Representing dog bite injury victims across the state of Georgia
Being attacked by a dog is a terrifying and painful experience. Man’s best friend can turn quickly turn into a violent and powerful adversary. If you were injured by a dog, you do not have to deal with the aftermath alone.
The CDC and the Humane Society estimate that there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites throughout the United States every year. More often than not, the victims of dog bites are under 21 years old, but this tragedy can strike anyone at any age.
If you or a family member was injured by a vicious dog, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in representing dog bite victims.
Atlanta Lawyer Jason McLendon is dedicated to representing dog bite victims in Georgia.
- Our firm is honored to be recognized as one of Georgia’s top law firms specializing in representing injury victims.
- We provide individualized attention to your injury claim. No injury is too small or too complex.
- We will go the extra mile for you. If you are unable to come to our office, we will come to you!
- We explore every settlement source available to you. We make sure that dog bite victims are compensated by every available insurance policy.
- Our fees are lower than most other large personal injury firms. Our goal is to make sure that you recover from your injures receive the maximum settlement.
Call us at 404-565-1618 to schedule a free consultation with a dog bite injury lawyer representing victims across the state of Georgia. We have offices located in Atlanta and Rome, Georgia. If your injuries prohibit you from meeting at one of our offices, we will come to you.
Do I need a dog bite lawyer?
Dog bites are one of the most difficult areas in Georgia personal injury law. The insurance company will usually deny your claim with the hope that you will not continue your pursuit for justice. We know how to make sure the insurance companies pay for dog bite injuries.
If you were injured in a dog attack, call us a (404) 565-1618 for a free consultation with an experienced dog bite injury lawyer.
What should I do after a dog bite?
If you were injured after being attacked by a dog, it is important that you take the following steps:
- Call the police. If you or a family member was bitten by a dog, it is important to contact the police so that we can have a report documenting the incident and your injuries.
- Gather any witness information. If anyone saw you being attacked by a dog, it is important to get their contact information in case the dog’s owner denies responsibility.
- Take pictures of your injuries. We have all heard the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This is especially true in dog bite injuries. If you were injured after being attacked by a dog, you should take pictures of your injuries as well as any damage to your clothing.
- Seek medical treatment. You should always get treated by a medical professional. If you refuse all medical treatment, the dog’s owner will likely use this to claim that you were not actually injured.
- Contact a Dog bite injury lawyer. A dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy is obligated to compensate you for your injuries if the dog owner was negligent. But they will almost certainly fight you, claiming that the owner was not negligent and did not cause your injuries. A dog bite lawyer can help you with investigating the history of the dog and owners to show that they were liable for your injuries.
Who is responsible for my dog bite injuries?
O.C.G.A § 51-2-7 outlines that an owner of a dog is responsible for your dog bite injuries if you are able to prove negligence. There are a few ways that you can prove negligence in dog bite cases.
The owner knew their dog was dangerous:
The first way to establish that a dog owner is responsible for your injuries is by proving that the owner knew that the dog was vicious or dangerous. If you were at a friend’s home and their dog randomly attacked you or a family member, it will be important to prove that the owner knew that their dog had been violent in the past. Statements such as “I can’t believe this happened again” will be critical to establish liability for your dog bite injuries.
The owner carelessly managed their dog leading to your injury:
Dog owners who are not attentive to their animals can be liable for your injury. Dog owners who fail to secure their dogs with a fence or leash are likely responsible for your injuries.
Whether a dog owner is responsible for your injuries is a fact-specific inquiry. You should always consult a personal injury lawyer to discuss your injury claim.
Negligence Per Se:
Negligence per se is a legal concept where, by violating a statute, an individual is deemed negligent. This concept can be very important in proving liability in dog bite cases. If you were in your yard when you were attacked by a dog, the owner is clearly in violation of several laws including the leash law. In this circumstance, you would likely not need to prove that the dog owner knew of their dog’s violent temperament because a statute was violated.
The dog bite victim did nothing to provoke the dog:
To be able to recover for a dog bite injury, Georgia law requires that the victim must not have done anything to provoke the attack. If a bite victim was seen teasing or abusing the dog before the attack, you will not be able to recover for your injuries because the law presumes that you were responsible for your injuries.
What should I do if my child was bitten by a dog?
According to dog bite statistics gathered by the CDC and Humane Society, children make up nearly 1/3 of all dog bite victims. They often suffer the most severe injuries as a result of not being physically able to defend themselves against a vicious dog.
We recommend that you take the following steps if your child was attacked by a dog:
- Slowly Remove your child from danger: If your child was injured by a dog, it is important to safely remove your child from danger. Dogs respond more to quick movements and loud noises. It is important for you and your child to move slowly to safety.
- Do not struggle. If you are bitten by a dog, do not struggle. If something struggles after the initial bite, dogs instinctively react with more violence.
- Seek medical attention. Once safe, you should take your child to the hospital to be medically evaluated. Child victims of dog bites often have serious injuries that require immediate medical attention.
- Take Photographs. It is important to photograph the extent of your child’s injures to preserve this important evidence.
- Call the police. You should also contact the police to make a report about your child’s attack. This will potentially save another innocent victim as well as memorialize important details needed for your injury claim.
- Call a dog bite injury lawyer: Dog bite claims can be difficult and burdensome to pursue. Insurance companies are reluctant to accept liability for injuries sustained by dog bite victims. An injury lawyer with experience in dog bite injuries will give you the best chance of recovering for your child’s injuries.
What type of damages can I recover after a dog bite?
After a being attacked by a dog you are likely entitled to the following types of compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and Suffering/Emotional Distress
- Permanent injuries
- Punitive damages
You should always discuss every injury claim with a personal injury lawyer who can explain what damages you can expect to recover after your injuries.
How much is my dog bite injury worth?
Dog bite victims are curious to know how much their injury claim is worth. As a general rule, the value of your injuries determined by “the enlightened conscience of the jury.”
That said, a personal injury lawyer experienced in dog bite injuries will give you the best chance of receiving the compensation that you deserve without waiting for a jury trial. An experienced injury lawyer will demand compensation from the insurance company using your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
The most important factor that determines the value of most injury claims is the extent of your injuries. Typically, serious injuries are also accompanied by significant medical expenses.
Generally, a settlement for a victim who suffered serious injuries will be greater than a settlement for a victim with only minor injuries. In theory, a settlement for a dog bite victim is intended to reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and time spent seeking medical treatment. In legal terms, you are being “made whole” which means the settlement places you back to where you were before your accident. Because the proceeds of your injury settlement are reimbursing you, you receive these proceeds tax free.
Generally speaking, the more medical expenses that you incur due to your injures, the more your dog bite injury is worth. Substantial medical expenses are generally an indicator of severe injuries.
However, do not expect to be rewarded by accumulating unnecessary medical expenses. The insurance company will thoroughly review your medical records and bills to ensure they are legitimate and related to the injuries you sustained.
As an experienced accident lawyer, Jason McLendon has relationships with medical providers and will assist you with finding the best medical facilities to address your specific injuries. Call us today at 404-565-1618 for a free consultation regarding your dog bite injuries.
Pain and Suffering:
Pain and suffering are an important component of your injury claim. However, it is difficult to put a specific value on your pain and suffering. In theory, the value of your pain and suffering is generally correlated to your medical bills.
Victims of dog bites frequently suffer from permanent injuries such as scaring. You are entitled to compensation for scars and other permanent injuries. The value of a scar is determined by its size and location. The larger the scar the more compensation you deserve. Similarly, the more prominent and visible the location of the scar, the more this permanent injury is worth.
If you were bitten by a dog who is a repeat offender, you are likely entitled to an award of punitive damages, which are reserved for egregious situations. Punitive damages are reserved for egregious situations and requires an offender to not only pay for the actual value of the bodily injuries and property damage – but the bad actor is also required to pay the victim money as a form of punishment.
Property Damage is another component that may have an impact on the value of your settlement. Typically, a dog bite victim would not realize that they suffered property damage. But, even ripped clothing would qualify as property damage.
Property damage becomes significant if you are entitled to punitive damages. If you are eligible for punitive damages, this not only applies to your bodily injury claim. You may also receive punitive damages relating to your property damage.
Lost Wages are another component of the overall value of your dog bite injury claim. If you are unable to work after being injured, the law allows you to seek compensation for wages lost due to your injuries.
The amount of your lost wage claim will be proven by your documentation reflecting your earnings before your accident and documentation reflecting your earnings after you were injured.
If you suffered a permanent injury that diminishes your future earnings, we can pursue a claim for lost earning capacity. This is a claim that applies if you will not recover to the extent necessary to be employed in the same capacity as you were prior to your injury.
If you are the victim of a dog bite call (404) 565-1618 for a free, no obligation consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
How do we approach dog bite injuries?
A dog bite injury case starts with a thorough investigation and preserving evidence. We will locate any witnesses to the attack, photograph the scene and document visible injuries, and investigate the history of the dog and their owner to see if they are responsible for any other incidents.
In some circumstances, we have to prove that the dog owner was aware that their dog was capable of violence. A dog bite injury lawyer can help you obtain critical evidence that can make or break your injury claim.
If you or a loved one was injured by a dog, do not try to handle this matter alone. The insurance company will not treat you fairly. In the unlikely event that they willingly accept liability for your injuries, they will try to pressure you into a settlement for far less than you deserve.
Contact a Georgia dog bite injury lawyer to discuss the facts of your injury claim. We are proud to represent injury victims across the state of Georgia.
Does it matter what type of dog caused my injuries?
If you were attacked by a dog, the success of your claim does not depend on the breed of the dog that caused your injuries. The size of the dog will likely be correlated to the extent of your injuries. There is no requirement that a dog must be of a certain size or breed in order for a victim to be entitled to compensation.
If you or a family member were injured by a dog, you should consult with a dog bite injury lawyer to discuss your potential injury claim.
When is a dog considered to be a “dangerous” dog?
If a dog has previously exhibited violence against a person or another animal, the owner of this dog is subject to special qualifications including additional insurance, warning signs and an enclosure that will prohibit the dog from escaping and wreaking havoc on the public.
The definitions necessary to determine if dog is dangerous are outlined in O.C.G.A. § 4-8-21. If you were injured by a dog that has legally been deemed “dangerous,” you will almost certainly be entitled to substantial compensation.
What is the statute of limitations for a dog bite injury?
The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years. Dog bites share this two-year statute of limitations. Therefore, in order to preserve your dog bite injury claim, the victim must either negotiate a settlement or file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the attack. If the dog owner was cited for their dog’s conduct, there may be a slight extension to the statue of limitations.
If you were injured by dog and have questions about the statue of limitations, contact a dog bite injury lawyer to discuss your injury claim.
How much does a dog bite lawyer cost?
If you were injured by a dog bite, a personal injury lawyer is the best investment that you can make. Injury lawyers are paid by a contingency fee. This means that if we do not win your case, we do not get paid. Better yet, you never have to pay any money out of your pocket. An injury lawyer will take a pre-determined portion of the settlement as payment for their legal representation.
Be careful. Not all personal injury lawyers charge the same percentage as their contingency fee. The large law firms spend tens of thousands of dollars every month to advertise on billboards and their fancy offices. As a result, they charge a higher percentage than other personal injury law firms. They also tend settle cases quickly and for less money because their focus is generating quick settlements – rather than quality of legal representation. Our law firm charges the lowest standard rate of any personal injury law firm so you can be confident that you will receive the maximum compensation for your injury.
Importantly, Jason has a guarantee that he will never receive more money from a settlement than a client. After all, you were injured. You deserve maximum compensation for your injuries. A shocking number of injury lawyers do not follow this practice and will regularly take more money from your injury case than you will receive.
If you were injured by a dog bite, call 404-565-1618 for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer who is a trusted partner within the Latino community.
What are the most dangerous breeds of dogs?
A dog’s temperament normally depends on how they were raised. But, some dog breeds are more likely to be violent and injure innocent victims. The dog breeds that are considered to be the most dangerous include:
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Dobermann Pinscher
- Wolf Hybrid
It is important to remember that any type of dog can be violent. If you were injured by a dog, regardless of the breed, it is important that you contact a dog bite injury lawyer to assist you with your pursuit for justice.
Call us at 404-565-1618 to schedule a free consultation with a dog bite injury lawyer. We have offices conveniently located in Atlanta and Rome, Georgia. If your injuries prohibit you from meeting at one of our offices, we will come to you.
The Jason McLendon is a Criminal Defense Attorney who Represents Clients in the Following Criminal Law Areas:
- All felonies and misdemeanors including:
- Violent Crimes
- Drug Crimes
- Property Crimes
- Sexual Offenses