If you or child has been bitten by a dog in Georgia, you are not alone. It’s estimated that over four million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs every year, although most of those bites are not serious enough to require medical attention. Dog owners can in some cases be held responsible when bites occur.
Under Georgia law, in order to recover for a dog bite, you must show either that the dog had a history of dangerous behavior and/or that the dog was not on a leash when the bite occurred but was required to be on a leash under city or county ordinances. Therefore, the leash laws in the area where the bite or attack occurred can have a significant effect on your case.
In many cases, when a bite occurs, homeowners’ insurance policies may cover the damages from the attack. In those situations, insurance adjusters will often attempt to reach a quick settlement with the injured person in order to minimize the insurance payout. The bite victim may not know the full extent of damages until much later, but once he or she has settled the case, there is not a chance to recover additional money. It’s important that you do not rush into a settlement without consulting with an attorney.
It can be complicated to determine the value of a claim for personal injury due to a dog bite. If liability can be shown, the victim can receive compensation for medical expenses (both past and future), lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and more. An experienced Atlanta dog bite attorney can help you determine the value of your case.
Going forward, you should teach your children how to react when encountering a dog, which will help reduce the chances of a dog bite. Do not allow your children to approach unfamiliar dogs, or to pet a dog without the owner’s permission. If a dog is on a leash or chain, or is fenced in, this is particularly true, as those dogs often show aggression when approached by a stranger. Also, teach your children not to disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies. If you do encounter a dog that is aggressive, it’s important to stand motionless, avoid eye contact, and back slowly out of sight after the dog has lost interest in you.
If you have a dog, you should also make sure that you take steps to ensure that your dog does not become aggressive and bite another person. You should supervise your dog, and do not put the dog into a situation where aggressive behavior is likely. For example, if your dog becomes aggressive around other dogs, it would not be a good idea to take the dog to a crowded dog park. Spaying or neutering can also help with aggression. If aggressive behavior continues to be a problem, you should consider a trainer, or possibly even finding a new home for the dog.
It’s unfortunate when man’s best friend becomes vicious and attacks. In many cases, the dog’s owner knew of the dog’s dangerous tendencies but chose to ignore them. If you or your child has been injured by a dog in Georgia call the personal injury attorneys at Holston & Huntley. Call us today- consultations are free and you are under no obligation to use our services. We serve Metro Atlanta Georgia as well as Birmingham Alabama including surrounding areas.