Serious Dog Attacks & Injuries
While a dog is well known to be man’s best friend, anyone who has been seriously bitten or mauled by a dog knows that a dog attack can be a very traumatic and devastating experience. According to the United States Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S. Young children are often the victims of dog bite attacks, with the CDC reporting the rate of dog bite-related injuries being highest for children between the ages of 5 and 9 years old.
What to Do When You Are Attacked by a Dog
If you, your spouse or your child are attacked by a dog, the first thing you need to do is to seek medical attention. Your doctor can provide you with the medical care you need to treat the dog bite injury and prevent infection. Additionally, visiting a doctor will give you the medical documentation you will need should you decide to file a lawsuit.
If possible, you should also take photos of your injuries as well as the scene of the attack. Additionally, if your clothing has been bloodied or torn, you should keep it because it may be important evidence in your case. In the event you are not familiar with the dog’s owner, you need to write down his or her name, address and phone number and do the same for any witnesses to the attack.
After you have properly attended to your injuries, it is very important to seek the advice of qualified lawyer. A Georgia dog bite lawyer at The Gumprecht Law Firm can explain your legal rights and help you get the relief you are legally entitled to. When you work with our firm, we will carefully evaluate your situation to determine all available avenues of recovery. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of the attack, we may determine that filing a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your financial losses, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages is the best way to handle your case.
Our firm knows just how devastating a dog attack can be. In a recent case, we represented a young girl who was attacked, without provocation, by a dog with a history of violence that was not disclosed by the dog’s owners. The child suffered scars and injuries that will require multiple surgeries as she grows older. Our firm successfully fought to secure a financial recovery for the child that will fully provide for her current and future medical needs.
Dog Bite Liability Under Georgia Law and the “One Bite Rule”
It is important to understand that dog owners are not automatically responsible for injuries caused by their dogs. If you have been bitten by a dog, Georgia law basically provides you with two potential legal paths for recovery, depending on where your attack occurred:
- The “One Bite Rule.” If an attack occurs on the homeowner’s property or on a permitted property, the owner is only responsible if they know the dog has a history of violence. In Georgia and many other states, this is known as the “one bite rule.” Essentially, the dog owner can get away with the dog’s first attack—the rationale being that the dog owner had no way of knowing that his or her dog was violent if it never attacked anyone before.
- Local Dog Leash Laws. Where a dog has run away from the owner’s property or control, either intentionally or negligently, the owner can be held responsible even if it is the dog’s first attack. This is because the attack occurred while the owner was violating a local “leash law” requiring that the dog be kept tied up or on a leash.
Discuss Your Case with a Georgia Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bite laws and dog owner liability can be very confusing to sort through on your own. If you or someone you love has been viciously attacked by a dog or other animal, The Gumprecht Law Firm can help. Call us today at 678-800-1050 to schedule a free consultation with attorney Michal Gumprecht.