A dog that’s well-behaved in most circumstances can still cause severe injuries and emotional trauma when it bites someone. Dog bite injuries can also cost a lot of money to treat and cause the injured person to miss long periods of work. If someone else’s dog bit you in Marietta, Georgia, a dog bite attorney can help you hold the owner responsible for your injuries and other losses.

Kaufman Law has proudly served injured people in Marietta and the surrounding area for over 45 years, and we can help you seek fair compensation for a dog bite injury. Our animal attack lawyers have over 100 years of combined legal experience and care deeply about finding justice for victims of dog bites. We can provide the compassionate, personalized legal representation necessary for recovering compensation for your losses. Contact us today to learn how a personal injury lawyer can help you after a dog bite.

Why You Need a Georgia Dog Bite Lawyer

If you were the victim of a dog bite in Marietta, trying to handle your case yourself can jeopardize your chance of receiving adequate compensation. A skilled and experienced attorney will know how to gather evidence effectively, manage the legal paperwork, and negotiate with insurance companies to protect your rights throughout the claim process. Dog bite attorneys understand the nuances of proving liability and can significantly increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your case.

Without a lawyer, you risk underestimating the value of your claim or missing critical legal deadlines. These issues could reduce your compensation or lead to a complete denial of your, leaving you without compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Working with an experienced attorney boosts your chances of a successful claim while allowing you to focus on recovery, as your attorney can handle all the legal burdens for you.

Georgia’s Dog Bite Laws

Georgia law says anyone who keeps a “vicious or dangerous animal of any kind,” including dogs, is legally responsible for any injuries the animal causes if the owner is careless or lets the animal run free. Essentially, if a dog’s owner knew or reasonably should have known the dog was dangerous, they are liable for injuries the dog causes.

Some call this type of law a “one-bite rule,” but that’s not completely accurate. Yes, a prior bite does demonstrate a dog is dangerous, but it’s not the only way to prove this element of a dog bite claim.

For instance, the law also says violating local leash laws is enough to prove that a dog is dangerous. Dog owners in Marietta must follow Cobb County’s animal control laws, and these laws say it’s illegal for dog owners to let pets out of their “immediate control and restraint.” These laws also say it’s illegal for dog owners to let their pets onto someone else’s property without permission or to use leashes longer than six feet. A violation of any of these rules may be enough to prove a dog is dangerous under Georgia’s dog bite laws.

Common Injuries from Dog Bites in Marietta

Dog bites can cause severe injuries that impact victims physically, emotionally, and financially for weeks or months. In Marietta, common injuries from such incidents include:

  • Puncture Wounds: Dog bites often result in deep puncture wounds. These injuries can damage muscles, nerves, and connective tissue, leading to significant pain and a risk of infection.
  • Lacerations and Abrasions: Sharp teeth can cause cuts and scrapes on the skin. These injuries may require stitches and can leave scars, requiring possible future cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.
  • Broken Bones: When larger or more aggressive dogs bite, they can exert enough force to fracture bones. This is especially common in attacks on children or the elderly, potentially leading to long-term disabilities.
  • Infections: Dog saliva can contain harmful bacteria, making infections a common complication of dog bites. Without proper treatment, infections can become severe and lead to more severe health issues.
  • Emotional Trauma: In addition to physical injuries, dog bites often cause significant emotional distress. Victims might experience fear, anxiety, or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), impacting their daily lives and mental health for many years after the attack.

What To Do After a Dog Bites You in Marietta

After seeking medical attention for a dog bite in Marietta, it’s crucial to take proper steps to protect your health and legal rights. Here’s what to do:

  • Document Everything: Collect and record all details related to the dog bite. Take photographs of your injuries, where the incident occurred, and, if possible, the dog itself. Keep records of your medical treatments and any related expenses.
  • Report the Incident: Notify local animal control or the police about the dog bite. Filing a report provides an official record of the incident, which is vital for any legal actions or insurance claims.
  • Contact Witnesses: If any neutral parties saw the incident, collect their contact information. Witness statements can provide crucial support for your account of the attack.
  • Follow Medical Advice: Follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment plan exactly as ordered. Attend all follow-up appointments and keep records of any diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations.
  • Avoid Negotiating with the Dog Owner or Insurance Companies: Do not engage in discussions or accept offers from the dog owner or their insurance company before consulting a lawyer. Premature negotiations can undermine your case and result in lower compensation.
  • Consult a Dog Bite Lawyer: Speak to a lawyer with experience handling dog bite cases. They can guide you on the necessary steps to protect your rights and help you recover fair compensation for your injuries.

Potential Compensation in Georgia Dog Bite Claims

Dog bite victims in Georgia have the right to claim compensation for losses related to their injuries. Understanding what you can claim can help you recover full compensation for your losses, including:

  • Medical Expenses: You can recover costs for all medical treatments related to the dog bite, including emergency care, hospitalization, medications, surgeries, and any future medical needs you have.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for lost wages. This includes any time off work for medical treatments and recovery.
  • Pain and Suffering: You can demand compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you have endured because of the dog bite.
  • Loss of Consortium: If the dog bite significantly affects your relationships, you may claim loss of consortium. This compensation is for the negative impact on your relationships with your spouse or family members.
  • Property Damage: If any of your personal property sustained damage during the incident, such as clothing or accessories, you can claim compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing these items.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the dog owner’s behavior was particularly reckless or malicious, a judge or jury may award you punitive damages. Punitive damages are additional compensation intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future, though you must take your case to trial and win to recover them.

Deadline to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Georgia

In most circumstances, you have two years from the date a dog bit you to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, vital evidence can disappear or deteriorate long before that deadline lapses. The best way to protect your right to compensation after a dog bite is to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Contact Our Marietta, Georgia, Dog Bite Attorneys Now

Waiting too long to speak to a lawyer after a dog bite can jeopardize your case and keep you from recovering the money you need for your future. Contact Kaufman Law today for a free consultation with a Marietta, Georgia, dog bite lawyer.

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