Dog Bite Lawyers
Dogs can be a great source of companionship. While most dogs are sweet and loving creatures, some can be dangerous. Even good-natured dogs can attack under certain circumstances. If someone else’s dog bit you, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries and financial losses you incurred due to the attack.
The Georgia dog bite lawyers at Geiger Legal Group, LLC understand how traumatizing it is to be the victim of a dog attack. We’re here to help you seek the fair compensation you need to get back on your feet. Call our office or fill out our contact form online today for a free consultation.
What Are the Statistics for Dog Bites?
According to a recent study, dog bites continue to be a major public health issue. The study reports an average of over 300,000 emergency room visits due to dog bites each year. Over 80 percent of these dog bite accidents occurred at home.
Most reported dog bites occurred in the upper extremities, though dog bites were also common in the head, neck, and lower extremities. According to the researchers, dog bites are listed among the 15 most common non-fatal injuries.
Can You Sue Someone for a Dog Bite?
Dog bite injury victims could be entitled to take legal action if the dog bite occurs due to someone else’s negligence, such as the owner. As expenses start to pile up, you can quickly sink into medical debt, especially if you cannot work while you recover from your injury. You shouldn’t be responsible for any costs that you incurred through an unprovoked dog attack.
You could recover compensation for expenses and non-financial losses you suffered from the incident through a personal injury lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be able to obtain financial relief for the following:
- Present and future medical expenses for treating your injury, including hospital bills, doctor’s visit expenses, in-home care, medical equipment, and prescription medications
- Lost income if you have to take time off work while you recover from your injuries
- Future lost income if the dog attack leaves you temporarily or permanently disabled and unable to perform your normal work tasks
- Personal property damage, such as damage to eyewear
- Pain and suffering, including loss of enjoyment of life, physical pain, emotional anguish, mental distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
In Georgia, injury victims have two years to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. This window of time is known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to initiate legal action within this time frame, the court will most likely dismiss your lawsuit, and you will be unable to pursue compensation through the legal system.
While you might be entitled to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party, many injury victims initially file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and try to negotiate a settlement. Most personal injury cases settle before they ever reach trial, since litigation can be costly and time-consuming. A seasoned personal injury lawyer that handles dog bites can help you weigh your options and determine the best course of action.
Who Is Liable if a Dog Bites You?
To bring a successful dog bite injury case, you’ll need to be able to prove that someone was liable for the incident that caused your injuries. Some parties who could potentially be held liable if a dog bites you include the following:
- The dog’s owner — The most likely liable party is the dog’s owner. If the dog’s owner was negligent, they can be held responsible for compensating you. You must prove that the dog owner knew or should have known that the dog had a tendency to bite or act aggressively and allowed it to be around people. You’ll also likely need to show that you didn’t provoke the dog and you weren’t trespassing.
- A landlord — In some instances, landlords can be held liable for dog bite injuries. If a landlord knows that a dog on their property has a history of aggressive behavior, they are required to prevent others from coming to harm by dealing with or removing the threat. If the landlord fails to act, they could potentially be held liable. However, this is much more difficult to prove under Georgia law, and it requires specific circumstances.
- The owner’s insurance — Most homeowners insurance policies cover dog bite injuries. Filing a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company allows you to avoid tension and disputes with the dog owner, especially if they are a family member, friend, or acquaintance.
A lawyer who handles premises liability or injury cases can help you determine who is liable. They can review the circumstances of your case, handle communications with the at-fault party and their insurance, and prepare the evidence to support your claim.
How Do You Negotiate a Dog Bite Settlement?
Once you have filed a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you will enter into settlement negotiations. The insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible, so they will use numerous tricks to try and trip you up. They may ask to record you or try to take a statement. They also might offer you a low settlement that seems generous, but is far less than you deserve.
You should never sign a settlement agreement without first consulting with a dog bite injury lawyer. A skilled attorney will help you calculate the true value of your claim and can even negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance adjusters know that they won’t be able to take advantage of knowledgeable legal professionals, and you’re much more likely to receive fair compensation if you get a lawyer for your dog bite injury.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer in Canton, GA Today
Were you bitten by someone else’s dog in Canton, GA? If so, contact the Geiger Legal Group, LLC to learn more about how our attorneys for dog bite injuries can help you. We know how traumatic an event like this can be, and we’re ready to provide you with the compassionate and knowledgeable counsel you need. Give us a call or contact us online today for a free consultation.