Most of us will go our entire lives without ever suffering a dog bite attack. Sure, you may have had a puppy as a child who snapped at you or nipped your finger. But have you ever been bitten by a dog you don’t know? Probably not. This is why so many people don’t know what to do if they are involved in a Fairburn pit bull attack.
You feel like the dog’s owner should be held responsible, but you aren’t sure how to go about making this happen. Thankfully, our Fairburn personal injury lawyers are familiar with the dog bite laws in Georgia. We also know what damages you may be entitled to should you prevail in your case.
Here, we’ll explain what steps you should follow if you’re ever bitten by a dog. We’ll also explain what the specific dog bite laws are in Georgia. Finally, we can highlight the different types of damages you can demand should you need to sue the dog’s owner.
What Are the Dog Bite Laws in Fairburn, Georgia?
Every state has their own set of laws that apply specifically to dog bites. Most municipalities also have their own rules when it comes to dogs being on leashes while out in public. These laws will determine whether you can sue a dog’s owner for a bite or an attack, so you should get familiar with these laws if you were bitten by a dog.
In Georgia, a dog owner is not legally responsible for any injuries caused by their dog unless they knew the dog was vicious. This doesn’t require that the dog has bitten somebody before. Of course, if your attorney can prove that this is the case, it’ll be a lot easier to prove your case. However, there are other ways you can prove that the defendant knew or should have known that their dog was vicious.
If You Were Bitten By a Dog, How Can You Prove the Defendant’s Dog Was Vicious?
Obviously, if the defendant’s dog has bitten other people in the past, the owner should have known the animal was vicious. It can be hard to track this sort of information down. Of course, the first place your lawyer will look is in the local court files. If someone has sued the defendant for being bitten by a dog before, that can go a long way toward showing that the dog was dangerous.
There are other ways of proving that an animal was vicious. Even if they’ve never been vicious before, that doesn’t mean their owner shouldn’t have been more careful. For example, if the town you live in has a dog leash law, then all you have to do is prove that the dog that attacked you wasn’t on a leash.
Another way of showing that the dog’s owner knew the dog was vicious is by proving they have “Beware Dog” signs at their home. If they are publicly warning people that their dog is dangerous, they can hardly claim that their dog is a docile creature.
Your Fairburn Personal Injury Lawyer Must Show the Defendant Was Negligent
In most dog bite cases, your Fairburn personal injury lawyer will need to prove negligence. This is the case in almost all personal injury cases. If you were bitten by a dog, you can prove negligence by showing that the defendant didn’t behave in a reasonable manner. Would other people have acted the same way in similar circumstances? If the answer is no, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to demonstrate negligence.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, the only way to prove negligence is by demonstrating the following four elements:
Duty of Care
You must show that the dog’s owner had a duty of care toward you. One way to do this is by showing that your town has a dog leash rule. If this is the case, then it is presumed that all dogs are potentially vicious – hence the need to keep them on a leash.
Breach of Duty
You also have to show that the defendant breached this duty of care – If you were bitten by a dog that wasn’t on a leash and you can show that the dog’s owner failed to keep their dog on a leash, then you will have shown that they did breach their duty.
You must show that you were injured. You can show that you suffered physical, emotional, mental, or financial injuries after being bitten by a dog. For example, imagine that you are no longer able to see a dog without having a panic attack as a result of your attack. This would be evidence that you’ve suffered a psychological injury. Or you can show medical records that show you had to get surgery to repair your physical injuries.
Your attorney will have to prove that the defendant’s actions caused your injuries – You’ll have to demonstrate that your injuries were caused by your dog bite. For example, if you’re already missing a finger, then you can’t claim that you lost it as a result of being bitten by a dog.
If you can show all four elements, then you’ll have a good chance of recovering damages after being bitten by a dog.
What Kind of Damages Can Your Fairburn Personal Injury Lawyer Demand?
If you are bitten by a dog and suffer injuries, your Fairburn personal injury lawyer will demand that you be compensated. In this type of case, you may be entitled to some of all of the following:
- Medical bills and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
Keep in mind – the injuries sustained in these incidents are usually not that bad. However, it’s different when a small child is bitten by a dog or in cases where the dog is very aggressive. Whatever your injuries are, your attorney will make sure they are included in your demand for damages.
Speak With a Fairburn Personal Injury Lawyer As Soon as Possible
If you or your child are bitten by a dog, you may have a claim for damages. If your case meets certain criteria, you should be able to collect compensation from the dog’s owner. The best way to make this happen is to call and speak with an experienced Fairburn personal injury lawyer. They can review your case and see if you handled it properly. If you took the right steps following your dog bite, you should be able to sue the animal’s owner.
Call today so we can schedule your free, initial consultation. Take the time to sit down with someone who’s handled cases like yours before. Fairburn pit bull attacks are unique cases. They are a bit different from other personal injury cases. Since they typically hinge on your state’s dog bite laws, your attorney will have to treat them very carefully.