Canines remain some of the most popular pets on the planet due to the love and devotion they provide. However, dogs often become dangerous following improper socialization and mistreatment. If a canine recently bit you, contact a Duluth dog bite lawyer from Barrios Virguez as soon as possible.
Depending on the nature of the attack and the extent of your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation that helps you recover from your injuries and move forward with your life.
Common Injuries Caused by Canine Attacks
Medium and large dogs are capable of inflicting serious injuries. Among the most common injuries from dog attacks include the following:
- Puncture wounds
- Head injuries
- Neck, shoulder, and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Muscle, ligament, and tendon tears
- Loss of limbs
If dog bites are not cleaned and dressed right away, they can become infected and cause further health issues and pain. Puncture wounds are especially susceptible to infections because bacteria can get trapped under the surface. Moreover, puncture wounds do not usually bleed and therefore do not clean bacteria from the wound via blood.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are often common after dog attacks. The individual might have recurring nightmares or flashbacks about the attack, experience trouble sleeping, become socially distant and depressed, or engage in destructive behavior, among other symptoms.
Should a dog attack occur, seeking medical treatment is the first step. Not only does immediate treatment reduce the risk of infection and other injury complications, but it also provides a medical record that a dog bite lawyer in Duluth, GA, can use as evidence. It is also necessary to report the attack to the local police, animal control organization, or sheriff’s department, as this provides more evidence to strengthen the legal claim, as do images of the injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Duluth, call 678-888-2222
Evaluating Georgia’s Dog Bite Laws
Some states follow the “one bite rule” concerning canine-related personal injury claims, such as Kansas, Alaska, Maryland, New York, and Mississippi. This rule protects dog owners from paying significant compensation to individuals who are “attacked” by their pets if the animals have no previous history of violence. Georgia is among these states and refers to the Responsible Dog Ownership Law in canine attack claims.
How a Dog Bite Case Has Merit
For a dog bite case to have merit, the plaintiff must prove the attack was unprovoked and that the dog was not on a lease, behind a fence, or otherwise restrained. For example, an electrician stops by a dog owner’s house to perform rewiring work. The owner knew the electrician would arrive between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm but did not restrain their dog.
The canine attacked the electrician upon entering despite the serviceperson ignoring the animal, causing them to sustain several puncture wounds. Even though the dog had no history of aggressive behavior, its owner did not restrain them and will likely pay the electrician economic and non-economic damages on the grounds of infection risks.
Some instances that exempt the owner from paying damages in Georgia involve trespassing or behaving inappropriately. If a person trespasses on the dog owner’s property and the canine attacks them for defensive reasons, the owner does not owe the individual duty of care. For the duty of care to be owed, the individual must be a guest, invitee, or licensee, such as the electrician above.
Exemptions in a Dog Bite Case
Other exemptions include the plaintiff purposefully teasing, taunting, or trying to hurt the dog. If the canine reacts defensively, the plaintiff cannot claim damages. Such dogs are typically on leashes, in kennels or other enclosures, or behind fences when they are taunted or people try to hurt them.
Dog owner defenses can also include the canine protecting its owner. For example, if the plaintiff tried to injure the defendant and the dog intervened, the defendant is not liable. Military and police dogs are typically exempt as well.
For example, the individual cannot file a personal injury claim if a police dog injures a criminal who just robbed a retail store. The dog was simply performing its duties as a member of the police team.
Duluth Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 678-888-2222
The Statute of Limitations in Georgia Regarding Dog Bite Cases
Since dog bites are a type of personal injury claim, a plaintiff has two years to file their claim with assistance from a dog bite attorney in Duluth, GA. The two-year rule applies to injuries the plaintiff sustained, such as puncture wounds and head trauma. If the plaintiff’s property was damaged because of the incident, such as damage to their vehicle, they have two years to file a property damage claim.
Common economic and non-economic damages in dog bite cases include:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Trauma counseling
- Ongoing physical or occupational therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
Economic damages refer to monetary losses relating to the accident, while non-economic damages concern the emotional and psychological turmoil it can create. Punitive damages where the defendant is “punished” for extreme wrongdoing are not common in dog bite cases. For such damages to apply, the owner must have purposefully tried to harm the plaintiff with their dog or has been a continual menace to the neighborhood for their dangerous canine.
Discuss Your Claim with a Duluth Dog Bite Attorney Today
As difficult as the recovery can be, it is important to contact a dog bite lawyer in Duluth, GA, as quickly as possible. You will avoid the statute of limitation issues and hopefully receive the compensation you deserve promptly. Collecting damages relieves the stress you do not need during this trying time.
To take the first step in your dog bite claim, contact Barrios Virguez Attorneys. This esteemed law firm, with offices in Duluth and Augusta, GA, provides representation for various personal injury claims and immigration law services. Call our office, or submit our contact form today to schedule a free initial consultation.