Dog bite injuries can be traumatic, especially for children. They can also result in significant injuries and damages to children for which compensation can be sought from the dog owner under certain circumstances. These injuries and damages often include:
- Physical pain and suffering (past, present and future)
- Medical expenses
- Scarring and other disfigurement
- Mental suffering like shock, anxiety, worry, etc.
- Wrongful death
Children are injured from dog bites more often than others. Children generally are more susceptible to dog bite injuries than adults, in part because their size makes them more vulnerable to bites in the head/neck region and secondly because their youthful personality makes them more likely to approach or attempt to play with dogs without warning. According to the National Center for Biotechnical Information, a division of the National Institutes for Health, approximately 400,000 children receive medical treatment for dog bite injuries every year in the United States.
Dog owners who know their dog has violent tendencies must exercise extreme caution to keep the dog away from children. Owners must also abide by leash laws to prevent uncontrolled contact between children and dangerous dogs. When dog owners fail to exercise such care, the results can be catastrophic.
Do You Have a Dog Attack Legal Claim?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may have a legal claim against the dog’s owner. However, whether you have a valid legal claim will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Here are some factors to consider:
- Was the dog owned or controlled by someone else? To have a legal claim, the dog must have been owned or controlled by someone other than yourself.
- Did the owner act negligently? If the owner failed to take reasonable steps to control the dog or allowed the dog to run loose or unsupervised, they may be considered negligent.
- Did the dog have a history of aggressive behavior? If the dog had a history of biting or attacking people, this could be evidence that the owner knew or should have known about the dog’s vicious propensity.
- Did you provoke the dog? If you provoked the dog in any way, such as by teasing or hitting it, this could affect your legal claim.
- What are your injuries and damages? To have a legal claim, you must have suffered some form of injury or damages as a result of the dog bite.
At Burnside Law Firm LLP, our personal injury attorneys can help you determine whether you have a legal claim after a dog bite or dog attack. With our depth of knowledge and experience I handling dog bite injury cases in Georgia, we can help you assess your claim and determine the best course of action.
How an Augusta Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help Recover Damages
Dog bites laws are unique to each state. Our personal injury attorneys at Burnside Law Firm have a keen understanding of the laws and legislation that surround dog attacks in Georgia. In doing so, our dog bite lawyers are qualified to help prove dog owner negligence and recover fair compensation. In Georgia, to recover damages for injuries resulting from a dog bite, the plaintiff (injured person) must prove the following:
- The dog’s owner was negligent in handling or controlling the dog.
- The dog had a vicious propensity or a history of aggressive behavior, and the owner knew or should have known about it.
- The plaintiff did not provoke the dog to attack.
If the plaintiff can prove these three elements, they may be entitled to recover damages for their injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
It’s important to note that Georgia’s dog bite laws are not limited to just dog bites. The law also covers injuries caused by a dog’s jumping, knocking down, or otherwise injuring a person.
What are the Leash Laws in Augusta, GA?
Knowing how to represent victims of dog bite injuries means having a full understanding of the specific leash laws in your Georgia city. In Augusta, Georgia, dogs are required to be on a leash or under control of their owners at all times when in public areas. The Augusta City Code Section 6-4-5 states that it is unlawful for any owner to allow their dog to run at large on any public street, sidewalk, park or other public property within the city limits.
The leash should be no longer than six feet in length, and the owner should have direct physical control over the dog while on the leash. This means that retractable leashes that allow the dog to roam freely beyond the six-foot limit are not allowed in public areas.
Owners should also ensure that their dogs do not become a nuisance or danger to others while in public. This includes preventing the dog from jumping on or attacking other people or animals, barking excessively, or damaging property.
Failure to comply with the leash laws in Augusta can result in fines, penalties and serious injuries to others. At Burnside Law Firm, our dog bite attorneys can determine whether an owner was negligent or failed to abide by the proper leash laws in Augusta, which can ultimately improve the outcome of your legal claim.
Dog Bite injuries and Fatalities Caused by Pit Bulls
According to numerous studies, the risk of dog bite injuries to children increases dramatically when they come into contact with certain breeds, especially Pit Bulls. In fact, if someone you loved was killed by a dog, the chances are that it was caused by a Pit Bull.
According to reports from www.dogsbite.org, Pit Bulls were responsible for over 60% of the dog bite fatalities in the United States from 2005 thru 2016. When you add in Rottweillers, the two breeds together account for over 75% of all dog bite fatalities. That equates to over 250 people during that 16 year period alone, and unfortunately many of those were children.
Why Hire an Attorney after a Dog Bite Injury?
It can difficult to file a claim after your dog bite injury, especially if you are an animal lover. However, to ensure you get the most fair compensation for economic and non-economic damages you incurred from the unexpected dog attack, legal representation is critical.
A personal injury attorney from Burnside Law can help you in a dog attack case in the following ways:
- Legal Representation: Our personal injury attorneys can provide legal representation and advocacy on your behalf. They can help you navigate the legal process and deal with insurance companies and the dog owner’s legal team.
- Investigation: Our legal team can investigate the dog attack incident to gather evidence to support your case. This can include interviewing witnesses, obtaining medical records, and reviewing the dog owner’s history of the dog’s behavior.
- Valuation of Damages: A dog bite lawyer can help you assess the damages you have suffered as a result of the dog attack, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They can also help you negotiate a settlement or take your case to court to seek compensation for your losses.
- Knowledge of Laws: As experienced personal injury attorneys, we will have knowledge of the specific laws related to dog attacks in your state, including Georgia’s dog bite laws, and can use this knowledge to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Communication: We can handle communication with the other party and their legal team, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being after your dog attack injury.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer in Augusta
Our law firm has handled numerous dog bite cases in Augusta, Athens, Atlanta and the surrounding areas involving children injured by pit bulls. Sometimes it occurs when the parents let their child go over to someone else’s house to play, and unbeknownst to them the family has a pit bull that attacks and seriously injures their child. Sadly this is all too common.
If your child has been injured by a Pit Bull, contact one of the experienced dog bite attorneys at Burnside Law Firm today for a free consultation.