Helping Lawrenceville Dog Bite Victims Recover
Vicious and dangerous dogs can cause Lawrenceville victims to sustain severe and lifelong injuries. In fact, in some cases, dog bites can even lead to premature death. Lawrenceville’s elderly and small children are especially susceptible to attacks and bites by vicious dogs.
When it comes to Lawrenceville dog bites, Georgia employs a negligence standard. If a vicious dog attack or bite injured you or a person you love, there are legal rights and options available to you. The first thing that you should do after a dog bite is to seek prompt medical treatment for any injury or injuries you sustained in the attack. Moreover, you must take swift action to retain experienced legal counsel to represent you and advocate for your interests in any claim or lawsuit that you end up filing.
The Lawrenceville personal injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can investigate the circumstances of your dog bite and explain all of your legal rights and options to you. We can also take prompt action to file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf against a negligent dog owner.
Types of Injuries That Dog Bite Victims Sustain
According to recent statistics, dog bites continue to be a significant and frequent problem across the United States. Victims of dog attacks and bites can sustain severe injuries, some of which may be permanent and leave lasting effects on the victim for the rest of their life.
Dog bite attacks can result in these serious injuries:
- Cuts, lacerations, and abrasions
- Bite marks, teeth marks, or lesions on the surface of the victim’s skin
- Puncture wounds on the victim’s skin
- Soft tissue injuries, including soft tissue or muscular sprains, strains, and contusions
- Fractures and broken bones that result from the dog attacking their victim and the victim falling to the ground
- Traumatic head and brain injuries occur when the victim falls to the ground during the attack
- Spinal cord and back injuries that occur when the dog bite victim falls on their back or spine during a dog attack
- Shoulder strains and sprains that may ultimately lead to a rotator cuff tear and the need for a rotator cuff repair
- Death, especially in cases where elderly individuals or small children are the victims of dog bites
If a vicious dog attack or bite injured you or someone you love, the experienced and compassionate Lawrenceville dog bite lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm are here for you. Our legal team understands the pain and suffering associated with dog bite injuries, not to mention the fact that these injuries are entirely preventable by keeping a vicious and dangerous dog restrained adequately. Our team will review and investigate your case and help you pursue the monetary damages that you need for you to feel whole again.
Georgia Law on Dog Bites
Georgia has very specific laws that pertain to attacks and bites by vicious dogs that occur within the state. Other states in the country utilize a “one bite rule.” Under this rule, a dog owner can be liable for a dog bite if the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog had vicious or dangerous propensities. Other jurisdictions utilize the rule of strict liability when it comes to dog bites, and a dog owner can be liable for bites regardless of fault.
In Georgia, dog owners whose dogs bite other people may not be deemed strictly liable. However, a dog owner can be liable if they exhibit negligence when caring for a dangerous dog.
Per Georgia’s Responsible Dog Ownership Law, a dangerous dog is:
- A dog that causes death to a pet animal during a time when the dog is not on its owner’s property.
- A dog that uses its teeth to create a significant puncture wound on an individual’s skin (that is, more than a small scratch or nip).
- A dog that threatens someone so severely (more than just baring its teeth, growling, or barking) that the victim reasonably believes that the dog creates a serious threat of bodily injury either to the victim or to someone else in the vicinity.
This same law also characterizes a dog as a vicious dog, should the dog cause a person to sustain a serious bodily injury while the person is attempting to escape from an attack by the vicious dog.
A bodily injury is deemed serious in these instances:
- The injury creates a significant risk of death
- The injury is one that requires either a hospital stay or some form of plastic surgery
- The injury is one that leads to a severe or deep cut that a healthcare provider can treat with stitches
- The injury includes one or more fractures or broken bones
- The injury leads to some form of prolonged and significant health impairment, including damage to a bodily organ or infection
Satisfying the Legal Elements of a Dog Bite Claim
To prevail in a negligence claim arising from a dog bite incident, you must satisfy the legal elements by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, you have to show that it is more likely than not that the dog owner was negligent and that they acted unreasonably under the circumstances, resulting in the dog bite that caused your injuries.
For a Lawrenceville dog owner to be responsible for injuries and damages resulting from a dog bite, you must prove:
- The individual owns or keeps a dangerous or vicious dog
- The individual fails to care for the dog, perhaps making the dog more aggressive, resulting in the bite victim sustaining an injury
- The dog bite victim’s actions did not in any way provoke the dog (such as by waving a stick at the dog or otherwise inciting the dog to attack them)
After reviewing the facts and circumstances of the dog bite incident in which you or your loved one was involved, the experienced Lawrenceville dog bite lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will determine if you are eligible to assert a claim or file a lawsuit for monetary damages arising out of the incident. If so, our legal team can assist you throughout every step of the process and pursue monetary compensation on your behalf.
Potential Defenses to a Dog Bite Claim
There are several legal defenses that a dog owner may employ in response to a claim arising from a dog bite. When these defenses are successful, the dog is often no longer classified as a dangerous or vicious animal.
Potential defenses to a dog bite claim include:
- Trespassing – In cases where an individual was on the dog owner’s property without the owner’s consent when a dog attack or bite took place, the dog owner may assert that the victim placed himself or herself in danger by trespassing. When it comes to civil trespassing, there must generally be some level of intent of the part of the trespasser (such as the intent to be on the owner’s land). In cases where the owner posted a “no trespassing” sign but the trespasser chose to enter the property anyway, knowledge and intent on the part of the trespasser may be inferred.
- Abuse – In cases where a victim abuses the dog or attempts to provoke the dog (such as with a stick), the dog owner may not be liable for damages that stem from a dog attack or dog bite.
- Crimes against the person – If a dog bite or attack occurs when the victim is in the process of committing an offense that amounts to a crime against the dog’s owner, as noted in the Georgia Criminal Code, the dog owner may have a valid legal defense.
The experienced Lawrenceville dog bite lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can determine whether any of these defenses may shield the dog bite owner in your case and will explain your legal options.
Deadline for Filing a Claim or Lawsuit Arising from a Dog Bite
If you or a person you love is the victim of a dog bite, you must take prompt action by retaining an experienced Lawrenceville dog bite attorney to represent you in your case. Generally speaking, the earlier you retain legal counsel to represent you, the better off you and your case will be—and the longer your lawyer will have to prepare your case and pursue the compensation you need.
In Georgia, as with all personal injury legal matters, you have two years from the date of the incident (the dog attack or bite) to file a lawsuit. If you do not file a lawsuit within that two-year period, absent very limited circumstances, you will forever waive your right to recover monetary compensation for the injuries that you received as a result of that specific dog bite or attack.
The experienced legal team at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will quickly and efficiently investigate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite case and will be sure to name all potentially responsible parties promptly. Our goal in filing a claim or lawsuit arising out of your dog bite case is to help you pursue and obtain the highest amount of compensation possible in your case.
Pursuing Compensation From a Negligent Dog Owner in Lawrenceville
Many homeowners’ insurance policies cover dog bites. When you file a claim against a dog owner that stems from a dog attack or dog bite incident, you will typically involve the homeowner’s insurance company. If you are successful in proving the necessary elements of a Georgia dog bite claim, you may recover monetary compensation for all of the injuries and damages that you sustained as a result of the dog bite or attack.
Several factors typically go into a damage award, including:
- The severity of the injuries you sustained in the dog bite or attack
- The need for extensive medical treatment (past and future) as a result of the injuries you sustained in the dog bite or attack
- The extent to which you sustained a permanent injury, such as scarring, as a result of the dog bite or attack
- The cost of your medical treatment and the anticipated costs of future medical procedures, such as plastic surgery
- The likelihood that your injuries will require further treatment
Potential damages arising from a dog bite or attack include compensation for all related medical treatment and procedures (both past and future), compensation for all lost earnings as a result of the injuries you sustained, as well as compensation for all of the pain, suffering, inconvenience, emotional anguish, mental distress, loss of use of a body part, scarring, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium that you were forced to endure as a result of the injuries you sustained in your accident.
Contact a Knowledgeable Lawrenceville Dog Bite Lawyer About Your Situation Today
If a dog owner’s negligence led to a dog attack or bite that injured you or someone you love, it is important to seek legal help right away. If you do not file a claim or lawsuit promptly, you will forever waive your right to recover the monetary compensation that you need for your injuries. It is always worth it to take action swiftly to help ensure a successful case.
The experienced legal team at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm is ready to assist you with filing your claim or lawsuit for damages as soon as possible. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Lawrenceville dog bite attorney, please give us a call at (678)-647-1314 or contact us online for more information.
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Brauns Law, P.C.
892 legacy park Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043