Responsibility & Compensation from Dog Bites in Atlanta, GA
Being a dog owner has responsibilities that go with the territory. A primary responsibility is keeping your dog from causing harm to other people and property. Dog bites can be a serious public health hazard with obvious and not-so-obvious physical and emotional damages to the victims. Depending upon the specifics, a person bit by a dog may face infection, lifetime disfigurement, permanent disability, or even death. Because the costs associated with treating the injuries from dog bites in Atlanta are often high, many dog bite victims seek medical and financial compensation. Stein & Fox LLC provides experienced representation for those who have been involved in an animal attack. Our personal injury lawyers in Atlanta, GA offer free case evaluations to help you determine the strength of your case. Call us today!
What You Need to Know About Georgia’s “One-Bite” Law
The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that dogs bite nearly 4.5 million people on an annual basis. And approximately half of those victims are children under the age of 10. Every state has its own regulations regarding animal attacks, and Georgia is no exception. Georgia’s dog bite law is often called the “one-bite” law, and it states that a dog owner is liable for all injuries and property damages caused by a dog as long as the victim did not provoke the attack. There are not any statutes defining provocation, but most cases tend to side with the victim if the dog was known to be vicious, the dog owner was negligent, and/or they let the animal run loose without a leash.
Why Filing a Dog Bite Report Is Essential to Your Claim
There are many reasons why people often feel uncomfortable filing dog bite reports. If it was a friend or neighbor’s dog that bit you, perhaps you are afraid of something happening to the dog if you report it. While you may be tempted not to file a dog bite report with your local animal control agency, here are some reasons why you should weigh the pros and cons associated with that decision carefully:
- Legal Documentation – You may wish to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the owner of the dog in the future, especially once you receive the bills for medical treatment of your wound or injury. Having legal documentation of the incident is helpful for the insurance company’s investigation. When you file a dog bite report, it often gives you access to other pertinent information, including the dog’s vaccination records and other medical records.
- Helps Enforce Dog Bite Laws – Dog bite laws are in place for a reason. Filing an incident report helps authorities protect individuals and property from dogs who are considered dangerous by enforcing local and state dog bite laws. The dog’s owner may be required to take additional future precautions or carry extra insurance as a result of your report and the impending investigation.
- Protects Others in the Future – Filing a report helps to establish repeat behavioral issues. If the same animal is involved in multiple attacks, the authorities need to be aware of the fact for the public’s safety. Sometimes filing a report is also in the best interest of the animal. If the dog is being abused or neglected, filing a report can bring in the authorities to investigate this as well.
What to Do If You Are Bit by a Dog in the Atlanta Metro Area
Have you sustained a dog bite in the Greater Atlanta Area? Seek medical attention immediately, no matter how minor the injury may appear. If left untreated, dog bites may cause rabies and other severe infections. Try to document your injury by taking photos and file an incident report with the proper local authorities as soon as possible. If the dog’s owner expresses concern, ask for their name, address, phone number, homeowner or renter’s insurance information, and details about their dog (name, age, breed, vaccination history, etc.). Take photos of your surroundings to help you identify where the incident took place. If there is a forthcoming investigation, be as cooperative as possible with the authorities involved.
Request a Free Case Review for Animal Incidents in Georgia
If you think you have a case for filing a dog bite claim, contact one of our personal injury lawyers at Stein & Fox LLC in Clayton County for a free case review. Your case may be strengthened if a report has been filed with the proper animal control or local law authorities, you have photos of your dog bite injuries, and/or you have any witnesses to the animal attack. Because animal incidents are an incredibly complex branch of law, it is best to have experienced personal injury lawyers when dealing with such matters to help protect your rights as the victim. Don’t delay; call us today!