If you have been injured in an attack by a dog or some other animal companion, it is very important that you seek medical attention even if the wound appears rather small and you also contact a Georgia Dog Bite Lawer. An infection from a dog bite can lead to serious problems if it is not properly addressed.
After you have received the medical attention your wound deserves, we recommend speaking with our competent Georgia injury lawyer. At Shrable Law Firm we have many years of experience providing expert law service in personal injury cases and our experienced dog bite lawyers can help you figure out what to do next.
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What Should You Do Once A Dog Has Bitten You?
In the unfortunate event that you have sustained an injury due to being attacked by a dog, the first thing to do will be to take down as much information about the incident as you can. See if you can find out who the animal belongs to and get their name and contact information. If you can see an eyewitness who saw the event take place their input will be highly valuable to creating a strong case.
After this, it will be imperative that you get in contact with your regular medical provider or emergency medical services as soon as possible. In most cases, you will need to be administered an antibiotic. All dogs in Georgia are required to be up to date with their vaccinations. But if the dog that has bitten you is not up to date on their vaccinations you may need treatment to avoid any of the following conditions:
- Pasteurella (bacterial infection)
- Capnocytophaga (a type of bacterial infection)
- MRSA (Staph infection)
Even though the chances of contracting rabies from a dog bite are considerably low, it is important to take all necessary precautions. Rabies is one of the most dangerous conditions that can result from being bitten by an animal and dogs can carry this disease. Some of the early symptoms of rabies in humans include fever and headaches.
If the condition is allowed to progress without proper treatment, other symptoms can develop including hallucinations, paralysis, hydrophobia, and confusion. It is even possible to die from this disease. If rabies is not properly controlled in its developmental stages, it may not be possible to treat and death is often a result.
It is essential to receive adequate medical treatment early after you have been infected with rabies to prevent the progression of this condition. Therefore, it is essential to have yourself checked by a medical professional as soon after the dog attack as possible.
Who Should I Be Reporting A Dog Attack To In The State Of Georgia?
If you have been bitten by a dog it is essential that you report the incident to the police as soon as possible. If needed, call the 911 emergency hotline if you feel medical attention is needed right away. The local police who arrive on the scene will help you to make the reports needed and may even help you apprehend the dog if it is on the loose. Animal control is another important agency to contact.
When it comes to these injuries and facing their specific requirements we suggest speaking with a reputable dog bite lawyer who will be able to help you find the compensation you need to make a recovery. It is important to always seek medical treatment for dog bites as they can lead to some serious consequences even if the initial bite is relatively minor. Even those that do not result in large open wounds can still carry the risk of tetanus or rabies.
When Should You Consider Contacting An Attorney That Specializes In Dog Bites?
If you have been attacked by an animal and it has caused injuries and damages, you will need to get legal counsel as well as medical aid to avoid the reprisals that can come from such an incident. You have rights and you need to protect these as well as avoid becoming the victim of a dog bite.
It is also important to remember that the laws tend to be more in favor of the dog owner than the victims in these cases and only a skilled legal team will be able to provide you the representation necessary to win a case.
If a loved one or relative was killed in a dog attack, it is of the utmost importance to speak with your legal attorney. In such a situation you will need to file a wrongful death claim against the parties responsible, this includes the owner of the dog, but may include other parties as well.
How Will My Case Be Handled By Shrable Law Firm?
Your case will be assigned an expert in dog bite law. This expert lawyer will be able to examine the details of your case and let you know where to go from here. You can count on this knowledgeable expert to be with you at every step of the legal process and provide clarification and guidance at every corner.
We will need to apply our skills of investigation to ascertain when and how the attack occurred. To do this we will review police reports and eyewitness testimonies as well as what was sent to the 911 dispatchers. We want to make sure that the attack was completely unprovoked.
The value of your dog bite case will depend largely on the extent and severity of the injuries you have sustained. For this reason, we will need to look at the reports from your medical examinations.
How Will Your Lawyer At The Shrable Law Firm Prove Your Dog Attack Case?
The first thing to do will be to collect the evidence needed to prove that you are eligible for compensation. This requires a good deal of work and an experienced eye for details. Our experts at Shrable Law Firm have the experience in making these investigations and assigning the responsibility for injuries. But, we can only begin once you have signed on with our firm, so call us right away, time is of the essence.
Some of the tasks that our experienced team of professionals at Shrable Law Firm include finding out whether:
Dog has Shown Aggressive Tendencies in the Past
If the dog has displayed vicious tendencies or has been known to be aggressive, we can prove this by establishing the dog [has]:
- A history of aggressive behavior
- Bites humans
- Bit the master or other dogs
- Past aggression against you or people in your family
If the owner has been notified beforehand that their dog is especially violent they must do something to protect the public or they will be found negligent in this affair. The owner who fails to take any action when they know their dog has a history of violent or threatening behavior can be considered negligent and therefore responsible.
Owner Handled the Animal Carelessly
The owner may have acted carelessly by allowing their dog off their leash in a public area, or allowed their dog to escape through or over an inadequate or defective fence. This is especially grievous if there are local ordinances or leash laws in place.
Most often the toughest part of a dog bite case is proving that the owner had knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies prior to the incident in question. In order to prove that the dog’s owner had knowledge of their pet’s aggressive nature or history of biting can be done through sources such as public information, for example a record from the animal control facility.
Any records that a dog has also attacked other members of the community also make great supporting evidence that establishes the owner knew something of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
How Will I Be Compensated From My Dog Attack Or Bite?
You need a very strong case to find compensation for a dog bite injury. Dog bites typically result in a wide range of physical damage including permanent scarring, head injuries, broken bones, fractures, disfigurement, scarring and a variety of scraping and bruising. In addition to these serious injuries, dog attacks have often resulted in death.
Then there will be the compensation for your medical expenses. You may be faced to pay cash upfront for plastic surgery and other needed treatments that will be very straining on your financial reserve and budget. There is no need for you to face the burden of your treatments alone.
Compensation for these damages can come from homeowner’s insurance, business owners insurance and renter’s insurance.
What Damages Can I Recover After A Dog Attack Or Bite?
- Pain and suffering
- A decrease in your earning potential due to injuries
- Medical bills and any other related costs
- Lost of wages or income
- Disfigurement and scarring damages
- Counseling for emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- In a fatal attack, damages incurred for a wrongful death
There will be needed x-rays, examinations, tests, emergency room treatments and possibly ongoing treatment, medication and therapy to fully recover from the event. To gather the exact amounts here it will be necessary for us to check your medical records and bills from hospitals, clinics and other medical professionals. Be sure to keep every small bit of information documenting your injuries and recovery process.
If you are injured severely enough, you may not be able to continue working as you had been, in some cases never again. You have a right to be compensated for the wages and income you will not receive since your injuries prevent your capacity to function as you had before. You will need to gather your pay stubs, work records and timesheets to be able to establish an exact figure. If your injuries resulted in a permanent damage that affects your income, we will work to establish a figure that represents the harm to your earning potential now and in the future.
Pain and Suffering
Placing an exact monetary value on pain and suffering is not something that is easy to do. Nevertheless, we will use the information we can gather from wines statements, medical reports, and other records to determine a fair amount.
Counseling And Emotional Distress
We may also call in the experience and perspective of a mental health professionals who will help determine the amount of emotional harm and distress you experienced as a result of the dog attack. They can also give their opinion on the type of medical treatment that will be required after this.
Disfigurement And Scarring
The scarring and disfigurement left in the wake of a dog attack can be severe and leave the victim in need of plastic surgery and other treatments needed to repair the damage. The costs for current and future care will be considered and can also be included in the final tally.
If the owner of the dog willfully allowed their dog loose and allowed the attack to occur, they willfully disregarded the safety of the victim and your lawyer may be able to pursue additional punitive damages. These are financial punishments applied for especially grievous behavior. Hopefully, they will act as a deterrent to keep the owner of the dog from losing control of their dog again.
Loss Of Consortium
If your loved one was injured in such an accident you may be able to collect compensation for loss of consortium. These damages seek to compensate the victim’s partner for the loss of companionship, affection, and support they received from the victim before the accident.
Wrongful Death Damages
If the dog attack resulted in a death, the victim’s family can also receive compensation for the medical expenses, funeral costs or other damages caused by the victim’s death.
Who Is Held Liable For Dog Bites?
The person that was injured must be able to prove that the owner knew their dog was a threat to others. This can be as simple as proving they could have had a leash on the animal at the time of the attack or that the latch on the gate was not secured when the animal escaped.
It is also of absolute importance to prove that you didn’t provoke the animal in any way. In Georgia, this can be done by interviewing witnesses who may have seen what happened.
If you can establish all these elements you may have a case and the right to be compensated for the emotional distress, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and potentially punitive damages. The laws of the state of Georgia clearly state that anyone with an aggressive dog or a dangerous dog that may not have a history of aggression must register their dog each year, keep their dog in a secure enclosure and post warning signs about the dog’s presence in and around their property and especially the entrance area.
If a dog is classified as vicious the owner is required to prepare against any possible acts of aggression. They must microchip the dog and take out an additional $50,000 in liability insurance to cover any eventuality. A vicious dog that has attacked a human twice can be euthanized and the owner can face a severe sentence which includes a fine and prison time.
In Georgia What Is The Standard Settlement Amount For Dog Bite Cases?
All cases are unique and the value of the case can only be determined after carefully reviewing the details. The value for dog bite cases in the state of Georgia will depend on their severity and impact to the life of the victim and their family. Dog bites that are mad by fairly small dogs and lead to only minor injuries are not going to get a settlement any higher than $50,000.00. As a matter of fact, the studies performed in the insurance industry have shown that the average settlement for a dog bite case falls between $25,000.00 and $40,000.00
Then there will be cases where the injuries are caused by a much larger animal and therefore are likely to require a higher settlement. If the injury was so serious as to incur a permanent disfigurement or permanent loss of capacity or impairment of physical capacity, the settlements can be proportionately larger. In our experience, we have represented cases in various occasions with policy limits exceeding $300,000.00. We have also provided our clients with much higher compensation when we have fought a legal battle before a court jury.
The state of Georgia considers some dog bite cases to be far worse than others. For example, if the incident is against a child or involves bites to the face leaving serious scars these are considered very serious. Generally, bite injuries to women are considered more valuable than those afflicted by men. If the victim were to sustain nerve damage or lose their hands, fingers, toes, nose, ears, etc., these injuries are also considered very serious.
Call Shrable Law Firm Today For A Free Consultation
Dog bite cases are highly detailed and without a knowledgeable legal guide to point you in the right direction you run the risk of forgoing the compensation you badly need to make a full recovery. This is why reliable, experienced and skilled legal professionals are so important to your dog bite case. If you have been bitten by a dog in an attack, call Shrable Law firm to examine your case and fight for your rights. Contact us at (229) 518-9209 today and schedule your free consultation.