Suffering a dog attack is no small matter; the suffering and pain from such an attack can be accompanied by serious injuries that can impact the life of the injured party for the foreseeable future. Because of the fierce and defensive nature of dogs, dog bites can be especially problematic injuries that lead to all types of complications and infectious conditions.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a dog attack, don’t wait and see what happens. We recommend speaking with an experienced Douglasville dog bite Lawyer. The law offices of Hartly, Rowe and Fowler have extensive experience in handling these cases. Call us right away to schedule a free consultation with a Douglasville personal injury lawyer and receive clear guidance about what to do next.
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What Should You Do Once a Dog Has Bitten You?
If you have been bitten by a dog, or are trying to console someone who was, you probably know what a scary situation this can be. The first thing you should do is take note of all the details in your environment. You will need to find out who owns the dog involved in the attack as well as seek out some eyewitnesses who can shed light on what actually happened.
Once you have taken note of these important particulars, it will be time to seek medical assistance as fast as possible. While it is required that all dogs in Georgia are up-to-date with their proper vaccinations, there is always a chance that you were bitten by that one dog who has not been kept updated. This could mean you are at risk of a long list of unpleasant conditions including rabies, tetanus, and many others.
Even though the chances of contracting rabies or some other serious medical conditions, like capnocytophaga, are extremely low, it isn’t impossible for this to happen. Furthermore, dog bites can carry other bacterial infections and all dog bites should be examined by a medical practitioner.
Who Should I Report a Dog Attack to in the State of Georgia?
In the event that you have been bitten by a dog in Georgia, you must alert the proper authorities right away. Begin by calling the 911 emergency hotline, if you feel that emergency medical attention is in order. The paramedics and police that arrive on the scene will see to your injuries and make a report of what happened.
Next, you should contact the local animal control and get more information. If the animal in question has a history of aggression, this will be an important point in making a case in your favor.
Finally, it is essential that you speak to an experienced Douglasville bog bite lawyer if you are serious about getting compensation for your injuries. Remember that even those dog bites that don’t result in large wounds are still a risk for bacterial infection, Rabies, and Tetanus.
Why Should You Choose a Douglasville Dog Bite Lawyer from Hartly, Rowe & Fowler?
If you, or a member of your family, have been bitten by a vicious dog, you may need professional help to avoid the scathing consequences of such an encounter. In addition to medical care that will treat the physical complications from this issue, a legal professional can tell you about your rights in this case and see to it that your rights are respected.
It is important to remember that the laws that reside over dog bite cases tend to be more lenient to the dog owner than to the person who has been bit. For this reason, you will need a skilled professional with plenty of experience in dog bite cases to provide you with the representation needed to sway the court in your favor.
If you have lost a loved one in a dog attack, the situation is even more serious and proper legal counsel is essential. In this case, a wrongful death claim will have to be made against the parties responsible for this case. In addition to the owner of the dog, there may be others responsible for such an attack and a top-notch lawyer from Hartly, Rowe & Fowler can help you make sure the responsible parties come to terms with the injured party.
Some of the key tasks your dog bite lawyer will perform include:
- Determine liable parties: This could be the dog’s owner, but may also include the person in control of the dog at the time of the attack.
- Provide a full account of the dog bite injuries.
- Gather the needed evidence to build a bullet-proof case.
- Calculate a fair settlement for the damages suffered in the attack.
- Negotiate a payout and represent your interests during a court trial (if negotiations are unsuccessful).
More importantly, your experienced Douglasville dog bite lawyer will keep your lawsuit running on a proper time frame and ensure that all essential tasks involved with the lawsuit are addressed in due order. Personal injury law is an especially complex topic with many details and complexities that can ensnare the uninitiated. An expert Douglasville dog bite lawyer will help you plot your course through the complexities of personal law and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Who Is Held Liable for Dog Bites?
The most important thing to prove in a dog bite case is that the owner of the dog was actually responsible for the dog’s attack. Basically, this means that the owner was responsible to have their dog on a leash or safely secured behind a gated fence to avoid these types of incidents. This is especially true for those dogs with a history of aggression.
It is also of the utmost importance to prove that the injured person was not harassing, provoking, or trespassing into the dog’s “territory” or “personal space” when the attack occurred. This is where the role of eye-witnesses is so essential to this legal process.
While it can be difficult to prove that the dog’s owner was directly responsible for the dog attack, there are some points that can tilt the judgement in one way or another. For example, if the owner of the dog was well aware of the animal’s history of aggression, i.e. reports had been made against this dog to animal control and still allowed the dog to wander about without restraint, this could be an indication of reckless endangerment.
Owners of especially vicious dogs are often required to track their animals with a microchip transponder and may even be asked to take out liability insurance to cover the actions of an aggressive dog. Dogs that have carried out more than one aggressive attack may be euthanized and the owner can face scathing fines and even time in prison.
What Type of Compensation Can I Expect in a Dog Bite Case?
Dog attacks can be very small matters in some cases, but when these incidents involve larger dogs with a capacity and intention to do harm, the results can be ghastly. It is not uncommon for the victim to be left horribly disfigured and without the use of limbs and other functions.
Depending on the specifics of the situation, here are some of the more common damages Georgia Law will apply to these cases.
These damages represent those that can be immediately converted into their economic value. For example, the costs of medical care, property damage, lost wages as well as the future losses implied by the accident, can all be calculated by looking at receipts, pay stubs, and other financial records.
Also called, non-economic damages, general damages cover damages that can’t be placed into a financial figure. This can include the pain and suffering, distress, and the loss of capacity to live a normal life that often results from a dog attack.
If the circumstances of the attack involve especially reckless actions on the part of the dog owner, punitive damages may be applied to the defendant. These damages are applied for the purpose of punishing the dog owner for especially dangerous, illegal, or life-threatening behavior.
Georgia’s Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Lawsuits
There are time limits within which you will be required to make your report on any dog attack. If you fail to get your lawsuit process started within this “statute of limitations” you risk foregoing your opportunity for any compensation.
In the state of Georgia, dog bite cases fall under the larger category of “personal injury” cases and are therefore subject to the same process and limitations. For example, according to Georgia law, personal injury cases must be filed within two years of the incident that caused the injury. This means that if you were bitten by a dog, you will have two years from the date of the bite to make your report.
If you call up an experienced Douglasville dog bite lawyer, you can rest assured that they are fully aware of all time constraints and present a flawlessly prepared lawsuit for the opposition and the courts.
Call Hartly, Rowe & Fowler Today for a Free Consultation
Dog bite cases can be complex and the courts often side with dogs and their owners if the cases are the least bit dubious. For this reason, you will need the skill and experience of a top-notch Douglasville dog bite lawyer if you hope to get the compensation you deserve. If you or your loved one has been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering what to do next. Pick up the phone and call the law offices of Hartly, Rowe and Fowler at 678-825-6004 and arrange for a FREE consultation today.