Have you been bitten by a dog in McDonough, Georgia? The impact of a dog bite can be severe, causing not only physical pain but also financial difficulties due to medical bills and missed work. At Kaufman Law, we’re here to fight for the compensation you need for your recovery. Our attorneys are ready to handle your case with the compassion and dedication you deserve, dealing with insurers and legal details so you can concentrate on getting better—and we won’t charge you a fee unless we win.

Don’t wait to get the help you need. Reach out to Kaufman Law today for a free initial consultation.

Dog Owner Liability in Georgia

In Georgia, a dog owner may be liable for injuries caused by their dog under certain conditions. Under Georgia law, dog owner liability exists when:

  • The owner is aware or should be aware that their dog has dangerous or vicious tendencies. This awareness doesn’t need to arise from previous biting incidents. It can also come from the dog’s general behavior. For example, a dog that shows aggression towards strangers or acts defensively in a way that exceeds normal protective behavior could be considered vicious.
  • The owner failed to control or secure their dog. An owner must ensure that their dog is either on a leash or secured within a private space when in the presence of others. If an owner neglects to leash or confine their dog properly, and the dog subsequently bites someone, the negligent dog owner could be legally responsible.
  • The victim of the dog bite did not provoke the animal. If the victim did not provoke the dog through aggressive actions or by entering the dog’s personal space without permission, then the owner is more likely to be liable. 

State law provides specific criteria for determining whether a dog is dangerous or vicious. Specifically, a dog is considered dangerous if it behaves in any of the following ways:

  • Significantly injures a human without biting
  • Aggressively attacks someone in a way that poses a risk of serious injury
  • Kills a pet animal while off the owner’s property

A dog is considered vicious if it inflicts serious injury on a person without provocation. Serious injury refers to any physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes long-term disability or disfigurement.

However, if a dog is off-leash or roaming freely when it bites, Georgia law explicitly states that this fact alone is sufficient proof of the dog’s vicious nature. This provision can make it much easier for bite injury victims to prove their claims.

Injuries from Dog Bite Incidents

When dogs bite people, their sharp teeth and considerable jaw strength can cause severe and potentially life-threatening damage. Injuries that can result from dog bite incidents include:

  • Puncture Wounds: When a dog’s teeth penetrate the skin, they can cause deep, narrow wounds that are prone to infection due to bacteria from the dog’s mouth.
  • Lacerations: These are tears or cuts in the skin that can be shallow or deep, depending on the force of the bite. They often require medical attention to clean and close the wound.
  • Bruises: The force of a dog bite can cause extensive bruising due to internal bleeding under the skin. Bruises are often painful but usually heal without additional medical treatment.
  • Avulsions: This severe type of injury happens when a bite pulls away a section of skin and tissue. Avulsions can lead to significant blood loss and often require surgery to repair.
  • Fractures: A dog’s powerful jaws can break bones, especially in the hands, arms, or legs. Fractures require immediate medical attention and prolonged recovery periods.
  • Nerve Damage: Nerve damage can occur if a dog’s teeth tear or put pressure on nerves. This can cause temporary or permanent loss of sensation and movement in the injured area.
  • Infections: Dog bites can introduce bacteria into a wound, leading to dangerous infections. Common symptoms of dog bite infections include redness, swelling, pain, and fever.  
  • Scarring: Many dog bites leave scars, some of which are cosmetic and others that cause physical restrictions or significant disfigurement, depending on their location and size.
  • Emotional and Psychological Trauma: Beyond physical injuries, dog bites can cause significant emotional distress. Victims might develop phobias, experience anxiety, or suffer from PTSD.

What Are the Possible Long-Term Effects of a Dog Bite Injury?

Dog bite injuries can lead to several long-term effects that significantly impact a victim’s life. One common long-term effect is scarring, which often requires surgical treatment to improve appearance and function. In more severe cases, a dog bite can result in permanent nerve damage, leading to loss of sensation or movement in the affected area, hindering daily activities and reducing quality of life.

Furthermore, the emotional and psychological impacts of dog bites are also often significant. Victims commonly experience increased anxiety, fear of dogs, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sometimes requiring long-term psychological therapy.

Financially, the consequences of dog bites are frequently substantial. Medical treatments for surgeries, ongoing care for chronic conditions, and therapy for emotional trauma can all add up, creating significant financial strain. Victims might also face lost wages if the injury prevents them from working. Working with a dog bite injury lawyer is an excellent way to pursue monetary compensation for these losses.

What Is the Value of My Dog Bite Injury Claim?

When you file a dog bite injury claim, you can demand monetary compensation for the costs and impacts the injury has had on your life. This can include dog bite compensation for:

  • Medical treatments, including initial treatment and any follow-up care you needed
  • The projected costs of ongoing medical care related to your injuries
  • Expenses for mental health support if you suffer emotional effects from the incident
  • Lost income if the injury prevents you from working
  • Estimated losses in your future earning potential resulting from the injury
  • Pain, suffering, and lost quality or enjoyment of life resulting from the injury

How Can an Animal Attack Attorney Serving McDonough Help?

Hiring an experienced lawyer can significantly improve your chances of receiving fair compensation for a dog bite injury. A personal injury attorney serving McDonough can support you by:

  • Reviewing all the details of your case thoroughly
  • Gathering evidence from the scene of the incident
  • Interviewing witnesses who saw the attack
  • Consulting medical professionals to understand the extent of your injuries
  • Estimating the total cost of your medical treatments
  • Calculating potential future expenses related to your injury
  • Documenting your recovery process from a legal perspective
  • Drafting and filing all necessary claim documents
  • Complying with all legal deadlines and requirements
  • Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Evaluating offers from the dog owner or their insurance
  • Protecting you from unfair blame by the other party
  • Representing you in court, if necessary
  • Presenting a robust argument in court if your case goes to trial

Contact an Animal Bite Lawyer Today

Need a dog injury lawyer in McDonough, Georgia? Look no further than the dedicated team at Kaufman Law. Our team is eager to provide the support and legal representation you need to resolve your claim successfully. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.

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