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ANIMAL ATTACKS / DOG BITES

Under Georgia laws, the owner or keeper of a dog or animal is responsible if the dog is not managed properly and bites or injures a person. The Georgia statute O.C.G.A. 51-2-7 states that a person who:

…owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous (dog)…and who by careless management or by allowing the dog to go at liberty… may be liable in damages” to the person injured, and that an animal’s (dog’s) vicious propensity (nature)” is shown by proving when the attack happened the animal was required by a local ordinance to be at heel or on a leash. 

Even if the dog didn’t bite, but you were injured when a dog chased or lunged at you or jumped on you, you may have a case. It’s recommended to discuss your unique situation with a personal injury attorney. A consultation with our law firm about your animal attack or dog bite is always free and there is no obligation to take any type of legal action. It is simply a way to have your questions answered and be advised of your legal rights.

A dog or animal attack can result in unexpected significant medical expenses including plastic surgery and therapy to treat emotional injuries and PTSD. These situations can be extremely difficult if the victim is a child.

Homeowners, business owner and renter’s insurance cover most dog bite claims and lawsuits.  There may be some exceptions with insurance policies excluding certain breeds of dogs like pit bulls or rottweilers. A personal injury attorney with experience in cases with dog bites and animal attacks can help you navigate the complexities of proving negligence and negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN BITTEN OR ATTACKED BY A DOG?

  1. Seek immediate medical care: disinfecting the wound, getting stitches and a tetanus shot are imperative to prevent infection. It will also provide necessary documentation of your injuries to support your dog bite claim.
  2. Document as much as possible: take photos of your dog bite injuries, keep any torn or bloodied clothes, obtain the names of any potential witnesses, if you are a bicyclist who was injured by a dog attack and have cameras on your bicycle you need to preserve the footage.
  3. Get the name and contact information of the dog owner including information about how recently the dog received a rabies shot.
  4. Contact your local animal control, especially if the animal is a stray.
  5. Contact an experienced Georgia dog bite lawyer. A consultation with Hagen Rosskopf about your animal attack or dog bite is always free and there is no obligation to take any type of legal action.

GOOD INFORMATION FOR PUP OWNERS OF “DANGEROUS BREEDS”

The CDC reports that an estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year and around 885,000 require medical attention for these injuries. It does happen. If you don’t have dog liability insurance and your pup bites someone, you have a lot to lose, maybe even your four-legged companion. The average dog bite settlement in Georgia was $32,000 in 2014. Dog liability insurance is a special policy that you can get to insure yourself if your pup might be considered a “dangerous dog breed”.  It’s better safe than sorry!

 

Close-up of male paramedic dressing elbow wound
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