Pets could be an important part of life, but many animal owners fail to realize that their beloved pets can cause serious injuries if they bite another person. If you were bitten by a dog, you may know that the resulting injuries can require expensive medical care. A dog bite could also cause significant emotional trauma, notably for children who may be left to cope with the resulting consequences for the rest of their life.
The Georgia legislature has recognized the danger that dog bites could pose and has enacted legislation designed to protect individuals who have suffered from dog bites. While you may feel reluctant to pursue a lawsuit against a dog owner, notably if that person is a friend or loved one, it could be important to remember that you have rights in these cases.
A Sandy Springs dog bite lawyer could help to evaluate your case and fight for the compensation necessary to cover your medical bills and emotional trauma. By working with a thorough personal injury attorney, you can make sure you are getting the justice you deserve.
Laws for Sandy Springs Dog Owners
The Georgia legislature enacted the Georgia Responsible Dog Owner Act in 2012 to encourage dog owners to act responsibly and to protect the victims of dog bites. The legislation characterizes certain dogs as either dangerous or vicious dogs.
Dangerous dogs are those that have bitten an individual and broken the skin without causing serious injury. Vicious dogs are dogs that have inflicted serious injury by biting an individual. An experienced lawyer could help you determine which characterization the dog that attacked you may fall into.
Owners of dogs that are deemed to be dangerous are required to take certain steps designed to protect those who may come into contact with the dog. This may include:
- Obtaining a certificate of registration for the dog each year;
- Building and maintaining a secure, enclosed space to house the dog; and
- Posting warning signs to all entrances to the property that indicates a dangerous dog lives there.
Owners of vicious dogs are required to take even more extreme precautions. This could include implanting a microchip on the dog that tracks its movements. Owners of vicious dogs are also required to maintain an insurance policy that covers at least $50,000 worth of damage in case the dog bites or attacks again. If a dog bites a second time, it could be euthanized, and dog owners who fail to certify their dog or otherwise take the required precautions could be fined and imprisoned.
An attorney could help you understand Sandy Springs dog bite laws and how they may affect your personal injury case.
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
All dog owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs, and compensation for any injury their pet causes will typically come from their homeowner’s insurance policy. Dealing with these insurance companies are extremely difficult. A dedicated Sandy Springs dog bite lawyer could also negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you are compensated for:
• All medical bills and expenses;
• Pain and suffering;
• Mental anguish;
• Emotional scarring; and
• Any lost wages if the plaintiff must miss work after the bite.
To secure proper compensation, it is important to obtain medical care as soon as possible. It is also important to report the dog bite to the police or animal control, even if the dog owner is a friend or loved one. This could establish important evidence that may help establish liability.
Consult a Sandy Springs Dog Bite Attorney
If you were injured by a dog, contact an experienced Sandy Springs dog bite lawyer to discuss your options today. Many plaintiffs fail to immediately react, thinking they may have provoked the dog or because they do not want the animal or owner to be punished. While these feelings are reasonable, you could also deserve to be compensated for your injuries. This may notably be true if you or your child sustained significant injuries.
Medical care is rarely inexpensive, and another person could be injured if the dog is truly dangerous. Schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer who could fight to protect your rights today.