Most dogs are friendly, gentle pets; however, hundreds of dog bites are reported each year in Georgia. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, turn to Gautreaux Law. With a comprehensive understanding of Georgia’s complex dog bite laws, we will work tirelessly to help you obtain just compensation.
We understand the physical harm and emotional trauma you have endured and will provide you with compassionate representation when you need it most. When you meet with us, you will work directly with an experienced dog bite lawyer who will handle all the details so you can focus on healing. Call us today for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Dog Bites
Dog attacks can be prompted by various factors. Understanding the root causes can help prevent such unfortunate incidents.
- Untrained or poorly trained dogs – Lack of proper training can lead dogs to exhibit aggressive behavior.
- Frightened or provoked animals – A scared or provoked dog might attack as a defensive reaction.
- Territorial dogs – Dogs can become aggressive if they perceive an intruder in their territory or if they’re guarding their offspring.
- Sick or injured pets – Pain or illness can make dogs more irritable and prone to bite.
When a dog owner’s carelessness or negligence is the root cause, injury victims deserve to be compensated for any physical and emotional harm.
Georgia’s Dog Bite Laws
Georgia follows a modified “one-bite rule.” In many states, the “one-bite rule” implies that unless a dog has bitten someone in the past or shown tendencies to bite, the owner cannot be held responsible for the dog’s first bite. Under Georgia’s version of this rule, a dog owner may be held liable for any injury caused if the owner knew or should have known about the dog’s propensity to bite. This means that even if it’s the dog’s first recorded bite, the owner generally can still be held accountable if it’s proven that the dog has shown aggressive behavior before.
A dog can also be deemed “vicious” under Georgia law, and the owner can be held liable if they were careless (such as not keeping the dog on a leash when there was an applicable leash law), or the attack was unprovoked. These modifications to the one-bite law give dog bite victims more flexibility by making it easier to show that a dog is dangerous.
Responsibilities of Dog Owners
Under Georgia law, dog owners have the duty to ensure their dogs don’t pose a risk to others. This involves:
- Keeping the dog on a leash or in a contained environment, especially while in public areas
- Ensuring the dog is supervised, especially when children or unfamiliar individuals are present
- Addressing any aggressive tendencies the dog might display
Determining Liability in a Dog Bite Accident
Dog owners in Georgia may be held liable for dog bites and attacks resulting in injuries if:
- The dog was at large because of the owner’s negligence, especially in violation of a leash law
- The dog was known to have a vicious propensity, which could be ascertained from prior aggressive behavior, even if it had not bitten someone before
- The bite victim did not provoke the dog
Our experienced Georgia dog bite attorney will help you understand how these laws apply to your case, explain all your legal rights, and choose the best course of action.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can lead to severe and varied injuries, including:
- Physical injuries – These can range from punctures and lacerations to broken bones.
- Infections – Bites can result in Rabies, MRSA, tetanus, and other bacterial infections.
- Emotional trauma – Victims often suffer from PTSD, a fear of dogs, and other psychological impacts because of a bite from a dog.
What to Do Immediately After a Dog Bite in Georgia
If you’ve been bitten by a dog:
- Seek medical attention. Your health should be your primary concern.
- Document the incident. Take photographs of the injuries, gather witness testimonies, and make notes of the event.
- Report. Inform local animal control or police, especially if the dog poses an immediate threat.
- Avoid communication. Do not discuss compensation or fault directly with the dog’s owner.
The best way to protect your rights and well-being is to consult the experienced dog bite lawyers at Gautreaux Law.
Victims of dog bites may be entitled to damages such as:
- Medical bills: compensation for both past and future medical treatments.
- Lost wages: money lost due to time off work.
- Pain and suffering: compensation for physical pain and emotional distress.
- Property damage: any personal property destroyed during the attack.
Factors affecting compensation include the severity of the injury, the circumstances of the attack, and the actions of both the victim and the dog owner. Given the complexities of dog bite cases, having a knowledgeable Georgia personal injury attorney is essential.
How Our Firm Can Help
At Gautreaux Law, we actively champion the rights of dog bite victims in Georgia. Here’s how we approach building your claim:
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite incident, gathering all essential evidence and facts.
- Verify the dog’s history to determine whether the dog has shown aggressive tendencies in the past, making the owner potentially liable even if it’s the dog’s first bite.
- Collaborate with medical experts to substantiate the full extent of your injuries, ensuring that all aspects – physical and emotional – are highlighted in your claim.
- Gather witness statements to support your claim
- Negotiate assertively with the insurance company to get a fair settlement that covers medical bills, emotional distress, and any other related damages.
If negotiations don’t lead to a satisfactory conclusion, we are prepared to take your case to court and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Representing Dog Bite Victims in Georgia
The aftermath of a dog bite can be overwhelming. Trust Gautreaux Law to guide and support you every step of the way. Reach out today for a consultation.