Dunwoody, like many communities in Georgia, experiences its share of dog bite incidents. While most dogs are friendly and loving companions, a dog bite can result in serious injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it’s crucial to understand your rights and legal options.

The skilled dog bite lawyers of Kaufman Law can explain your rights and help you figure out what to do next. Call us today at (608) 709-5000 for a free consultation where we can talk about your case. Let us get to work on getting you the compensation you need.

Georgia’s Dog Bite Laws

Under Georgia law, a dog owner may be held strictly liable for a dog bite if the owner knew or should have known about the dog’s vicious tendencies. This typically means that if the dog has previously bitten someone or displayed aggressive behavior, the owner is presumed to be aware of the dog’s dangerous propensities.

However, Georgia law also allows the injured party to hold the dog owner responsible if the owner was negligent in managing the dog or if the dog was not properly restrained in accordance with local leash laws, even if the dog had not previously bitten anyone.

DeKalb County requires dogs to be “under restraint and control at all times while the animal is off the real property limits of the owner.” The exception is county parks that are specifically designated as off-leash areas. A violation of this “leash law” can be used to establish liability for a dog bite even without showing violent propensities.

However, it is important to note that if the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing on private property when the bite occurred, the owner’s liability may be reduced or eliminated.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

When you’ve been bitten by a dog, there are steps you should take to protect your health and any subsequent claim you file for compensation.

  • Seek Medical Attention: Seek medical attention immediately, even if the injuries seem minor. Some dog bites can lead to infections or other complications if not treated promptly.
  • Document the Incident: Gather as much information as possible about the dog and its owner. This includes the dog’s breed, the owner’s name and contact information, the dog’s vaccination records, and the location of the incident. If there were any witnesses, obtain their contact information as well.
  • Report the Bite: Report the dog bite to DeKalb County Animal Enforcement. This will create an official record of the incident and may help prevent future attacks.
  • Preserve Evidence: If possible, take photos of your injuries, the dog, and the location where the bite occurred. These photos can serve as valuable evidence in your legal case.
  • Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer: Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases in Dunwoody. A lawyer can assess your situation, advise you about your options, and help you seek compensation.

Compensation for Dog Bite Victims

If you’ve been injured in a dog bite attack, you may be entitled to compensation for various bite-related losses, including:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes costs for hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for the income you’ve lost.
  • Pain and Suffering: Dog bites can cause significant physical pain and emotional distress. You may be entitled to compensation for these intangible losses.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: If the bite resulted in permanent scarring or disfigurement, you may be able to seek compensation for these cosmetic injuries.
  • Property Damage: If your personal property was damaged in the attack, you could obtain compensation to repair or replace the items.

How a Dunwoody Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help

A skilled lawyer plays a crucial role in your case. They will:

  • Investigate the Incident: Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate the dog bite incident by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining relevant records.
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Your lawyer will handle all communication and negotiation with the dog owner or their insurance company, working to secure a fair settlement.
  • Litigate Your Case: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will be prepared to take your case to court and fight for you.
  • Provide Support and Guidance: Throughout the legal process, your lawyer will provide you with support, guidance, and advocacy, ensuring your rights are protected.

Time Limits on Filing Suit

Georgia law allows an injured person two years to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for harming them. Although two years sounds like a long time, building a robust case requires time, detailed investigation, and thorough preparation. The insurance company may attempt to drag out settlement negotiations until after the statutory deadline has passed. If you file your lawsuit after the deadline passes, the court can dismiss your case without a hearing, and you will lose your leverage against the insurance company and the possibility of pursuing compensation in court.

Call an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer Today

Dog bites can be traumatic. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance. Kaufman Law attorneys are experienced in this area and can guide you through the legal process and work to obtain the compensation you deserve.

With over four decades of experience, Kaufman Law understands the profound impact a personal injury can have on your life. We treat every case with the care it deserves.

Our accomplished attorneys, including our founder Jeffrey Kaufman, have a proven history of securing millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, helping them cover the often overwhelming expenses associated with accident injuries. Call us today at (608) 709-5000 or contact us online for a free consultation about how we can help.

Directions to Our Office:

Our offices are located at 12 Beck St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. We serve over 20 areas in Georgia, including Dunwoody.

From the North:

  • Take I-75 S toward Atlanta.
  • Use the right two lanes to take exit 252 for Howell Mill Rd toward Northside Dr.
  • Turn left onto Howell Mill Rd NW.
  • Turn left onto Beck St NW.
  • The destination will be on your left.

From the South:

  • Take I-75 N toward Atlanta.
  • Use the right two lanes to take exit 251A for Northside Dr.
  • Turn right onto Northside Dr NW.
  • Turn left onto Marietta St NW.
  • Turn right onto Beck St NW.
  • The destination will be on your right.

From the East:

  • Take I-20 W toward Atlanta.
  • Use the right two lanes to take exit 57 for I-75 N/I-85 N toward Chattanooga.
  • Merge onto I-75 N/I-85 N.
  • Use the right two lanes to take exit 250 for 10th St toward Georgia Tech/Fourteenth St.
  • Keep left at the fork to continue toward 10th St NW.
  • Turn left onto 10th St NW.
  • Turn right onto Northside Dr NW.
  • Turn left onto Marietta St NW.
  • Turn right onto Beck St NW.
  • The destination will be on your right.

From the West:

  • Take I-20 E toward Atlanta.
  • Use the right two lanes to take exit 56B to merge onto I-75 N/I-85 N toward Chattanooga.
  • Use the right two lanes to take exit 250 for 10th St toward Georgia Tech/Fourteenth St.
  • Keep left at the fork to continue toward 10th St NW.
  • Turn left onto 10th St NW.
  • Turn right onto Northside Dr NW.
  • Turn left onto Marietta St NW.
  • Turn right onto Beck St NW.
  • The destination will be on your right.
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