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In 2003 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study regarding the number of reported dog bite injuries in the United States. The report concluded that in 1994 alone there were over 4.7 million dog bites. Most involved injuries like punctures and lacerations but some advanced to infection, cellulitis and even amputation. Many required surgery, left scars and even required the victim to undergo painful treatment against rabies. If you have suffered an injury from a dog bite, contact our law firm today for a free consultation about your personal injury claim.

For more statistics on the public safety issue caused by dangerous dogs and particular breeds see;

When a vicious animal bites or injures another person in Georgia, the owner or keeper of that animal can be held responsible, especially when they allow the animal to run loose, either intentionally or by careless management. They can also be held responsible for damages if they knew that the animal had a tendency to bite or attack. For this reason it is important to contact an experienced attorney when a dog bite injury occurs.

Dog Owners Can Be Held Liable for Dog Bite Injuries

While dogs are not automatically considered vicious or dangerous animals, this can be proven on a case by case basis. Proof usually comes from evidence of a prior bite or an attempted bite which placed the owner on notice that the dog had violent tendencies. This makes it possible to hold the owner responsible when injuries occur. The true test of liability is usually the owner’s superior knowledge of the dog’s vicious temperament.

While proof of the dog’s prior bites and dangerous tendencies is always important, it is not always easy to find. Often the owner says the dog has never bitten anyone before. If that is true, it may be difficult to hold them responsible for your injuries. So how do you know if the owner is telling the truth or just trying to avoid responsibility?

Why You Need an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer by Your Side

Hiring an experienced dog bite lawyer to handle your case is a big advantage. The lawyers at Burnside Law Firm are prepared to investigate your dog bite case in an effort to determine if the dog has demonstrated vicious tendencies before and if the owner knew about it. This often requires talking to neighbors, utility workers, postal employees and others who have encountered the dog before. All of these can be valuable sources of information.

Another way is to request records from the dog’s veterinarian. If, for example, those records show that they required the dog to be muzzled on each visit because it tried to bite the vet or his staff before, that can be used to help prove that the owner knew the dog would bite. Records from the local animal control or police department can also reveal prior occurrences.

In short, each case must be investigated thoroughly to determine if the dog has exhibited aggressive or vicious behavior before. For this reason, you need an experienced dog bite attorney at your side.

Violation of a Local Leash Law Can Serve as Proof of Vicious Propensity

Georgia law states that in proving vicious propensity it shall be sufficient to show that the dog was required by city or county ordinance to be on a leash at the time of the occurrence. Therefore, a dog owner may be liable where their dog is not properly restrained, in violation of a local ordinance or leash law, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. Researching the local leash laws in your area can be critical to your case. You can find the Augusta-Richmond County animal ordinances at

Some things to keep in mind if you have suffered a dog bite:

Seek Medical Treatment Immediately: It is difficult to tell if a dog that has bitten you has rabies. Often, dog owners fail to keep vaccinations current. Additionally, a dog’s mouth may contain harmful bacteria that can spread to your blood stream causing an infection. As such, it is best to seek immediate medical treatment to ensure you have not been exposed to rabies and to have medical personnel evaluate the wound to determine what medical care is necessary. Further, immediate emergency medical treatment after a dog bite will help to document your injuries.

Report the Bite: Call animal control or the police to have an investigation started. This will help to further document the claim and will help determine if the dog has the proper vaccinations. It may also prevent someone else being injured by the same dog.

Photograph Your Injuries: It is important to document the extent of your injuries. Juries and insurance adjusters expect to see photos of the wound to establish the seriousness of the dog bite, the pain that was caused, and the recovery period.

Get names and addresses: The identity of the dog owner and the location where the dog was staying are critical elements to pursuing a claim. This is another reason you should always report the claim to the proper government agency.

How Much Can You Recover for Your Dog Bite Claim?

If liability can be established against the owner of the dog that bit you, then you may be entitled to recover for all injuries and damages proximately caused by the owner’s negligence. This typically includes such things as medical expenses, lost wages, mental and physical pain and suffering, physical disfigurement and scarring and permanent disability. If you live in Augusta, Athens, Atlanta or the surrounding areas, find out more about what damages you may be entitled to recover by contacting one of our experienced dog bite attorneys today.

How Will You Get Paid for the Injuries and Damages You Suffered?

Establishing a right to recover for the injuries and damages you have suffered from a dog bite is only half the battle. You must also identify a source from which to recover the money necessary to compensate you for those injuries. Potential sources may include:

  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Renters Insurance
  • Medical Payments Coverage
  • Personal assets of the dog owner

Identifying all sources of funds available to compensate for your injuries and losses may require an experienced dog bite lawyer. So contact us today for a free consultation.

Contact Us


2919 Professional Pkwy

Augusta, GA, 30907

Phone: (706) 432-8320


325 North Milledge Avenue

Athens, GA, 30601

Phone: (706) 227-4264

We have recovered millions for our clients

The attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP have over 30 years of collective experience handling personal injury claims. Over that time, we have helped hundreds of injured people recover the compensation they deserve and need in order to begin putting their lives back together. This list is just a sample of the recoveries we have obtained for some of our clients here and during our time at our former firm, Burnside Wall LLP. Obviously, success in obtaining significant judgments and settlements for other clients is no guarantee of success in your case. Each case must be evaluated and handled based on the individual merits of that particular case. To discuss the facts of your case and learn more about your legal rights, contact one of the personal injury attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP for a free initial consultation.

Medical Malpractice / Head Injury

$4,500,000 settlement

Pharmacy & Prescription Error

$1,800,000 settlement

Medical Malpractice / Anesthesia Injury

$1,600,000 settlement

Auto Accident / Multiple Fractures

$1,250,000 judgment

Auto Accident / Wrongful Death

$1,000,000 settlement

Dram Shop / Wrongful Death

$1,000,000 settlement

Read more

Meet The Team

Thomas R. Burnside III Personal Injury Attorney

Thomas R Burnside III

Thomas R. Burnside III is a personal injury lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have suffered injury as a result of automobile collisions, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, work related accidents or other causes. With over 20 years of experience in personal injury law at both the trial and appellate court levels, Attorney Burnside has represented people with brain and head trauma...

Meet Thomas Burnside
Mark B. Williamson Personal Injury Attorney

Mark B. Williamson

Mark B. Williamson has been engaged in a civil litigation practice since 1997, both at the trial and appellate court levels, focusing primarily on personal injury related cases. The personal injury litigation focuses on the representation of individuals who have been injured or damaged as the result of automobile accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, and workplace injuries.

Meet Mark Williamson
Garon Muller Personal Injury Attorney

Garon Muller

Garon Muller is a trial lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have been seriously injured or damaged through the negligence or recklessness of others, including automobile collisions, workplace injuries, premises injuries, or defective products. Before beginning his practice in the representation of injured individuals, Mr. Muller served the community as an Assistant District Attorney...

Meet Garon Muller

Our Client Reviews

Burnside Law Firm

5.0 / 5.0

Based on 38 reviews

Erin Wren

After my car accident they helped me every step of the way! They were up front and answered any questions I had! They negotiated the insurance and got a higher settlement than was offered! I would definitely use them again!

Terri Hawkins

My husband and I had an awesome experience in dealing with Attorney Mark Williamson and the entire staff at the Burnside Law Firm. We received exceptional service and was very pleased with the outcome. Mr. Williamson and his colleagues were very helpful and assisted us from the beginning to the end. We highly recommend the Burnside Law Firm.

Damien Lanclos

I have known Thomas Burnside and his family for years as I grew up with Thomas. I have recently had the pleasure of meeting his partner, Mark Williamson. There is an aphorism that I have found to be universally true, "A company is known by its people." Thomas, Mark and their staff are great people. I have leaned on Thomas for legal advice not related to his expertise and he has referred me to others who have taken good care of my personal and business interests.

Debbie Walker

In November 2017, I was in a car accident and I decided to seek out legal assistance. I chose to go with Burnside Law Firm, LLP because of their five star rating. My inital consultation was with attorney, Mr. Garon Muller. I knew immediately that I wanted Mr. Muller to take my case. His professionalism and expertise in personal injury made my decision easy. Mr. Muller maintained his professionalism throughout my case. He kept me updated on a regular basis via telephone or email. He was always available to me when I call. I did not have to wait 24 hours to get a call back from him. I would greatly recommend Mr. Muller and the Burnside Law Firm, LLP.

Rick Estep

Burnside Law Firm is who you want to represent you. Mr. Muller came to our house for a free consultation without hesitation. He guided us and overcame every obstacle we encountered. He secured the maximum insurance limits for us and we couldn't be more happy. If you are injured, DO NOT attempt to recoup compensation without the expertise of a trusted, skilled and able law firm to be your voice. THANK YOU MR. MULLER!!!

Jennifer Malonjao

Burnside Law Firm LLP is one of the best law firms in Augusta. Before starting my lawsuit I checked out a few places and Burnside felt to be the best. They did not let me down. Mr. Mark Williamson was my attorney and throughout my entire case he was extremely easy to talk to and I felt like I was treated like a person, and not just a check. He worked very hard on my case and I feel as if I could not have received the settlement I did with anyone else. He made sure my husband and I knew everything that was going on throughout the entire process. I will always recommend Burnside to anyone that needs legal assistance. The entire staff is very friendly and welcoming from your first step in the door on day one to your last step out the door when your case is complete. I am beyond satisfied.

Joseph Mitchell

One of the best experiences I have ever had, friendly staff, my lawyer Mark Williamson was very ho est and detailed in what the procedures he was able to offer. I will definitely come back with anything I need again. I highly recommend

Alexander Hughes

Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm makes client satisfaction his priority. Mr. Muller made sure that I had a lucid understanding during every discussion. He never made a decision without my input and made me feel like we were partners. Garon Muller was very professional and push for the maximum dollar amount from the insurance company. Me and my family considered ourselves blessed to have been represented by Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm. We highly recommend Garon Muller and Burnside Law Firm! Burnside Law Firm staff are exceptional and exceeded our expectations.

Free case evaluation


    2919 Professional Pkwy

    Augusta, GA, 30907

    Phone: (706) 432-8320


    325 North Milledge Avenue

    Athens, GA, 30601

    Phone: (706) 227-4264