If you sustained injuries from an animal like a dog or any other type of animal in Georgia, it is important to see a doctor or go to a hospital immediately. An infection from a dog bite can be very dangerous when left untreated. Once you have received the medical care that you need, you should seriously consider contacting our experienced dog bite lawyers in Columbus GA as quickly as possible. Here at Shrable Law Firm, our Georgia personal injury attorneys in Columbus are ready to help you and advise you on whether you should file for a lawsuit for your dog bite or attack accident.
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What Should You Do Once A Dog Has Bitten You?
If you are involved in an incident where a dog has attacked you, your first step should involve recording any information associated with the incident. When possible find out the name and contact details of the dog owner and take down any details of the animal that has bitten you. If there are any eyewitnesses present that witnessed the attack, take down their names and contact details. From here go immediately to a doctor or a hospital for medical attention. Dog bites are linked to increased risks of infection. In most cases, you will need an antibiotic. The dogs in Columbus are required to have up-to-date vaccinations. If the vaccinations are out of date, then you may require more than one treatment to avoid diseases that can arise from the bite. Some of these include:
- MRSA (Staph infection)
- Capnocytophaga (a type of bacterial infection)
- Pasteurella (bacterial infection)
Even though the likelihood of contracting a disease such as rabies from a bite from a dog is considered rare, it happens to be among the most dangerous diseases that can arise from a dog bite or attack. When humans contract rabies it causes fever and headaches.
If the disease goes untreated, it can progress into paralysis, hallucinations, hydrophobia, confusion, and at a later stage even death. At this stage, there isn’t an effective treatment for this disease once this illness develops symptoms. Medical treatments straight after exposure are vital to stop this virus from turning deadly. This is why it is so important to immediately seek medical attention after a dog attack in Columbus. Once you have started the recovery process, consider talking to a lawyer as soon as possible to find out about the legal options available to you against the owner of the pet with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Who Should I Be Reporting A Dog Attack To In The State Of Georgia?
You should contact the police in your area to file a report. When necessary, contact 911 when medical attention is required. The local police will assist you in making official reports, and they may be able to catch the dog along with identifying the owner. You should also call Animal Control to report your incident. When it comes to any type of injury, we strongly advise that you call our law practice to assist you in obtaining financial compensation that you will probably need in order to make a full recovery from your injuries. Always seek medical care. Keep in mind that even dog bites that are non-scarring can result in dangerous medical issues, such as tetanus and rabies.
When Should You Consider Contacting An Attorney That Specializes In Dog Bites?
If an animal like a dog in Columbus has caused real damages and significant injuries, it is strongly advisable to seek legal counsel. You have rights and you should protect these when you become a victim of a dog bite. Since the laws tend to lean in favor of the owner of dogs and not the victims, you will require the services of a skilled attorney to increase your chances of obtaining the compensation that you deserve. If your loved one was killed due to a dog attack, you must consult with a lawyer immediately. In these instances, you would need to file what is known as a wrongful death claim that will be bought against the controller or owner of the animal and any other party involved that may be partly responsible for the incident.
Filing premise liability, a wrongful death, or personal injury claim after you were attacked by a dog is typically the best method to obtain financial compensation for the damages you have incurred. For a free and no-obligation consultation to discuss your dog attack incident, feel free to call Shrable Law Firm today.
How Will My Case Be Handled By Shrable Law Firm?
Our law firm will first assign you with an expert dog bite lawyer to evaluate and examine your case. Your attorney will be with you every step of the way to answer any questions you may have and keep you up-to-date as the case progresses.
The first step will involve our practice investigating how your dog attack occurred. We will go over animal or police reports, ER and first responder records, and any 911 recordings. We will also conduct interviews with any witnesses to prove that the attack was unprovoked.
The value associated with the personal injury case will depend on the severity of your injuries, after consultation with the necessary medical experts, and from a medical record review.
Victims of dog bites require compensation and this is why our firm will find any insurance policy that may cover the losses you have sustained, such as homeowner’s policies that the negligent dog owner has. We will also review settlement amounts for dog attack lawsuits to ensure we can go after the maximum amount to settle your case.
How Will Your Lawyer At The Shrable Law Firm Prove Your Dog Attack Case?
Collecting evidence in dog bite cases and then proving that you are eligible for compensation requires extensive experience. Our dog bite investigators and attorneys are here to help you through this process. Once your case is accepted, we immediately start working on gathering the evidence that is needed to institute a claim for your dog bite and to win your case.
Our experienced support staff, investigators, and our attorneys efficiently investigate so that they can find out whether:
The Dog has Displayed Aggressive Tendencies or is Vicious
An animal can be proven to present unreasonable risks if there is a history of:
- Threatening or aggressive behavior
- Attacks or bites to other animals
- Past aggression against others or you (even the family members of the dog)
If the owner of the dog was aware that their dog has shown aggressive tendencies before or that the dog is vicious or aggressive, the owner can be proven careless as they failed to take the necessary precautions to stop the animal from harming others.
The Owner Handled the Animal Carelessly
The owner of the dog may be proven to be negligent when they allowed the animal off their leash or when the animal escaped out of the property due to a defective or inadequate fence, especially when there are local leash or ordinance laws in place.
In some cases, the most complex part associated with dog bite cases is to prove that an owner knew that the canine possesses aggressive tendencies. Proving that an owner either should have or knows that their dog is vicious or dangerous can sometimes be proven through a source such as public information, which can include records from a local animal control facility.
Records that prove that a neighbor experienced harassment or was attacked by an aggressive dog can also contribute to excellent evidence that will prove that the owner is aware of the dog’s vicious propensity.
How Will I Be Compensated From My Dog Attack Or Bite?
You must have a very solid case once a dog has bitten you. The common injuries from dog attacks often include head injuries, permanent scarring, amputations, broken bones, disfigurement, fractures, scrapes, and cuts. Your injuries may also be extremely painful, costly to treat, and permanent. In addition to this, the more serious dog attack injuries can even result in death.
Your out-of-pocket monetary losses could be significant, as the treatment may involve ongoing care and plastic surgery. If you are a victim of a dog attack or bite, it is unfair for you to take on these burdens by yourself.
The homeowner’s insurance of the dog owner, renter’s insurance, or business owner insurance, can pay for your monetary damages. Damages you can recover from a dog attack or bite include:
Whether it includes X-rays, emergency room treatments, medication, surgery, or ongoing medical attention, all future and past medical costs associated with your injuries will be included in your damages. Hospital bills, medical experts, and medical records will help our legal experts when it comes to working out your damages.
If you are forced to take time off work and you have lost your wages or income while you were recovering from injuries, you can also claim for this loss. Work records and timesheets can prove your loss of income. If the dog bite has resulted in a disability that is permanent, our firm will work with vocational experts and economists to establish the type of harm you may experience when it comes to your earning potential in the future.
Pain and Suffering
It is not easy to put a monetary value on your physical suffering, yet we are able to determine a fair amount for your claim according to witness statements, photos, and any other related evidence.
Counseling And Emotional Distress
A mental health expert can also play a role in determining your emotional distress and harm that you have experienced as a direct result of your dog attack and then work out the type of treatment that is required.
Disfigurement And Scarring
If you have to go for treatments that involve surgery or plastic surgery to repair permanent marks or scars caused by the dog attack, the current and future costs for this type of care can also be recovered and documented.
When the owner of the dog willfully permitted the dog attack to occur or carelessly disregarded your safety, your lawyer may be able to go after additional damages. The punitive damage awards in Georgia play the role of a type of punishment or deterrent to the owner of the dog to encourage the individual to not permit this type of attack from happening again.
Loss Of Consortium
If your loved one was injured severely after a dog bite or attack, you are most likely deprived of the support, companionship, and comfort you once received from the relationship with this person. The laws in Georgia recognize the loss of consortium as something important when it comes to your losses and harm.
Wrongful Death Damages
If the dog attack turned into a fatality, the family members of the victim can go after medical expenses, the funeral costs involved, and the damages sustained due to the victim losing his or her life, along with other intangible and tangible benefits.
At The Shrable Law Firm, we are highly focused on making sure that every aspect of your overall life that was affected by the animal attack or bite is completely covered.
Who Is Held Liable For Dog Bites?
The person that is injured has to prove that the owner of the dog knew that the dog is “vicious” or “dangerous”. This type of proof could be something as basic as showing the owner of the dog should have controlled the animal or had a leash on the dog when the incident occurred. For instance, if the owner has left their gate unlatched or open which allowed the animal to escape or roam free.
It is also important to prove that you did not provoke the animal. Interviews with witnesses can assist with proving liability when it comes to dog bites in Columbus.
When you can prove these above-mentioned elements, then you may hold the owner liable to compensate you for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and the emotional trauma you have endured. According to the laws in Georgia, any owner that has an aggressive or dangerous dog is required to register his or her dog each year, make sure the dog is contained in a secure enclosure, and that there are warning signs posted at every entrance to the property.
When the dog is classified as “vicious” or has already inflicted personal injuries that were serious, the owner is required to microchip the animal and have a minimum of $50,000 in liability insurance that will cover the costs associated with a potential attack. An aggressive dog that has attacked another animal or person for the second time can face euthanization, and the owner may face imprisonment or receive fines. If a dog injures or kills livestock, the dog owner will also be held liable for these damages.
In Columbus What Is The Standard Settlement Amount For Dog Bite Cases?
Every dog attack or bite case in Columbus is unique. The value awarded for settlements for dog bites in Columbus and all across Georgia will depend on how severe the injuries are, and the type of permanent injuries and scars that the bite or attack leaves behind. Dog bite cases involving small dogs that involve injuries that are relatively minor can have settlement values that usually do not exceed $50,000.00. A few of the studies conducted on the insurance industries state that a standard dog attack settlement ranges from $25,000,00 to $40,000,00.
The injuries that are more serious usually result in a greater verdict average and settlement. For instance. if an injury is serious enough that it has left behind a permanent disability or disfigurement, our law practice has successfully settled a number of cases with policy limits between $100,000,00 to $300,000,00. We have also received higher verdicts when an injury has justified an award.
In Georgia, the bigger cases usually involve injuries that children sustain, bites to the face with scars (the cases for women are typically more valuable when compared to men’s), and the cases that involve the loss of noses, ears, and fingers, or the cases that involve nerve damage. The compensation amount for a few cases can be limited according to what the maximum limit is of the business, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy.
Call Our Dog Bite Lawyers In Columbus Today For A Free Consultation
The injury cases for dog bites and attacks in Georgia are often highly complex. It is very important that you find reliable, competent, and experienced legal representation so that you have a chance to obtain the compensation you deserve. Our team of lawyers at The Shrable Law Firm is here to help you examine your case and then fight for what you deserve. Call us today at (762) 821-0051 to book your first consultation for free.