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Cumming GA Dog Bites

Cumming Dog Bite Lawyer

The experience of being injured by someone else’s pet can be especially upsetting, not only due to the potentially severe medical implications of the attack, but also because pet owners have a responsibility to keep their pets from harming innocent parties. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were nearly five million non-fatal dog bites in the most recent year that data was tracked, which resulted in nearly 800,000 victims needing medical care due to these attacks. 

Every state has its own laws regarding dog bites, and Georgia’s are unique. When you have been injured by a dog bite, collecting compensation for your damages requires knowledge of state law and recent court rulings, and an experienced dog bite attorney will have the experience you need to advise you of your legal rights and options. 

Dog attacking a man by biting his hand

Connect with one of the experienced Cumming dog bite attorneys from Spaulding Injury Law today so we can review your specific situation and advise on what damages we might help you recover. We help dog bite injury victims in the Cumming area, and we are ready to assist you. 

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injuries can result from the bite itself or from other aspects of the attack, such as a victim falling to the ground from the bite. Young children are particularly susceptible to injuries and disfigurement to their faces, as they are smaller and might be closer to the dog’s height level. 

Some injuries that require medical treatment and might lead to a dog bite claim include:

  • Lacerations or punctures that pierce through the skin
  • Fractures or soft tissue injuries from the strength of the bite
  • Concussions and brain injuries from falling and hitting your head
  • Infections if a bite is not properly cleaned by a medical professional
  • Diseases, including rabies, if a dog is not properly vaccinated
  • Mental trauma, including irrational fears of dogs or PTSD

All of these can be costly, and you might assume that you are automatically entitled to compensation for your losses from the dog owner. However, in Georgia, these injury claims can be more complicated than other types of accident claims, so you want the right legal help as soon as possible.

 

What is the Controversial Dog Bite Law in Georgia? 

In Georgia, the law regarding dog bites is unique compared to many other states. Some states have pure strict liability for dog owners, while others follow what is referred to as the “one-bite rule.” Georgia, however, has a hybrid law that combines the two legal principles. 

To apply strict liability to a dog owner in Georgia, a victim must demonstrate three main elements. 

  • First, when a person is injured by a dog bite, the owner of the dog can be strictly liable for the victim’s injuries and losses so long as the owner knew the dog to have been vicious or dangerous as a result of previous activity. 
  • Second, the law requires that the animal not be in the control of the owner, in that the dog is “not on the premises of its owners or the person having charge of it” in terms of livestock injuries, or “by careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty” in terms of human attacks. 
  • Finally, the person injured must not have provoked the animal into the attack that led to the injury or have been a trespasser on the property at the time. 

When each of these three elements is met, then the strict liability rule concerning dog bites kicks in, and you are entitled to compensation for your damages associated with the attack. 

In recent case law in Georgia, the necessity of the owner having a dangerous or vicious dog was reduced from the dog having previously attacked a person to merely aggressively snapping at someone in the past. This lowered the bar somewhat in proving dog owner liability, and our attorneys know what is required – and what is not – to prove that you deserve compensation from the dog owner after bite-related injuries.

 

Handling Every Step of Your Dog Bite Claim

Your dog bite attorney from Spaulding Injury Law can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding your injury and the dog bite. This might include getting witness statements and collecting other evidence regarding the dog’s past in support of the owner’s liability.

Even if you can show liability, you then need to determine how much your claim is worth, which is more complicated than you might think. Our attorneys know how to accurately calculate damages to cover all of your losses, which might include:

  • Expenses for past and future medical and psychological treatment
  • Lost wages and future lost income if your dog bite caused disabling injuries
  • Physical and mental pain and suffering
  • Permanent disfigurement or impairments

Once we know the value of your case, we can prepare and file claims with the dog owner’s insurance company. While the insurance process might seem like it should be straightforward, it is important to remember that insurers are not on your side. These companies care about profits more than the best interests of claimants, so they will try to limit settlements whenever possible.

We handle all negotiations and communications to achieve the best possible settlement for you from the insurance company. If this is not possible, we can escalate your case to Georgia civil court.

 

How a Dog Bite Attorney Can Help

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries as a result of a dog bite, the path forward can be difficult. The physical pain and emotional suffering you endure as a result of a terrifying dog attack is likely to be immense, and knowing where to turn for the help you need can be challenging in and of itself. A dedicated dog bite attorney can help in a wide range of important ways. 

Building Your Strongest Claim

To begin, your dog bite attorney will gather all the available evidence relevant to your claim, which often includes eyewitness testimony. This evidence represents the backbone of your dog bite. 

Establishing the Owner’s Liability

Your attorney will also endeavor to discover the dog’s history in relation to any previous attacks or any other aggressive behavior, which can include:

  • intense growling or snarling
  • Charging other animals or people
  • Focused and aggressive barking
  • Attempts to get out of owner’s control in order to attack

The fact is that the dog in question didn’t have to be successful in biting someone else if it exhibited behaviors that served to warn – or should have served to warn – its owner. 

Documenting Your Complete Injuries

A critical part of your dog bite claim is ensuring that your covered losses are accurately represented. Your ability to recover to the extent possible will hinge upon it.

Communicating with the Insurance Company for You

While the pet owner’s insurance provider will be handling your claim, it is important to understand that it is motivated to turn a profit and that it will do what it can to keep your claim as low as possible. One of the tools insurance companies turn to time and again is eliciting statements from claimants that, in the end, harm their own claims. You are always better off when you leave the talking to your dog bite attorney.   

Negotiating a Fair Settlement

Your practiced dog bite attorney will skillfully negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement that fairly addresses the physical, financial, and emotional losses you’ve endured. This includes far-reaching losses, such as ongoing healthcare needs and any decrease you experience in your earning potential.

Preparing for Trial

Your attorney will also be well prepared to take your case to trial if the need arises. The vast majority of dog bite claims are resolved out of court, but if the insurance company chooses not to engage in fair negotiations, your attorney will address the matter with the court. Ultimately, the law determines the compensation that claimants like you are entitled to – not the insurance companies that handle their claims. 

The Statistics

According to Canine Journal, the following sobering statistics apply to dog bites in this country:

  • Every year, there are 4.5 million dog bite incidents.
  • 800,000 of these dog bite victims each year require medical care.

In other words, the risk associated with dog bites is all too real.

 

Connect with a Cumming Dog Bite Attorney Now

Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side with experience working on dog bite cases is extremely helpful in a state like Georgia. The right legal representation can move you toward recovering financially for your full damages from the injuries linked to the attack. Presenting a persuasive claim and supporting evidence is necessary to get the process started and ultimately have a successful claim, and you want assistance with every step of this process.

To discuss how we might recover maximum compensation in your dog bite case, schedule a consultation with Spaulding Injury Law today.