According to a report by the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly 85 million dogs are living in the United States. Each year, approximately 4.5 million people, mostly children, are bitten.
A Marietta Personal injury lawyer works to ensure victims can get compensation, pay medical bills, and reduce the stress of negotiating with insurance companies.
There are several key measures to take in the event of a dog bite.
Seek Immediate Medical Care
The Cleveland Clinic advises seeking medical attention immediately after a dog bite. Infection is the greatest risk after a dog bite. Even relatively small bites occur with a risk of infection and exposure to disease. Your doctor can offer effective treatments against infection and prescribe pain medication or antibiotics.
Steer Clear of Social Media
Posting information about your dog bite can feel like a natural step. However, posts on social media may have a negative outcome if you continue with a legal case. Avoid posting photos, comments, or accusatory posts.
Pull Your Documents Together
Keep track of all the bills for medical treatment and care. Organize documents such as bills, receipts, deductibles, and any fees associated with treatment in one place. Bring this information to help streamline conversations about your case. Your attorney will want to review these in putting together a claim.
Wait With Insurance Decisions
The dog owner’s insurance company will likely contact you about a settlement. These settlements are often done early and quickly but may not be in your best interests. Rather than deciding on the spot, take down the information. Talk with a personal injury lawyer first to discuss your options.
Discuss Your Case
Discussing a dog bite with an experienced attorney might be a way to investigate your legal options. A Marietta personal injury attorney will gather information such as photos, police reports, and witness statements. In preparing a case, a lawyer will carefully take time to investigate any previous incidents with this dog and evaluate your unique circumstances.
Georgia Laws About Liability
According to a NOLO article, Georgia law outlines three criteria that apply in which a dog owner can be liable to someone who is injured by the owner’s dog:
- The dog is considered to be a “vicious or dangerous animal”
- The incident happened through “careless management” or “by allowing the animal to go at liberty”
- The injured person did not “provoke” the injury by their own actions.
Ga. Code § 51-2-7 (2022) notes that in proving “vicious propensity,” it is enough to say that the animal was required to be on a leash or required by local law to be controlled at the time of the incident.
Understanding The Law Regarding a Dog Bite
The laws regarding dog bites can be complex and complicated. A legal expert can evaluate each case and determine who may be liable. An attorney is familiar with gathering evidence to build a case, establishing the extent of injuries, calculating a reasonable settlement for damages, and negotiating a payout.
In addition, an attorney can file dog bite lawsuits within the statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of the injury.