If someone else’s dog attacked and injured you, we could help you go after compensation from the liable party. A Savannah personal injury lawyer can handle your dog bite injury claim. You should focus on resting and recuperating.
We understand how traumatic it is to be the victim of a dog attack. We go the extra mile for our clients, so we can come to see you if you cannot come to our office. Our team treats our clients with compassion and respect. If you want responsive and attentive legal care, you have come to the right place.
Recoverable Damages for a Dog Bite Injury Claim
A dog attack can leave a person with torn flesh, emotional trauma, and other losses. You might have a temporary or long-term disruption to your ability to bring home a paycheck. Here are some possible types of money damages a person might go after in a dog bite injury claim:
- Medical expenses for the initial treatment of the wounds
- The cost to treat complications, like infections, which often accompany dog bite injuries
- Follow-up medical treatments, like skin grafts and plastic surgery
- Lost income if you did not receive your regular amount of pay because of the attack, medical treatment, and recuperation time
- Diminished future income if ongoing impairment makes you unable to earn as much in wages, salary, self-employment, or other forms of regular income as before
- Disfigurement from extensive scars
- Pain and suffering for the physical discomfort and emotional distress of the dog attack, your wounds, and the inconvenience of the situation and the medical treatments
- Other intangible losses, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear of dogs and other pets, and loss of enjoyment of life
After a dog attack, you might have additional types of losses your lawyer could consider. Our personal injury lawyer attorneys serving Savannah, Georgia, will need to talk to you and investigate the dog bite incident to determine the full range of money damages that might be available in your situation. Every dog bite claim is different.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Savannah, call 404-214-2001
Georgia Dog Bite Laws That Could Be Relevant to Your Case
Our state does not have a “no-bite” rule, but legislation applies in dog bite cases. O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7 establishes the liability of the owner or keeper of a vicious or dangerous animal for injuries that the animal caused. In Georgia, the owner or keeper of a dog must pay money damages to the person the dog injures if all of these things are true:
- The liable party owns or keeps the dog that bit another person.
- The dog is vicious or dangerous.
- The dog injured someone other than the owner or keeper.
- The owner or keeper allowed the dog to go free, meaning it was not on a leash or at heel or the owner or keeper carelessly managed the animal in another way.
- The injured person did not do anything to provoke the attack.
The statute defines vicious propensity as violating a local ordinance that requires the animal to be at heel or on a leash. Also, a dog could be considered vicious or dangerous if it has a history of previous fights or attacks.
Put in everyday language, a dog could have attacked you. You might not have provoked that animal (that was not on a leash or at heel when required). The dog could have also bitten someone in the past. Under these conditions, the dog’s owner could be responsible for paying for your losses.
Savannah Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 404-214-2001
What Can Constitute Careless Management of a Dog?
Many cities and towns have ordinances that explain how the owner of a dog must manage their animal. Few places allow dogs to run free and without restraint within city limits.
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Savannah’s Animal Ordinances for Dogs
Savannah Code of Ordinances Section 9-5022 prohibits dog owners from allowing their animals to run loose on the streets or open spaces within the city. The person who owns or possesses a dog must confine the animal securely within his premises. When a dog is off of the premises, the owner or possessor must hold firmly onto a leash attached securely to the dog.
A dog that habitually or repeatedly chases, snaps at, or is otherwise aggressive toward pedestrians or bike riders shall be treated as a public nuisance. Animal control can impound an animal that is a public nuisance.
Dangerous or Potentially Dangerous Dogs in Savannah
Section 9–5041 defines a dangerous dog as one that causes a severe injury to a person without provocation. This can occur on public or private property.
The owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog in Savannah must keep that dog confined. The goal is to keep young children from getting into the enclosure and keep the dog from escaping. The owner could put the dog:
- Indoors securely
- In a locked, enclosed pen, fence, or other secure structure
Restraint of Dogs in Savannah
Once a dog receives the classification of a dangerous dog, the owner must muzzle and restrain it. The owner could use a substantial chain or leash whenever the animal is outside of its proper enclosure.
A dog classified as potentially dangerous must be restrained with a substantial chain or leash when outside of its proper enclosure but does not have to wear a muzzle.
A device that the dog cannot break under its own power satisfies the requirement of a substantial chain or leash. A muzzle must not injure the dog or impede its vision or respiration, but it must prevent the dog from biting anyone.
Liability of Dog Owners
The Savannah Code of Ordinances makes the owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog liable for any injury to or death of a person the dog causes. If a previously classified potentially dangerous dog endangers the public’s safety again, this would also make the owner liable for injuries the dog causes.
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How You Can Afford to Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer to Handle Your Savannah Case
A dog bite claim is a type of personal injury case. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency-fee basis. This means we do not charge our clients upfront legal fees or costs. We get paid out of the insurance settlement proceeds or jury award.
You could file a personal injury or wrongful death case. Our team knows that no amount of money can bring your loved one back, but damages could lessen your financial stress.
How Much Time You Have to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Georgia
Georgia law, in O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, gives you only two years to file a lawsuit against the liable party for a personal injury, like a dog attack. Merely negotiating with the dog owner’s insurance company does not satisfy this statute of limitations. You must file a lawsuit in the proper court to protect your right to compensation if the case does not settle before the deadline.
The consequences of missing the two-year time limit can be severe. After that deadline, the dog’s owner will have no legal liability for the attack. The law will forever bar you from seeking compensation for your losses.
Getting Legal Help with Your Savannah Dog Bite Claim
Dog bite claims usually involve dealing with the dog owner’s homeowners insurance company. Some homeowners insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for dog bite cases. In that event, the injured person would seek compensation from the dog owner’s personal assets or another applicable insurance policy.
At Kaine Law, we offer a free, initial consultation with no obligation. You can call us today at (404) 214-2001 to find out how we can help you.