Dog bites are both more common and more dangerous than many people realize – and innocent children are especially vulnerable to the associated risks.
If you or someone you care about has been harmed by a bite or attack from someone else’s dog, do not wait to consult with an experienced Georgia dog bite lawyer at The Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney. Contact our attorney Brady M. Larrison online or by phone at 770-626-7895 today.
Georgia’s Dog Bite Laws
While Georgia does not employ the one-bite rule when it comes to dog bites, it helps to know this common rule better to understand Georgia’s modified version of the law. The one-bite rule means that if the dog owner knows – or reasonably should know – about their dog’s vicious nature (or propensity to bite), the owner can be held fully responsible for all related damages if the dog bites again. In other words, if an owner’s dog bites someone once, the owner is on alert regarding other potential bites, which makes this the one-bite rule.
Georgia’s Modified Approach to the One-Bite Rule
Georgia employs what is known as a modified one-bite rule, and in the process, it extends the protections dog bite victims are afforded.
In Georgia, if the dog owner knows – or reasonably should know – that their dog is capable of biting due to a previous attack, they can be held responsible for the damages associated with any future bites. The state of Georgia, however, does not stop with this one-bite requirement.
Consider the following instances when a dog owner can also be found liable for a dog bite:
- The bite was caused by the owner’s carelessness, such as by not having the dog on a leash.
- The dog bit or attacked the victim entirely unprovoked.
Further, if the dog has exhibited any of the following aggressive-seeming behaviors, it can leave the dog owner on the hook in terms of the requirement that they reasonably should have known about their animal’s potential viciousness:
- The dog snarls, snaps, or growls excessively
- The dog barks excessively
- The dog lunges at or charges people or other animals
- The dog attempts to escape its owner to attack
The fact that the dog does not manage to bite anyone in the process of engaging in the above does not mitigate the owner’s responsibility.
Complications With Dog Bite Injuries
These are signs that a dog bite wound may be infected:
Dog bites are especially susceptible to not only serious infections but also to all of the following:
- Dog bites are often on the hands, and as a result, they can lead to very challenging complications regarding hand motility, which can be immensely difficult to overcome.
- When a dog bite is on or near the face, it generally means permanent disfigurement.
- When a dog bite affects the eye, it can lead to permanent blindness.
- Because dog bites tend to leave jagged tears, they are slow to heal and often leave unsightly scars.
Your Physical, Financial, and Emotional Losses
As a result of a dog bite, you can face very considerable legal damages or losses, and ensuring that every category of your loss is well represented in your dog bite claim will play a critical role in your ability to obtain fair compensation. Consider the following primary categories of covered losses:
- Your medical bills: The medical bills you face in relation to a dog bite can be ongoing, especially if your injury becomes infected, which is common, or leads to additional complications or secondary health concerns.
- Your lost wages: A dog bite can keep you out of the workforce while you heal, and if the bite damages your hand, vision, or mobility, it can affect your ability to do your job, which can lead to lost earning potential.
- Your pain and suffering: The physical pain and emotional suffering you endure as a result of being bit by someone else’s dog can be severe and can negatively affect your overall recovery.
Benefits of a Georgia Dog Bite Lawyer
Your trusted dog bite lawyer will skillfully take on all the following primary tasks in their efforts to protect your legal rights – in pursuit of your rightful compensation:
- Gathering all the available evidence in solid support of your strongest claim
- Striving to ensure that your dog bite claim clearly reflects every category of loss you experience in its entirety.
- Helping you make the right decisions for you as you move through the legal process
- Knowledgeably negotiating with the involved insurance company for a fair settlement that upholds your best interests
- Ensuring that the insurance company treats your claim in accordance with the law
- Preparing for trial – in the event that the insurance company is not interested in negotiating fairly
Seek the Legal Guidance of an Experienced Georgia Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Brady M. Larrison is a Georgia dog bite lawyer focused on advocating for the legal rights of clients like you. A dog bite can have long-lasting repercussions in your life, which makes having skilled legal counsel on your side well-advised.