Dog bite injuries that require medical treatment are more common in the United States than many people think. In fact over 800K injuries are treated by US doctors every year, with a large portion being children who are under 13 years old. Another little known fact is that people in Georgia are at especially high risk, with our state falling at number nine in the top ten states for dog bite injuries, according to a study conducted by State Farm Insurance.
State Farm also revealed that they alone paid close to $4 million in damages for more than 115 Georgia dog bite injury claims in a single year (2014). And this is despite the complex dog bite laws that exist in Georgia, making it difficult for the injured to recover their damages after a dog bite incident. Many states have strict liability for dog bites and attacks, meaning that even if the dog had never bitten or attacked anyone in the past, the owner is still legally responsible for any injuries that occur from the first time that the dog does hurt someone. Georgia, on the other hand, requires that the victim of a dog bite injury prove that the dog was known to be dangerous and/or that the owner was negligent in allowing the bite or attack to occur.
Georgia law certainly doesn’t make it easy to recover your damages after a dog bite, and the state tends to favor the dog owner over the victim. You may be able to prove that the dog was aggressive or that it has been known to be vicious in the past, maybe even has attacked others; yet, you must also establish that the owner of the dog was negligent in some way and that you behaved appropriately before and after the dog bite or attack incident occurred. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff, and the best thing that you can do after a Georgia dog bite or attack against yourself or your child is to follow the advice on this page and contact the attorneys at The Law Office of John. B. Jackson for a free consultation as soon as possible.
We’ll go into detail about the types of injuries that you might sustain from a Georgia dog bite or attack, the burden of proof that you’ll have to meet, and the important steps that you need to take after a dog bite or attack occurs, though the most important thing that you can do to protect your rights is to seek medical attention right away, gather the contact information of witnesses, report the incident to animal control and to the police, and contact an attorney.
Dog Bite and Attack Injuries that are Common in Georgia
Some of the most commonly seen injuries from dog bites and attacks in Georgia include lacerations, infected wounds, scarring and disfigurement (often to the face), fractured bones, damage to the muscles and nerves, and psychological trauma that can leave lasting effects.
Burden of Proof for Georgia Dog Bite Victims
Anyone who has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Georgia has to meet their burden of proof in an effort to obtain compensation for their injuries and damages. To do so, you must prove that the dog was dangerous or vicious, that the dog’s owner knew that this was the case, and the dog’s owner allowed for the situation where the dog was able to bite or attack the victim. For example, if the dog bit or attacked someone in the past, the owner knew that this had happened, and the owner failed to restrain the dog, then proving these factors will be essential to your claim. If you cannot prove this, then you will not receive compensation. This is why it is so helpful to work with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney who knows how to establish these important details and meet the burden of proof that falls on you.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite or Attack
There are a few things that you can do immediately after a dog bite or attack incident to strengthen your case and improve the outcome. You should get the contact information of the dog’s owner, report the incident to the police and to animal control, and take photographs of the injuries and of the dog, if you can. You should also seek treatment right away from the nearest emergency room. Finally, you should contact the attorneys at The Law Office of John B. Jackson to ensure that your rights are protected and your case is pursued with legal expertise and professionalism. We’re happy to offer a free consultation and get you started on the right path to recovering compensation for your injuries and damages.