The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that dogs bite more than 4.7 million Americans each year. Nearly 400,000 of these victims require emergency medical treatment and 16 die each year. While certain dogs are considered more dangerous than others, the truth is, any dog can bite at any time. Sadly, children and seniors tend to be the most frequent victims.
If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, it’s important to contact a dog bite attorney right away to learn about your legal rights and options. There are several ways in which you can hold the dog’s owner legally accountable and recover money to pay for your physical injuries, emotional distress, and other losses.
Monge & Associates is here to help you. Our Atlanta-based dog bite lawyers have years of experience in helping animal attack victims throughout the Southeast and in Georgia, including those in Decatur, Lithonia, College Park, East Point, Stone Mountain, Norcross, Conyers, Riverdale, Duluth, Fayetteville, and Loganville.
For a free settlement review, call us at (800) 860-8021 today or fill out our online form. We’ll work hard to get the legal relief you deserve and we can come to you.
A Comprehensive Understanding of Georgia Dog Bite Laws
The Atlanta dog bite attorneys of Monge & Associates are well-versed in Georgia’s dog bite laws. We know what the law requires to recover compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit that arises from a dog attack. We know how to collect evidence and present it in a way that will maximize your recovery in an out-of-court settlement or jury verdict.
The "One-Bite Rule"
For instance, under Georgia’s “dangerous dog law,” you may be entitled to relief through what is sometimes called the “one-bite rule.” This requires showing:
- The dog was dangerous or vicious;
- The dog’s owner knew of this trait; and
- The owner carelessly managed the dog or allowed it to go at liberty.
This is called the one-bite rule because you have to establish that the owner knew or should have known the dog could attack and injure others.
The "Responsible Dog Owner Law"
A 2012 law called the “responsible dog owner law” can apply in your case as well. The law defines a “dangerous dog” as one that causes a substantial puncture of a person’s skin by its teeth, aggressively attacks or, while off the owner’s property, kills a pet animal. A “vicious dog” is defined as one that inflicts serious injury on a person in an attack or while the person is trying to escape. You can show that the owner should have known of the dog’s dangerous or vicious traits by showing, for instance, that the dog bit or attacked another person or even that it bared its fangs and growled or barked maliciously at someone. If the owner failed to keep the dog properly enclosed or restrained, such as allowing it to wander through a neighborhood, you may be entitled to damages.
Violating Local Leash Laws
Another way Georgia’s dangerous dog law allows dog bite victims to recover money for their injuries and losses is by showing violations of local leash laws.
To show that a dog owner violated local leash laws, you will need to show that:
- A local city or county ordinance required the dog to be muzzled, enclosed, leashed, or otherwise restrained
- The dog owner violated this law by allowing the dog to go at liberty or by otherwise carelessly managing the animal
To recover money for you, we can examine the facts of your case and determine whether the dog that attacked you should have been restrained under a leash law on the books.
Standing Up for Dog Bite Victims
A dog bite can result in serious injuries, including broken or dislocated bones, cuts requiring multiple sutures, disfigurement, and infections. You may be required to visit an emergency room, undergo surgery (including plastic surgery), and endure a long and painful physical rehabilitation period. This may lead to lost wages and harm to your quality of life. Very serious dog attacks may even result in death.
That’s why it is crucial to have an attorney to stand up for your rights and protect your interests if you have been seriously injured in a dog attack. Monge & Associates will thoroughly investigate the facts of your case. Our legal team looks into every source of compensation available to you. For instance, a dog owner’s home insurance policy may pay for your injuries and losses. If the dog has been classified as dangerous or vicious, the owner will have been required by law to carry $50,000 in liability insurance or a bond.
The dog owner’s insurance company may contend that you provoked the attack. We know how to counter these tactics and work to get you the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers Today
If you have suffered a serious personal injury or the death of a loved one because of a dog attack, contact the Atlanta dog bite lawyers at Monge & Associates today. We can evaluate your legal options; our team aggressively protects the rights of the injured. Remember, if we don’t win, you don’t pay and we come to you.
Call us today at (800) 860-8021 or use our online form to schedule a free settlement review.