nerves and tissues, possibly resulting in neurapraxia, which causes the nerves to stretch.
- Deep lacerations: Some of these injuries may heal independently, but others may require more serious medical intervention, especially if the bite goes to the fat or muscle layer in the skin.
- Scarring and disfigurement: Getting bit by a dog may lead to long-lasting or permanent scarring, potentially restricting mobility.
All of these diseases and injuries may require prompt medical attention. The CDC even says that one in five people who get bitten by a dog should seek it. Putting it off for a few days may allow for the infection or injuries to worsen, which could prove life-threatening. So, go to urgent care or your primary care physician as soon as you can.
On top of keeping your health in check, documentation of seeing a doctor establishes a link between the bite and your injuries. Again, the longer you wait to get care, the bigger the gap in your injury records. So, when it comes to seeking damages, the insurance company may try to blame your injuries on something else and resist paying you your fair due.
If you can, report the dog bite incident to these agencies:
- Fulton County Animal Services, which could help identify the dog that attacked you and determine if it has a violent history
- Alpharetta Police Department, so they can document what happened and take witness statements
If you’re too hurt to call these parties, have a witness or your doctor do it for you.
Again, only if you can, ask the dog owner for the following information:
- Their name and contact details
- The dog’s breed
- When and if their dog has had vaccines
- If their dog has bitten or attacked other people
Suppose the dog owner refuses to give any of this information and leaves the scene. In that case, the police can investigate and look at available video footage to find this person and learn about the dog’s history.
Many states follow a one-bite rule, which makes dog owners automatically liable for any damages if they knew or should have known about their dog’s violent or vicious behavior. However, for a dog to receive a designation of “vicious,” it must have a history of harming others. Georgia law adopts a modified one-bite rule. This law means that a Georgia dog owner holds liability if they knew their dog had a vicious nature, didn’t restrain their dog, and no one provoked the dog.
Note that aggressive behavior doesn’t always meet the criteria for vicious behavior. However, alert the owner if their dog constantly and aggressively snarls, growls, barks, or runs toward people. That way, they know of their dog’s dangerous tendencies and keep a safe distance from others.
Proving the Dog Owner Acted Negligently
Your word holds value, but it may not prove enough to convince an insurance company that their policyholder was negligent and bears responsibility for your damages.
So, our dog bite lawyers can use your testimony and other evidence to demonstrate that the owner’s behavior met the definition of negligence, which comprises:
- Duty of care: The dog owner knew their dog had vicious tendencies, so they should restrain them on a leash or keep them away from the public.
- Breach of duty: The dog owner acted negligently, failing to properly restrain their dog.
- Causation: This failure to restrain their dog led the dog to attack and bite you without provocation, causing you injuries or infections.
- Damages: Your dog bite injury led you to sustain pain and suffering, accumulate medical expenses, lose past and future income, and have other damages.
You must prove that all the elements of negligence—duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages—played a role in your case. Otherwise, the state may not allow you to seek damages from the other party. Backing up your claims for each of these elements can prove crucial.
Your attorney can help you gather evidence, such as:
- The dog bite incident report
- The dog’s attack and medical history
- Photos of the scene, the dog in question, and your injuries
- Your medical records
- Video footage that captured the incident
- Statements from eyewitnesses
If you think you have other information that can help your case, let your Alpharetta personal injury attorney know.
What Happens to the Dog in Question After the Attack?
It’s uncommon for the dog to get put down for attacking you, especially if you’re the first one they’ve attacked. However, if the dog has a long history of biting and attacking people, they could face euthanasia, per Georgia law.
Get Help Today From Our Dog Bite Attorneys Serving Alpharetta, Georgia
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite injury or infection in Alpharetta, Georgia, you may have grounds for legal recourse. A lawyer with Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group can review your situation and seek the damages you are entitled to collect to get your health and wellness back.
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