Georgia does not have a one bite rule. A one bite rule states that if a dog has bitten one person one time, then the owner knows that the dog may bite again and is legally responsible for any subsequent bites. While Georgia does not have a one bite rule, it does have laws requiring owners of vicious dogs to take steps to prevent attacks and injuries.
Dog bites can cause serious injuries and are often unexpected. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a nurse sustained puncture wounds in her arm after a dog attacked her while walking her own dog in April. If a dog in Georgia bit you or your child, you might be entitled to financial compensation. If you do not know how to obtain damages, our lawyers could help.
Georgia’s Laws Protect People From Dog Bites
Although Georgia does not have a one bite rule, it does have laws protecting people from vicious dogs. According to O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7, owners of vicious dogs in Georgia could be held legally liable if their dog bites someone under specific circumstances:
- The dog must be considered vicious and required to be leashed or at heel by the county or city.
- The dog must have been loose or otherwise poorly managed at the time of the incident.
- The dog must have attacked without being provoked.
If your dog bite injury meets these conditions, you could recover damages from the dog’s owner.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
Recoverable Damages From a Dog Bite Injury
The damages awarded for a dog bite injury can be considerable, depending on your losses and how they impact your life. Because a dog’s mouth is filled with germs, bite wounds can easily become infected and require lengthy treatment. Dog bites can also be disfiguring, especially if the bites affect the face or ears, and may require one or more cosmetic procedures. Dog attacks can also lead to emotional trauma.
If a dog attacked you or your child, you could collect compensation that considers your:
Economic Damages Connected to Your Dog Bite Injuries
Economic damages compensate you for tangible losses caused by the dog bite, such as:
- Medical bills such as emergency treatment, follow-up care, surgeries, wound care, cosmetic procedures, prescription medication, and more
- Future medical treatment if you need ongoing wound care, multiple cosmetic procedures, or other treatments
- Loss of income if your injuries keep you from working while you recover or if you cannot return to work at all
Non-Economic Damages Connected to Your Dog Bite Injuries
Non-economic damages compensate you for intangible losses caused by the dog bite, such as:
- Emotional trauma
- Mental pain and anguish
- Permanent scarring or another disfigurement
- Permanent disability
Your lawyer will review your case and use evidence such as your medical bills and records, past wage statements, and more to estimate how much compensation you deserve.
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Dog Bites Me?
You do not need a lawyer after a dog bites you, but you may find a lawyer’s services helpful. Without a lawyer’s assistance, you may not understand how much compensation you deserve or how to seek damages from the owner. You may even accept a settlement that does not fully compensate you for your losses.
Our lawyer can help you by:
Investigating the Dog Bite Incident
Our lawyer will gather information from the county or city showing that the dog’s owner had a history of biting and should have been restrained. We will then gather evidence showing that the owner neglected to keep the dog at heel or on a leash at the time of the attack. We will interview eyewitnesses and take pictures of the scene and your injuries to show that the owner was at fault.
Estimating Your Case Value
We will use your medical bills and records, past wage statements, expert medical testimony, pictures of your injuries, and interviews with you and your family members to estimate the value of your losses. We will use that estimate seeking compensation from the dog’s owner.
Taking Over Insurance Matters
We will take over written and verbal communication with the liable party’s insurance company, file a claim, submit supporting evidence, and more.
Negotiating a Settlement
Both parties prefer to settle before the case reaches court in most cases. We will negotiate a fair settlement.
Filing a Lawsuit
While we will try to settle out of court, we cannot always agree on a fair settlement. If that happens, our lawyer will seek damages in court.
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Can I Afford a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Because of how we structure our payments, you can afford a personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers, including our team members, work on contingency. That means we take a percentage of your damages as our payment. In other words, we only get paid when you do. You pay no fees up front, so you never have to worry about paying legal expenses.
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Time Limits for a Fog Bite Injury
O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 sets the personal injury lawsuit timeline at two years, which means you have two years from the injury date to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner. If you wait any longer, you forfeit your right to sue. Act promptly to avoid losing your chance to seek justice.
Our Team Is Ready to Help You
If a vicious dog injured you or your child, you could be entitled to damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our team can lead you through your case and enable you to collect a fair financial award. Call Kaine Law today at (404) 214-2001 for a free case review. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get started on your case.