Dog attacks can be sudden and unexpected. No matter the size of the dog, the potential damage from a dog bite can be severe. These attacks often lead to deep lacerations, scarring, and nerve damage. If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog in Forsyth County, you may have a claim for monetary damages against the owner. A Forsyth County dog bite lawyer could help you determine whether you have a viable claim.
The process to recover compensation can be complicated, and a single error can negatively impact your claim. A skilled personal injury lawyer could help you avoid legal pitfalls that could endanger your case.
Dog Bite Laws in Forsyth County
Many statutes only apply liability to a dog owner after a bite when the animal had previously bitten someone. This rule, known as the one bite rule, protects owners from liability on the theory that they had no notice their dog was dangerous. Once a dog bites another person, their owners are on notice of their violent nature. Georgia uses a modified version of this rule.
Georgia Statute Section 51-2-7 governs liability related to animal attacks, which includes dog bites. As stated above, in Georgia, a dog owner is only liable for injuries caused by their dog if they knew the dog was “vicious.” There are many ways a Forsyth County dog bite attorney can prove an animal is vicious, including:
- The dog has previously bitten someone;
- The dog was roaming in violation of leash laws; or
- The dog showed other signs of aggression like charging, snarling, or lunging.
While evidence of a prior bite is potentially the most straightforward way of showing a dog is vicious, Georgia law offers more flexibility than traditional one bite rule states.
Potential for Settlement in a Lawsuit
Many cases settle long before a trial. In some cases, a dog owner may have coverage through a homeowner’s insurance policy. In those instances, the insurance company will often attempt to resolve the case before trial. However, cases frequently settle at different points in the litigation process.
When liability is clear, some dog bite injuries may conclude quickly. Settlement negotiations between the plaintiff’s counsel and the opposing side occasionally result in a settlement before the filing of a lawsuit. Often, these settlements are spurred by the plaintiff sending a demand letter requesting damages to avoid a suit.
The filing of a lawsuit does not prevent the parties from continuing to negotiate. In fact, a large number of dog bite lawsuits result in a settlement shortly after the filing of a lawsuit.
Another point in the process that frequently results in a settlement is after the close of discovery. A dog bite case hinges upon the owner’s knowledge of their animal. If, after a series of depositions, the plaintiff uncovers proof the owner knew their dog was vicious, the likelihood of a settlement may increase. Regardless of how the case progresses, a Forsyth County dog bite lawyer can be a guide throughout the process.
Consult a Forsythe County Dog Bite Attorney
If you sustained a dog bite injury in Forsyth County, you deserve to recover monetary compensation for your damages. These damages could include your medical bills or wages you missed while recovering. To review the potential damages in your case, contact a Forsyth County dog bite lawyer for a consultation.