Pit bulls have earned a reputation for sometimes being dangerous and aggressive. If you or a loved one has suffered a pit bull attack in Atlanta, the experienced attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., are ready to help you.
Georgia Laws Regarding Dog Bites
In Georgia, there are two main ways to hold a dog’s owner liable for an attack: (1) prove that the dog was aggressive or dangerous, which the law calls “vicious propensities,” or (2) prove that the dog owner violated a “leash law” requiring them to keep the dog leashed and under their control.
First and foremost, you can hold a pit bull owner liable if they know their dog is dangerous or has aggressive tendencies. This can be proven by showing that:
- The dog has bitten or attempted to bite other people or animals; and
- The dog owner was careless or let the dog roam unleashed knowing of its aggressive tendencies.
A victim can hold the pit bull owner responsible by showing that the dog should have been leashed or under the owner’s control, but was not. Victims can accomplish this by proving:
- There was a city or county ordinance in place requiring dogs to be leashed or controlled by their owner. These ordinances are usually called “leash laws;” and
- The dog was not leashed or in the control of the owner.
Some states have a “one bite rule,” which means a dog is not considered vicious or dangerous unless it has already bitten someone and the owner is aware.
While Georgia does not technically have a “one bite rule,” a victim still must show that the pit bull bit or attempted to bite someone before or that the owner violated a leash law.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ATLANTA PIT BULL ATTACK
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What to Do Immediately Following a Pit Bull Attack
After a pit bull attack in Atlanta, your health and safety are first and foremost. The subsequent actions you take can help preserve your right to hold the pit bull’s owner liable.
Seek Medical Attention
The very first thing to do after a pit bull attack is to call 911 or visit an emergency room. Depending on the attack, injuries may seem minor. Nevertheless, it is important to get medical care. If you fail to treat the bite, it may turn into a more serious issue, like an infection.
Report the Dog Bite
After a pit bull attack, report the incident to the authorities and/or your treating medical provider. Animals are usually quarantined after an attack.
Collect Evidence and Information
If possible, begin collecting any relevant information as soon as you can. This may include:
- Photos and video of the attack, the dog, and/or your injuries,
- A description of the dog,
- The dog owner’s information,
- The location of the incident, and
- Witness information.
Any information you collect helps to build your case.
Discuss Your Case with an Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer
After a pit bull attack, it is crucial you contact a skilled attorney. Your lawyer will be able to answer any questions you may have and begin working on your case. The sooner you begin working on your claim, the better.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
A pit bull attack can result in a variety of injuries. Some of the most common include, but are not limited to:
- Puncture wounds,
- Cuts and lacerations,
- Face injuries,
- Head and neck injuries, and
- Nerve damage.
In some cases, if left untreated, wounds can become infected. Additionally, some injuries can leave victims with significant, permanent scarring. It is important to get medical treatment as soon as possible to begin the healing process and avoid further complications.
Compensation for Dog Bites in Georgia
Victims of pit bull attacks in Atlanta can sometimes recover compensation for their injuries. Depending on the details of the incident, you may be able to receive economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are directly related to the incident. They include:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages, and
- Lost earning capacity.
Non-economic expenses are connected to the incident but relate more to the physical and emotional harm after a dog attack. These damages include things like:
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental and emotional anguish, and
- Permanent scarring.
A dog bite attorney can evaluate the details of your case and determine the appropriate amount of damages. Your lawyer will work diligently to help you recover the compensation you deserve after a pit bull attack.
Consult with a Qualified Atlanta Dog Bite Attorney
After an Atlanta pit bull attack, you may be wondering what steps to take. A dog bite attorney can review the details of the attack, determine whether you have a valid case, work with witnesses, police, and medical experts to prove your injuries are directly related to the attack; and fight for your right to recover compensation to pay for medical expenses and ongoing treatment so you can focus on your recovery. Do not hesitate to contact an Atlanta dog bite lawyer as soon as possible.
Since 1984, Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., has been dedicated to helping injured clients when they need us the most.
We understand the challenges you face after suffering a traumatic injury like a dog attack, and we’re here to provide compassion and the expert legal representation you need. Contact us today and tell us more about your potential case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Attack Settlements in Georgia
Insurance policies usually cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits, which can be anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000.
An experienced dog bite attorney can help you determine whether you have a case and who should be held responsible. We can help you build a case that will ensure you receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In Georgia, the law requires that a pet be deemed “vicious” or “dangerous” in a dog bite case. Second, the owner must be found negligent or careless with the pet, and third, it must be proven that the person who was attacked didn’t provoke or attack the animal, causing the dog to defend itself.