Victims of dog bites should not have to pay for an injury caused by another person’s dog—especially when the victim did not provoke the attack. Here, we’ll explore who might be liable when a dog attacks someone and how much a dog bite victim may be able to recover in a dog bite case.
If you or a loved one has serious injuries from a dog bite and need immediate assistance, please reach us online or call (706) 354-4000 today for a free consultation with one of our Georgia dog bite attorneys.
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite?
In Georgia, a dog’s owner is usually found liable when their dog attacks someone, if they know or should have known that their dog is dangerous. Thus, proving liability requires the injured person to show that the dog’s owner was aware of their dog’s vicious tendencies.
To prove a dog has vicious tendencies, the injured party must show that the dog that attacked them should have been on a leash or at heel as provided by Georgia’s Responsible Dog Ownership Law. Proof of vicious tendencies may also be shown if the same dog has attacked someone else.
How Much Can I Recover in a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
If a dog’s bite injured you in Georgia, your recovery depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries and the liable party’s assets.
Severity of Dog Bite Injuries
The amount of compensation you receive from a dog bite injury depends on the severity of your injuries and the effects of the bite. Typically, the more severe your injuries, the more you can recover.
Some examples include:
- Visible scars or other disfigurement
- Permanent damage or impairment
- Injuries requiring emergency medical attention
- Injuries requiring surgery or intensive medical care
- Mental trauma requiring the victim to seek mental health therapy or another form of counseling
- Lost wages
Whether dog bite victims recover anything for their medical bills usually depends on the dog owner’s available coverage. Since someone rarely has enough personal assets to cover medical bills from a serious dog bite, the most viable option for recovery is the dog owner’s liability insurance.
Insurance coverage for dog attacks typically extends to places outside of the home. Many people in Georgia carry liability protection under their homeowner’s policy. The idea behind this coverage is that a judgment against a homeowner can put their home at risk.
Policy limits typically range from $100,000 to $500,000, depending on the owner’s coverage. Some renters have liability insurance, too. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you discover all the possible options for recovery so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Dog Bite Settlements in Georgia
Dog bite settlement amounts are fact-specific and can drastically vary, so there really isn’t an “average” settlement amount in Georgia or anywhere else. For example, the average settlement for a dog bite to the face may be higher than a dog bite settlement for an arm or leg injury. An experienced attorney will do their due diligence to ensure you receive the settlement amount your injury deserves.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Receiving compensation for pain and suffering depends on the severity of your injuries and how much the injury has affected your life. Since pain and suffering are not as tangible as physical injuries, it is much harder to quantify and will benefit from the insight an experienced injury attorney brings to the table.
We Can Help
The attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. are experienced at navigating complex legal cases. We help victims across Georgia receive the compensation they need to pay their medical bills, lost wages, and continue on with their life following a dog bite injury.