In addition to being painful, dog bites may also result in high medical bills, time lost from work, and trauma for the rest of your life. Under certain circumstances, victims may be able to file a lawsuit against the dog owner to claim compensation for their losses and damages, including pain and suffering.
However, these cases are not as straightforward in Gwinnett County as they are in other states. In order to ensure you have valid grounds for a strong civil case, you may want to talk to a qualified personal injury attorney who could help you pursue all compensation to which you are entitled. A Gwinnett County dog bite lawyer could prove to be a valuable asset in your compensation claim.
Dog Bites and Negligence
In Gwinnett County, all dog bite cases revolve around negligence or the idea that someone was to blame for the dog bite. While other states have a strict liability law that holds dog owners responsible any time their dog bites or attacks, someone, an injured party in Georgia must be able to prove that the dog owner in their case was negligent.
In order to prove negligence, a dog bite victim must be able to prove one of two elements that serve as grounds for a lawsuit. The first is that the dog was vicious or violent and that the dog owner knew of this. This could be proven if the dog bit someone else in the past, or if it was previously reported to the Gwinnett County animal control services.
The second element is that the owner did not have proper control of the dog, either in a fenced yard or on a leash. In Gwinnett County, all dogs that are not contained must be controlled on a leash. If a dog owner fails to do this, they could be found negligent if the dog bites or hurts someone, even if they did not know the dog had a history of aggression or violence. Speak with a Gwinnett County dog bite lawyer for more information.
Complications in Proving Negligence
Dog owners may raise a number of different defenses after their dog has bitten someone. One of the most common is that they did not have any knowledge their dog had violent tendencies. If the dog has never been reported as being dangerous or has never bitten someone before, that factor could make a dog bite case very complicated.
Alternatively, if a dog was on the dog owner’s property and fenced or gated in, and someone entered the property and was bitten by the dog, the dog owner may not be found negligent. This is because, under Gwinnett County law, the dog was properly contained and was not allowed to run at large. In the same vein, if a dog is provoked and bites someone as a result, the dog owner may not be found negligent.
While these defenses may make a dog bite case seem unlikely to succeed, an experienced Gwinnett County dog bite lawyer may know how to address these counterarguments and work to prove that the dog owner was in fact negligent.
Hiring a Gwinnett County Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bite victims in Gwinnett County have a timeframe of two years to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog that attacked them. This may seem like a large window, but these cases sometimes take a long time to review and investigate, particularly when the dog owner challenges their own culpability for the bite.
Because of this, it is recommended that you speak to a Gwinnett County dog bite lawyer right away. You may be eligible for compensation, but it would almost certainly be difficult for you to prove a case on your own. An experienced attorney could help pursue compensation quickly and efficiently, so call today to set up a consultation.