Dog Bites Attorneys in Dalton, GA, Fighting for Justice for Dog Bite Victims
If you have been bitten by a dog, you understand how traumatic and frightening it can be for the dog bite victim. Dog bites can cause a great deal of physical pain and cause an infection that requires surgery if the victim does not seek medical treatment. A dog bite can also lead to permanent scarring, which could negatively impact you for the rest of your life.
If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. As an injury victim, you need the help of a dog bite attorney with vast experience handling cases dealing with dog attacks.
Many individuals are reluctant to file a claim if they are injured in a dog bite case. However, in most cases, the dog owner’s insurance company pays compensation for your injuries. Medical costs surrounding dog bites can be more considerable than many people initially realize.
Contact The Cowan Law Firm, LLC, and ask to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our highly knowledgeable dog bite lawyers who can explain your rights and legal options. We can provide you with the qualified legal help you need to obtain a settlement in your best interests.
Are Dogs in Georgia Required to be On a Leash?
Georgia law does not have a state law that mandates dogs should be on a leash. However, virtually all Georgia communities require dog owners to have their dogs on a leash if they are taken off of their property and under a capable individual’s control. If a dog owner fails to comply and their dog is involved in a dog bite incident, they could find themselves liable for the victim’s injuries.
Even though the state of Georgia does not have a statewide leash law, this does not excuse dog owners from taking responsibility for the actions of their animals. Even if the dog’s owner does not want to take responsibility for a dog bite, they are legally accountable for your injuries.
Georgia law is structured, so that dog owners are governed under a negligence system regarding liability and dog bites. In simple terms, this means that dog owners must have known or had a strong indication that their dog might be potentially dangerous in order for them to be legally responsible in dog bite cases. Nevertheless, if the dog owner fails to follow local ordinances to keep their dog under control, this is usually enough evidence for them to be held liable.
What is Comparative Negligence in Georgia?
Georgia works under a comparative negligence law concerning liability when it relates to dog bite cases. This means that a dog owner can only be held legally responsible for the injuries suffered by the injury victim, also referred to as the plaintiff, if the evidence upholds the fact that the plaintiff did not provoke the dog to attack.
If it can be proven that the plaintiff teased or acted to incite the dog bite, then they will only be eligible to recover compensation for what the court determines that the dog owner is actually at fault.
One important exception to comparative negligence is when an individual suffers a dog bite as the result of trespassing. This holds true even if an owner was aware that their dog was potentially dangerous. Although, in legal terms, dangerous animals, in this case, dogs, are also deemed to have vicious propensities, meaning they have attacked before and may be prone to repeating their behavior.
Can I Recover Damages After a Dog Bite Injury?
After you have been bitten by a dog, you may be eligible to recover damages for your injuries and pain and suffering. In most personal injury cases, plaintiffs may be awarded economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are meant to reimburse you for both past and future out-of-pocket expenses that you are responsible for due to your injuries. Some of the most commonly awarded economic damages include:
- Medical expenses include fees for hospital and emergency room visits, prescription drug costs, X-rays, and other tests, rehabilitation, or physical therapy, in addition to any other medical treatment necessary for your recovery.
- Lost wages due to your inability to work
- Loss of earning capacity if you are unable to work in the same type of employment that you did due to limitations caused by your injury.
Non-economic damages are awarded based on your specific circumstances and do not have a set value but are determined by the court. Some examples include:
- Pain and suffering for the physical pain that you have endured
- Loss of enjoyment of life if you can no longer participate in the activities you once enjoyed.
- Loss of consortium, also known as loss of companionship, is awarded when your injuries make it difficult or impossible for you to have the same type of relationship that you once enjoyed with your spouse.
- Disfigurement or scarring
One of the most important steps that you can take to protect yourself and your future after a dog bite is to hire an experienced lawyer who can provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need in order to recover a settlement.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Injuries?
The statute of limitations in Georgia states that individuals who are the victim of a dog bite have up to two years to file a lawsuit. The clock starts ticking from the date that the injury occurred. Although two years can seem like a great deal of time, a person who has been injured in a dog bite case should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
One disadvantage of waiting too long to file your claim is that witnesses often move away, or their memory of the events has begun to fade. Evidence such as police records may also become difficult to obtain as time goes on. If you wait until after the two-year time period has expired, you will be unable to file a claim.
In order to file a claim, you must be able to prove the following elements:
- The dog is dangerous or ferocious.
- The dog owner was negligent in their duty to keep the animal under control.
- The dog bite victim did nothing to incite the dog to attack them.
A trained dog bite attorney can examine the case and help determine the best strategy for your particular circumstances. The Cowan Law Firm, LLC is happy to offer a free consultation to those who have been injured in a dog bite incident.
Why Should I Hire a Dalton Dog Bite Lawyer?
After you or a loved one have been involved in a dog bite injury case, you may be dealing with a great deal of pain, stress, and trauma as a result of being bitten. You may have also had to deal with waiting to find out if the particular dog in question has rabies. One of the last things that you want to worry about is whether or not your potential case will have to be decided through litigation.
The Cowan Law Firm, LLC of Dalton, GA, is dedicated to fighting for justice after you have been the victim of a dog attack. Our Dalton personal injury lawyers are highly skilled in the practice area of personal injury as it pertains to dangerous or vicious dogs.
When we take your case, we make certain to gather all of the evidence that pertains to your claims, such as police reports and medical records. We also have a well-trained professional investigator who will talk to neighbors who live on the same street as the dog to determine if the dog has a prior history of biting other people.
Contact our law firm by calling (706) 278-2099 to schedule a free consultation to evaluate your case.