Our Dog Bites Lawyers in Georgia Can Help You, Today!
If you have been injured in a dog attack in Norcross or elsewhere in Gwinnett County, you may be entitled to financial compensation to pay for your expenses, pain and suffering, and other related losses.
Dog owners in Georgia have a responsibility to control their pets. If they fail in this duty and you are injured as a result, you may be able to hold them financially responsible for the harm you’ve suffered.
Georgia dog bite law is complex. Pursuing a successful claim for compensation can be challenging. To give yourself the best chance of securing the full amount of compensation you need, you should hire an experienced Georgia dog bite lawyer.
A lawyer can investigate your case, gather the evidence, and negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf to help you pursue the full amount of money that you need after a dog attack.
Adamson & Cleveland, LLC have been representing personal injury victims in the Atlanta area since 1994. Our experienced dog bite attorneys will do what it takes to seek full compensation for you after a dog attack.
To learn more about how we can help you pursue a successful claim for compensation, contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Efficient caring law firm.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Dog Bite in Georgia?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to hold the owner of the dog that attacked you financially responsible for your injuries and expenses. However, you will only be able to do this if your case meets certain requirements.
Georgia’s dog bite statute is unique. In some states, you can hold a dog owner liable for injuries their dog causes regardless of the dog’s history. In other states, you can hold a dog owner liable for injuries their dog inflicts only if the dog had bitten someone in the past. Georgia’s dog bite laws rest somewhere in the middle.
Georgia is a negligence state for dog bites, meaning that you must prove the four elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. However, Georgia uses a trimmed-down definition of negligence for dog bites.
Even if the dog that bit you had never bitten anyone in the past, you may still be able to hold the owner accountable if the owner should have known the dog was dangerous, or if the owner was in violation of leash laws. Even if a dog had never behaved aggressively in the past, allowing a dog to “go at liberty” in violation of leash laws could count as proof of dangerousness under Georgia law.
It is important to note that if you provoked the dog, you may not be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Similarly, you may not be able to recover compensation if you were trespassing on the dog owner’s property at the time of the attack.
Dog bite claims are usually brought against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance. For this reason, if you were attacked by a dog belonging to a friend, family member, or neighbor, you should not hesitate to bring a claim. The money for your compensation will most likely not come out of their pocket, but rather from an insurance policy they have already paid for.
We recognize that pursuing a claim against someone you know can be stressful and awkward, which is why it is especially helpful to hire a lawyer. Allowing a lawyer to negotiate with your friend or neighbor’s insurer on your behalf can help to minimize any strain on your relationship, while letting you recover compensation to pay for your injuries.
How an Animal Attack Lawyer Can Help You
Hiring a lawyer is a crucial step in pursuing compensation for a dog bite claim. A lawyer familiar with Georgia’s unique dog bite statute will know what evidence will be necessary to prove that the dog in question was dangerous. “Dangerous” has a very specific meaning under Georgia law, which an experienced lawyer will understand and will collect evidence to prove.
While you focus on your recovery, your lawyer can gather the necessary evidence, file all the necessary paperwork, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Lawyers can handle all communications with insurers for you. Insurance adjusters often use deceptive tactics to trick injury victims into admitting fault for their injuries. With a lawyer handling communication on your behalf, you can ensure that this does not happen to you.
If you are found to be partially responsible for your injuries, such as if the insurer argues that you provoked the dog, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault.
For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in compensation but are found to be 25% responsible for your injuries, you will ultimately receive only $75,000. Furthermore, if you are found to be 50% or more responsible for your injuries, you will be barred from recovering anything. A lawyer can advocate on your behalf to ensure you are assigned as little blame as possible so that you can recover the maximum amount of compensation.
It is further possible that insurance will reach out immediately after a dog attack to offer you a settlement. If you are injured, stressed, and facing unexpected medical bills, it may be tempting to accept this offer. However, be advised that these offers are usually lowball figures that will not cover all of your losses.
Don’t accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without first speaking to an attorney. A lawyer can evaluate the settlement offer to determine whether it appropriately compensates you for your losses and can negotiate on your behalf if it doesn’t.
Why Dog Bites Can Be So Serious
The immediate consequences of dog bites are often jagged, open wounds. However, a more serious risk may be infection. About half of dog bites introduce bacteria, which can require hospitalization and antibiotics to treat. In rare cases, the dog may introduce a more serious illness, such as rabies, which can be fatal.
If you are attacked by a dog, learn everything you can about the dog that bit you and get medical treatment as soon as possible.
Some dog bites can also lead to permanent disfigurement. People can lose fingers or suffer serious scars as a result of a dog attack. In tragic cases, usually involving children, people can even die as a result of a dog attack.