Did a dog bite and injure you in Riverdale, Georgia? Whether you were enjoying Riverdale Regional Park or visiting a friend’s house, if the dog’s owner was to blame for what happened, you can demand they compensate you for what you’ve suffered. Let the dedicated team with Kaufman Law help you pursue the money you need to pay for your medical bills, offset your lost wages, and start rebuilding your life.

For nearly half a century, our firm has been fighting hard for injured Georgians, and we’ve recovered millions of dollars in fair compensation on their behalf. Let us do everything we can to help you during this difficult time. Contact us today to speak with a dog bite lawyer serving Riverdale, and tell us your story during a free consultation.

Understanding Georgia Dog Bite Laws

Like many states, Georgia’s dog bite laws follow the old “one-bite” rule, which descends from the English common law. Under this rule, a dog owner can be held liable if their pet bites someone else, provided they knew or should have known that the dog had a propensity for violence. The rule presupposes that an owner should not assume that their pet is violent unless they have been given a specific reason to think so. If they have, they are expected to control their pet accordingly.

However, Georgia has also modified this rule through legislation—specifically, through section 51-2-7 of the Georgia Codes. This law holds that a dog can be considered vicious if its owner allows it off leash or otherwise fails to keep it at heel when required to do so by local ordinance. In other words, a dog that bites you in a public place while off leash is automatically considered vicious, regardless of its past behavior.

Pet owners can also be liable for dog bites caused by their negligent handling of the animal, giving victims another option for pursuing compensation. If you believe that your dog bite injuries are someone else’s fault, contact a dog bite lawyer serving Riverdale right away. They can review what happened and advise you on whether you have a viable case against the owner.

Common Dog Bite Injuries in Riverdale

Dog bites can result in serious injuries, including:

  • Puncture Wounds: Deep holes caused by a dog’s teeth that can penetrate muscle tissue and skin.
  • Lacerations: Jagged cuts or tears in the skin, often requiring stitches or surgical repair.
  • Abrasions: Scrapes or scratches on the surface of the skin.
  • Broken Bones: Occur especially in attacks where larger dogs are involved or when the victim falls to the ground.
  • Facial Injuries: Common in children and can require reconstructive surgery due to the sensitivity of facial structures.
  • Crush Injuries: Happen when a dog bite compresses body parts, potentially damaging muscles and bones.
  • Nerve Damage: Can result in loss of sensation or function in affected areas, especially in severe bites.
  • Infections: Including bacterial infections like Pasteurella, MRSA, and tetanus, which can develop from the bacteria in a dog’s saliva.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: Often requiring multiple surgeries that may result in permanent physical changes.
  • Emotional Trauma: Including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear of dogs, and anxiety.

What to Do After a Dog Bite in Riverdale

Knowing the steps to take after suffering a dog bite in Riverdale can help you protect your health and seek fair compensation through a dog bite claim. Here’s what to do:

  • Report the Incident: Contact local animal control or the police to report the dog bite. This is crucial for documenting the event and can help in any legal actions or to prevent future incidents.
  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Even if the injury seems minor, it’s important to get it checked by a professional to prevent infections and properly treat the wound.
  • Gather Information: Collect contact information from the dog’s owner, if possible, and any witnesses. Note the dog’s breed, size, and any distinguishing features.
  • Document the Injuries: Take photographs of the injuries and keep all medical records and receipts related to the treatment of the bite.
  • Preserve Evidence: Keep any torn clothing or damaged personal items, as they may serve as evidence if you pursue a legal claim.
  • Follow Up on Medical Care: Attend all follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and to address any complications that may arise.
  • Keep a Diary: Record details about any pain, discomfort, emotional effects, or medical appointments related to the injury. This can be useful in legal proceedings or insurance claims.

Finally, consult a lawyer who handles dog bite cases to learn about your legal rights and options. Schedule an initial consultation and bring the evidence you’ve gathered with you to the appointment. They can review this information and give you a better understanding of how you can seek compensation.

Pursuing Compensation for a Dog Bite in Riverdale

If the dog’s owner is to blame for the injuries you’ve suffered, you can demand that they compensate you for your:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs for all medical treatment related to the dog bite, including emergency care, hospitalization, medications, and any future medical treatments or surgeries.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for any time taken off work due to the injury or medical appointments.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the injury.
  • Property Damage: Reimbursement for any personal property damaged during the incident, such as clothing or glasses.
  • Reconstructive Surgery: Costs associated with cosmetic or reconstructive surgery required as a result of the bite.
  • Psychological Counseling: Costs for therapy to address any psychological issues stemming from the attack, such as PTSD or anxiety.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity: Compensation if the injury affects your ability to earn a living in the future.

In most cases, this compensation is covered by the dog owner’s homeowners or renters insurance policy. These policies often include liability coverage, which is designed to protect the owner from financial loss if their dog injures someone. Specific coverage and exceptions vary from policy to policy.

If the dog that bit you is owned by a friend or family member, it’s important to understand that pursuing a claim does not necessarily mean confronting the pet owner directly for payment. Instead, it involves a claim against the insurance policy, which can provide a financial buffer and facilitate a smoother resolution to the incident. In other words, you can seek the compensation you deserve without straining your relationship with the dog’s owner.

Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer Serving Riverdale, Georgia

The experienced legal team with Kaufman Law wants to help you pursue the money you deserve after suffering a dog bite in Riverdale. Don’t delay—contact us today at (608) 709-5000 for a free consultation with a dog bite injury lawyer for Riverdale.

Directions to Our Atlanta Office

Here’s how you can get to our Atlanta office from downtown Riverdale:

  1. Take Church St to GA-85 N/State A1 N.
  2. Follow GA-85 N and merge with I-75 N/I-85 N toward Atlanta.
  3. Stay on I-75 N/I-85 N as it becomes the Downtown Connector through Atlanta.
  4. Take exit 252 for Howell Mill Road.
  5. Turn right onto Howell Mill Road NW.
  6. Turn left onto Chattahoochee Ave NW.
  7. Turn left onto Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW.
  8. Turn left onto Beck St NW.
  9. Arrive at your destination on Beck St NW.

The trip typically takes about 25-35 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. Make sure to check a live navigation system for real-time traffic updates and more precise directions.

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