If you’ve suffered a serious injury due to a dog bite it may be in your best interest to speak with a lawyer. Whether or not you call a personal injury lawyer for any injury should really depend on whether you had medical bills, were unable to work due to the injury, suffered pain and suffering or were emotionally traumatized by the incident.
Most personal injury attorneys won’t represent people if they’re unable to prove negligence. Georgia’s dog bite laws can be a bit complicated, and it’s generally necessary to prove a few specific facts in order to have a viable dog bite injury case.
The One-Bite Rule
Georgia is a one-bite rule state, which means there needs to be at least one previous incident to establish a violent history. After it has been established that a dog posed a potential risk prior to the bite – and that the owner knew it was conceivably dangerous – it’s possible to hold the owner liable for dog bite injuries.
The Toll of Dog Bites
Dog bites can result in serious, sometimes disfiguring injuries. People who are bitten by dogs may suffer PTSD or other emotional trauma that may require counseling and could affect them for the rest of their lives.
Economic damages like medical costs and lost wages are always important in personal injury cases, but dog bites are unique in that pain and suffering, emotional anguish and disfigurement often play an outsized role in dog bite claims.
Serious dog bites frequently leave victims with traumatic memories and a long-lasting fear of animals. Scaring and disfigurement might be a permanent reminder of what happened and significantly affect a person’s self confidence and their ability to live a normal life.
It’s important the victims of these attacks receive appropriate non-economic damages for their traumatic injuries.
Can I Prove Negligence and Negotiate with the Insurance Company on My Own?
Working within the framework of Georgia laws and dealing with insurance negotiators can be complicated and difficult, especially when you’re recovering from the trauma of a serious injury. Calling an Atlanta dog bite attorney is often a wise first step for people who have suffered a serious injury due to a dog bite or animal attack.
Before you can seek compensation for an injury it’s first necessary to determine whether it will be possible to establish owner negligence. During your free consultation you should tell your personal injury attorney the details surrounding the dog bite. If it sounds like you plausibly have a case the attorney will then investigate the situation and collect evidence.
In Georgia, the most important evidence is often:
- A previous history of aggression
- The owner knew about the potential dangers posed by the dog
If the owner knew the dog posed a threat – based on a history of past attacks or aggressive behavior –and they failed to take adequate steps to prevent an attack, it may be possible to prove negligence.
Investigation is key in these scenarios. Sometimes people are bitten by dogs they know, but in other cases Atlanta residents are bitten by dogs owned by strangers. It will be necessary for your attorney to dig into the pet’s past and find other incidents that should have justified additional owner caution.
The Benefits of Working with a Personal Injury Attorney in Atlanta
Evaluation is an important first step in any personal injury case. Certain types of personal injuries have different thresholds for liability. Car accident injuries are relatively straightforward – the person who caused the accident is liable for injuries they cause. Injuries caused by medical malpractice, slip and falls and dog bites are a little different. Specific thresholds of negligence, often in the form of evidence of inaction to prevent injuries, must be met to have a case.
A dog bite attorney can analyze your case and help you understand whether you may be eligible for compensation.
The laws pertaining to dog bites can be confusing, and a personal injury lawyer with experience in this area of Georgia law can help you understand your options. They can also help you negotiate with the insurance company.
Insurance companies excel at redirecting blame for injuries onto the victim. This is especially common in dog bites where one of the most common strategies is to claim the person who was bitten somehow provoked the attack. It’s often necessary to dispel these notions with evidence and airtight narratives that clearly establish the real version of events.
Living in Atlanta? Get Help with Your Dog Bite Today!
If you or a loved one have recently suffered a serious injury due to an animal attack in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia, the Dressie Law Firm wants to help. We are committed to providing compassionate, detail-oriented representation to clients who have been through physically and emotionally scarring experiences. Give us a call at 770-756-6333 for a free, no-obligation consultation.