Many people have great experiences with dogs, but it is important to understand that there are still dangers, even with dogs you know. It may only take a moment for a dog to inflict serious or even deadly injuries onto someone. This instant can result in lifelong damage, and emotional trauma or fears that can drastically change your life. You could get the help you need with a seasoned personal injury attorney.
Georgia enacted laws to protect individuals from dangerous dog breeds, but unfortunately, dog bites and attacks are not limited to only these breeds. A Cherokee County dog bite lawyer could evaluate your case and help you pursue a favorable resolution while recovering from this traumatic event.
Dog Owner Liability
A person injured by a dog bite or attack must prove that the dog’s owner is liable for the damages. To succeed in this case, the plaintiff must meet the strict Georgia law standards in proving a dog owner’s liability.
Dangerous or Vicious Dog
An individual injured by a dog must first show that the dog was “dangerous” or “vicious”. The most straightforward way of meeting this requirement is to provide evidence of a prior dog bite or attack by that animal. However, there may not always be previous events involving the dog, so it is possible to establish vicious propensity by violating a leash law, or other restrain law or ordinance, including local laws, county ordinances, and court orders (Official Code of Georgia § 51-2-7).
Careless Management by the Dog Owner
After establishing that an owner kept or owned a vicious or dangerous dog, the injured person must prove that the dog owner’s careless management caused the injury. Dog owners owe a legal duty to the public to prevent their pets from causing harm.
Some examples of careless management include failing to secure the dog on a leash or within its confined area, failing to muzzle the dog, and any other careless actions that lead to an injury. A dog owner will often allow a dog off a leash or free it to roam without incident; however, that one time when the dog causes injury could be sufficient to show careless management.
Unprovoked by Injured Person
If a dog is provoked into biting or attacking an individual who was taunting, mocking, or injuring it, the plaintiff may not be permitted to recover against the dog owner. It is a common defense for a dog owner to argue that the provocation caused the dog to attack.
The provocation defense can be difficult to refute because it turns into the dog owner’s word against the injured party’s word. For that reason, a Cherokee County dog attack attorney could assist in investigating the dog bite and collecting evidence to prove the dog owner’s liability.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Dog bites might not look serious as soon as the bite occurs, but even a small bite mark that barely breaks the skin can become worrisome. A dog bite wound can quickly become infected, and there is the potential risk that the dog was infected with a disease such as rabies at the time of the bite. It is critical to get medical attention as soon as possible following a bite so that a professional can look at the wound and provide the necessary treatment.
Another benefit of getting immediate medical attention is that 911 services and the hospitals will notify animal control. This will help gather information about the dog so that the medical professionals can provide the needed care and the patient can obtain evidence that may be relevant in the dog bite case. A Cherokee County animal bite attorney could help acquire the necessary evidence to determine the cause of the accident.
Contact a Cherokee County Dog Bite Attorney Today
You should not be responsible for paying for injuries and damages sustained as a result of a dog owner’s negligence. A Cherokee County dog bite lawyer could help you build a strong claim against negligent dog owners and pursue a positive resolution of a case. Call today for a free consultation.