In the state of Georgia, dog bite and dog attack victims can get compensation from negligent dog owners or keepers. Liability must be proven by showing that the dog owner was aware of previous attacks or dangerous behavior exhibited by the dog, or that the owner failed to properly follow leash or restraint laws. You must also be able to prove that the injured party did not provoke the dog which is why it is important to contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney.
Georgia’s Dangerous Dog Control Law classifies any dog that bites a person without provocation as “potentially dangerous”, and any dog that inflicts a serious injury on a person without provocation as “dangerous”. A dog will also be classified as dangerous if it attacks, aggressively bites, or endangers the safety of anyone after being classified as potentially dangerous.
The dog’s owner will be notified and must obtain a certificate of registration. According to the law, the owner of a dog classified as dangerous or potentially dangerous is solely liable for any injury caused by said dog. Georgia falls in the top ten states when it comes to the number of dog bite claims, which means a lawyer specializing in dog bite claims has plenty of work to do.
What Does it Cost to Hire a Georgia Dog Bite Lawyer?
After paying medical bills for a dog bite injury, you may be worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer. While fees vary from firm to firm, our team of Personal Injury Lawyers (which is what a dog bite lawyer would be classified as) work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we get paid a percentage of the damages awarded when we win your case. That also means that we don’t get paid until we win your case.
Monge & Associates is based in Georgia. We have extensive experience with dog bite cases. We’re a great resource to reach out to if you are looking to file a dog bite insurance claim or lawsuit. We offer free consultations, so don’t hesitate to contact us – we can help!
Choosing The Right Georgia Dog Bite Lawyer for You
When choosing a lawyer, it’s important to seek out one who has experience with the type of claim you are planning to file. In this case, look for an attorney who specializes in personal injury or, better yet, dog bite cases. That’s where Monge & Associates come in. We clearly understand the details of your unique case and the specific laws that are involved.
Here’s some of the things you can count on our Winning Team to do for You:
We’ll Explain Your Case in Detail & Answer Any Questions
Whenever you don’t understand something, we will stop and explain it to you. We are here to answer your questions.
We’ll Handle The Insurance Company
As difficult as all the legal jargon can be, our team is well versed in insurance claims. During a claim, your lawyer communicates with the insurance company on your behalf and protects your interests.
Help You Understand ALL of Your Damages
If you have been injured, our Monge & Associates attorneys can help you determine what compensation you deserve. You can easily identify some types of damages such as physical injuries to yourself. An attorney, however, can determine if you are entitled to other damages. It may be possible to get compensation for lost wages as well as pain and suffering.
We’ll Fight Passionately to Get You The Maximum Settlement
An insurance company may offer a settlement that doesn’t cover all the damages you may be entitled to. By negotiating the maximum settlement with the insurance company, a skilled accident lawyer can protect your interests.
We’ll Represent You in Court
In some cases, a lawsuit may be the only option. If this happens, your Monge & Associates’ attorney will be there to represent you in court.
We Don’t Get Paid Until You Win
At Monge & Associates, our car accident lawyers receive a contingency fee based on your case’s outcome. Our fees are not paid unless we win your case.
When to Hire a Georgia Dog Bite Lawyer
The American Veterinary Medical Association states that more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bits.
The statute of limitations or the amount of time that can pass after an event before a case can be filed, on dog bite cases is two years in Georgia. This means that it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer soon if you think you may be able to file a claim.
In order to file a claim, the conditions described above must be met – the owner needs to have been aware of past dangerous behavior by the dog or has failed to properly restrain them, and the dog must not have been provoked.
If you are bit by a dog, you should first seek medical attention. Dog bites are easily infected and can quickly become critical or even life-threatening. You should also gather information about the dog and its owner, to use in the event that you do make a claim. Make sure to let local authorities know about the incident.
While not mandatory in Georgia, if you don’t properly file a report, it can weaken your case and make it difficult to negotiate for a fair settlement later. An insurance company may use the lack of report to attempt to prove that it wasn’t as serious as you are claiming, or even to attempt to prove that the attack never happened at all.
Not all dog bites are worth filing a claim over, though. Many bites are minor and require no medical attention or simply minimal wound cleaning and care. It is unlikely you will receive much of a settlement in those cases. However, if you experience serious injuries or disfigurement from a dog bite, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you gather evidence and make a case.
If you choose to contact the owner on your own first and they refuse to take liability or compensate you, a lawyer will help you negotiate with them. Liability issues can be complex, especially if it is difficult to determine if the dog was properly restrained or if it was provoked.
Dog bite attorneys are familiar with the law and are better able to determine who is most likely liable. As mentioned before, the owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog is, by law, solely liable for any injury caused by the dog. However, if the dog has not been classified as potentially dangerous, it is possible that a caretaker or other party may be held responsible.
Working with a Georgia Dog Bite Lawyer
After suffering a dog bite, seeking medical attention, filing a police report, and deciding you are interested in pursuing a lawsuit, you should hire a lawyer. They can guide you through the entire process of filing the claim.
There are a couple of options you have, the first being an insurance claim. This would be filed with the dog owner’s insurance. Many homeowners’ insurance policies will cover a dog bite claim that occurs on the property. You may choose to contact the owner and their insurance on your own; however, an attorney that is familiar with the process may stand a better chance of negotiating a fair settlement.
You may also file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner or keeper to cover damages. These damages can include medical bills, pain, and suffering – which is calculated by a legal formula, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity, among others.
Dog bite attorneys will be familiar with the applicable state and local laws and will be able to effectively present your case. Your attorney will gather and compile evidence to create a case. They will need to be able to prove liability as described above, as well as refute any defense the dog owner may provide. Some common defenses include trespassing, provocation, and assumption of risk.
In Georgia, a dog’s owner is not liable for any injuries the dog causes if the injured party was trespassing. Your lawyer will need to be able to prove that you were not trespassing, as well as prove that you did not provoke the dog to bite you. The dog’s owner may also argue that you are at least partially responsible for your injuries, such as if they warned you that the dog may bite and you ignored it. Your lawyer will gather evidence regarding this defense and include it in your case.
Contact our Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one have experienced a dog bite incident, it’s crucial to seek legal representation from a reputable and experienced Georgia dog bite lawyer. Dog bite cases can be complex, and having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. Remember, seeking legal counsel is not only about pursuing fair compensation for your physical and emotional damages but also about holding negligent dog owners accountable and preventing similar incidents in the future. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with our Georgia dog bite lawyer to explore your legal options and pursue the justice you deserve.