A dog bite can leave you paralyzed with fear and confusion. However, you should know what needs to happen if a dog bites you to ensure your safety and health.
What do I do if a dog bites me?
Get to safety as quickly as possible to avoid further injury or trauma, and seek prompt medical attention for your wounds.
If you can safely do so, take photos of the wound(s) and any relevant aspects of the scene. Collect as much information as possible – including contact information – from the dog’s owner as well as any witnesses.
Ask witnesses to share any photos or video footage they may have taken. Jot down everything you can remember about the incident as well. Keep any clothing that the victim was wearing at the time, especially if the items are torn or blood-stained.
Report the incident to the police and animal control and gather as much evidence as possible to protect your right to seek compensation for your injuries. A Georgia dog bite lawyer can assist you in pursuing a legal claim.
What can I expect after a dog bite?
Once you have reported your bite, animal control personnel may come out to take your statement and to capture and quarantine the dog.
If you did not receive emergency treatment at the time of the incident, seek medical care for the dog bite as quickly as possible even if you believe the injury is minor. Dog bites can result in serious wounds, posing a high risk for infections, such as tetanus and MRSA. You may also contract rabies from the bite, if the animal did not have an up-to-date rabies vaccine.
Is the owner liable for a dog bite in Georgia?
In Georgia, state dog bite laws hold the animal’s owner responsible in many cases, depending on the circumstances and the animal’s history.
Georgia statutes state that a dog owner is liable for a bite if he knew the animal might act in a dangerous or vicious manner. Establishing this condition is easier if the animal has a history of biting or attacking. However, if the owner allowed the dog to roam loose, local leash laws may also provide a basis for establishing liability. This may also apply if the owner failed to contain the animal securely inside a fenced yard, allowing it to escape and attack.
Even if the owner (or another party) had the animal on a leash but failed to control it, a dog bite attorney may be able to establish liability.
What are my legal options if a dog bit me?
When you sustain a dog bite in Georgia, your options for compensation include filing a claim with the appropriate insurance carrier and filing a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
Homeowner’s insurance typically covers animal bites that occur on the owner’s property. Many renter’s insurance policies also cover dog bite injuries. If the owner does not have insurance that covers the injuries, filing a dog bite lawsuit can provide an effective means of holding the owner liable for his negligence in controlling the animal.
What happens to the dog that bit me?
In Georgia, what happens to a dog after it bites someone depends on whether the dog was sick.
Typically, the local Humane Society or county animal control agency quarantines any dog that has bitten or attacked someone, to determine whether the animal has rabies. They will also evaluate the circumstances of the incident to determine whether the animal should be classified as dangerous or vicious.
In some cases, a judge acting on a request from the local government may order the animal to be euthanized. This outcome is more likely if the animal has rabies, if the dog previously attacked, if the municipality classifies the breed as vicious, or if the owner is convicted on charges related to the incident or the animal.
Can a Georgia dog bite lawyer help me obtain compensation?
If a dog bites you or a loved one, an attorney can assist you in understanding your rights under the law. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. provides complimentary consultations to explore your options for filing an insurance claim or lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to speak to Georgia dog bite lawyer: 404-474-0804.