Decatur Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
Skilled Dog Bite Attorneys in Decatur, Georgia
Adair Park, Glenlake Park, Oakhurst Park, and the many other dog-friendly locales throughout Decatur leave no doubt: Decatur is a fine place to raise a dog. Every resident and visitor in Decatur, though, has an expectation of safety when they’re around dogs. Pet owners, groomers, veterinarians, and boarding services in Decatur have a responsibility to keep others safe from aggressive animals. If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite accident, you may receive compensation for medical care and other damages. Call a Decatur dog bite accident lawyer today or contact us online to discuss how we can help.
Recoverable Damages for a Dog Bite in Decatur
Cleveland Clinic notes that dog bites can lead to serious infections. Dog bite victims we represent in Decatur frequently have significant injuries, which may worsen due to infection. If you have suffered injuries from a dog bite, then you may:
- Miss work: If injuries prevent you from working, you may lose income, performance bonuses, employer-matched retirement contributions, and other benefits. If you are permanently disabled or need to change jobs, you may lose some or all of your earning power.
- Endure severe pain and suffering: Dog bites, in your case, attack may be an appropriate term, can cause life-changing trauma. You may suffer distressing memories, pain from your injuries, fear of animals, and other types of pain and suffering. Civil courts in Decatur allow victims like you to seek compensation for such pain and suffering.
- Require psychological and emotional treatment: To move forward with your life, you may need psychotherapy, counseling, medications, and other treatments for pain and suffering.
- Have substantial medical costs: Even injuries that first appear minor can require expensive medical treatment. You may need emergency care, medical imaging services, surgery, reconstructive procedures, and other types of healthcare.
There is some positive news: These damages may all be recoverable. The Scholle Law team will work tirelessly to get the compensation you deserve.
Who Is Liable for My Dog Bite in Decatur?
Decatur tasks pet owners with “protecting the public health and safety.” An owner, or another party responsible for a dog, may be liable for your losses if they:
- Let an aggressive dog off-leash.
- Failed to install adequate fencing around their yard.
- Opened the door, and in doing so, let an aggressive dog attack you.
- Trusted the dog to someone who was not capable of restraining it.
- Made any other choice or action that put you at risk of a dog bite.
A Decatur dog bite attorney will be able to identify all parties who are liable for your bite-related losses and file a dog bite claim on your behalf.
Georgia Dog Bite Laws
From a legal standpoint, dog bite cases are often difficult and complex. In Georgia, the law requires proof of several evidentiary elements to successfully bring a claim for injuries. See O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7. To prevail in a dog bite injury case, you must show that the dog was vicious or dangerous. And, as interpreted by the Georgia courts, a dog’s prior history or propensity of being vicious or dangerous towards other animals is not enough. You must prove that the dog had demonstrated vicious or dangerous behavior towards people. And, beyond this, you must also prove that the owner or keeper of the dog had knowledge of this fact. The dog’s nature and the owner’s knowledge are two separate issues, and proof of both is necessary for recovery. See Harper v. Robinson, 263 Ga. App. 727 (2003). This is often a difficult, if not impossible hurdle to overcome.
Fortunately, the law provides for alternative means to prove this element. In proving vicious propensity, it shall be sufficient to show that the animal was required to be at heel or on a leash by an ordinance of a city, county, or consolidated government, and the said animal was at the time of the occurrence not at heel or on a leash. See O.C.G.A. 51-2-7.
In Decatur, City Ordinance Section 14-34, requires dog owners and keepers to keep their dogs restrained at all times when off their property. Restrained is defined in part as being on a leash or obedient to the commands of the dog’s owner/keeper. So, take the situation of a person that encounters an unrestrained dog, off leash, that is bitten, in downtown Decatur. This should be enough to legally satisfy the vicious propensity element. Next, you must also prove that the dog was not provoked in any way. If the evidence suggests otherwise, your case will likely be dismissed as a matter of law. Witness testimony outside the parties to the case can often be crucial here. A simple act of petting a dog without the owner’s permission or doing some other act could be interpreted as provocative in the eyes of a jury. All of this highly subjective. It is therefore important to gather and preserve as much evidence as early as possible and secure a law firm that is able to navigate these complex legal hurdles
10 Most Common Causes of Dog Bites
There are many different reasons why dogs may bite, but some of the most common include:
- Fear: Dogs may bite out of fear or anxiety, especially if they feel cornered or threatened. If a dog feels scared or threatened, it may lash out in an attempt to defend itself.
- Territoriality: Dogs are naturally protective of their homes and families, and may bite if they feel that their territory is being invaded.
- Possessiveness: Some dogs may become possessive of their food, toys, or other belongings and may bite if they feel that someone is trying to take them away.
- Pain: Dogs in pain may bite as a way of defending themselves from further injury.
- Aggression: Some dogs may be naturally aggressive, and may bite out of anger or frustration. This is often the case with larger breeds of dogs, such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers.
- Playfulness: Dogs may sometimes bite during play, especially if they are excited or get too rough.
- Maternal Instincts: Female dogs with puppies may become very protective of their offspring and may bite if they feel that their puppies are being threatened.
- Curiosity: Dogs may sometimes bite out of curiosity, especially if they are investigating something new or strange. This is often the case with puppies and young dogs who are exploring their environment.
- Self-defense: Dogs may bite in self-defense if they feel that they are being attacked or harmed. This is often the case with smaller breeds of dogs who feel intimidated by larger dogs or humans.
- Protecting Their Owners: Some dogs may become very protective of their owners and may bite if they feel that their owner is being threatened. This is often the case with dogs who have been trained as guard dogs or guard dog breeds.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
The most common type of dog bite injury is a puncture wound. These wounds are caused by the dog’s teeth piercing the skin and can range in severity from minor to severe. If the puncture wound is deep, it may damage bones, tendons, or blood vessels. Puncture wounds can also lead to infection, particularly if the dog’s teeth have been in contact with dirt or other contaminated materials.
Puncture wounds should be cleaned immediately with soap and water. If the puncture wound is deep, it may need to be stitched or repaired by a medical professional. In some cases, antibiotics may also be necessary to prevent infection.
Other common types of dog bite injuries include lacerations, bruises, and swelling. Lacerations are cuts that are caused by the dog’s teeth or nails. These wounds can range in severity from minor to severe and may require stitches or other medical treatment. Bruises are caused by the dog’s teeth or nails pressing against the skin and causing internal bleeding. Swelling occurs when the body’s tissues fill with fluid in response to an injury.
Treatment for lacerations, bruises, and swelling depends on the severity of the injury. Minor injuries may only require cleaning and bandaging, while more severe injuries may require stitches, surgery, or other medical treatment.
Dog bites can cause a variety of physical and emotional injuries. Physical injuries can range from minor to severe and may require medical treatment. Emotional injuries can last long after the physical injuries have healed and may require counseling or therapy.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a dog bite, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Once the physical injuries have been treated, you may also want to consider talking to a counselor or therapist to deal with the emotional trauma that can be caused by a dog bite and of course, speak with a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible.
Limitations to Dog Bite Injury Claims
Your own actions could prevent you from receiving compensation if you’ve been bitten by a dog in Decatur.
If you were trespassing on the dog owner’s property, you will likely not be able to recover any compensation for your injuries.
If you were provoking the dog, such as by teasing or hitting it, you will also likely not be able to recover any compensation.
It is important to note that even if you were partially at fault for the dog attack, you may still be able to recover some compensation for your injuries. Georgia follows a doctrine known as comparative negligence, which allows plaintiffs to receive reduced damages if they are found to be partially at fault for their own injuries.
What to Do After a Dog Bite In Decatur
If you or someone you love has been injured by a dog, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Once the physical injuries have been treated, you should also obtain witness accounts and take pictures of the injury. This will be helpful evidence if you decide to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner.
You should also contact an experienced Decatur dog bite lawyer to discuss your legal options. An experienced lawyer will be able to investigate the attack and determine who is liable for your injuries.
What Are The Statute Of Limitations For A Dog Bite In Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, the statute of limitations for a dog attack is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of the attack to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner. If you do not file your claim within this time frame, you will likely be barred from recovering any compensation for your injuries.
An experienced dog bite lawyer will be able to investigate the attack and help you file your claim before the statute of limitations expires.
Children Most Likely To Be Victims of Dog Bites
Write about the statistic of children being the most likely to be victims of dog bites .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are the most likely victims of dog bites. In fact, one in five people who are bitten by a dog each year is a child.
There are a number of reasons why children are more likely to be bitten by dogs than adults. First, children are often not aware of the dangers of approaching strange dogs. They may also mistakenly believe that all dogs are friendly and harmless. Second, children are often smaller than adults and may appear to be weaker prey to a dog that is feeling aggressive.
What If You Can’t Find The Pet Owner?
If you have been bitten by a dog and the owner cannot be found, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries. In these type of situations, your Decatur dog bite attorney will first do everything they can track down the dog’s owner, in the event that the owner cannot be located, you might still be able to receive compensation through various forms of insurance available to you.
How Scholle Law Will Seek a Financial Recovery for You in Decatur
The attorneys at Scholle Law have represented dog bite victims throughout Decatur. We understand what victims of aggressive animals often experience, and know how to deliver a financial recovery.
We may assist you by:
- Recording your account of the dog bite
- Speaking with witnesses, obtaining a police report, reviewing video footage, and securing any other relevant evidence
- Identifying those responsible for your dog bite in Decatur
- Obtaining your doctor’s notes, medical bills, medical images, and other proof of your injuries
- Calculating the cost of all your bite-related damages
- Identifying liable parties and naming them in your lawsuit
- Filing your lawsuit and all other case-related paperwork
- Negotiating a settlement
- Going to trial, if we need to
With Scholle Law handling your dog bite case in Decatur, you can focus on your health and recovery.
What Sets Scholle Law Apart from Other Firms?
The Scholle Law team takes a consistent, proven approach to each case. We work hard to establish ourselves from other law firms by always placing the client’s needs first.
Our firm has over 25 years of experience leading personal injury cases in Decatur and throughout Georgia. We have a proven track record of results, including financial recoveries of:
- $14 million
- $5.5 million
- $4.3 million
- $2.025 million
- $2 million
- $1.55 million
The team at our office in Decatur stands ready to fight for you. While we never make guarantees about financial recoveries, we do guarantee that we’ll work hard for the recovery you deserve.
As our client, you will be able to reach your attorney when you need them. You may be facing regular medical care for your injuries. Rest assured that we’ll be on top of your dog bite case, moving the legal process forward while you recover.
Speak With A Decatur Dog Bite Lawyer Today – Free Consultation
Georgia generally has a strict time period for filing your dog bite case in Decatur. You should not wait to hire Scholle Law for your case. There is no upfront cost, so there is no reason to wait.
Call Scholle Law today for your free consultation. You can also contact us online if you prefer. We understand the legal landscape in Decatur, and we’re ready to start your case today.