Smyrna Dog Bite Lawyer

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A dog bite lawyer drafting a case for a client in a warmly lit office.While some dog bites may seem harmless, other situations can leave you with serious injuries or property damage. In any case, injury victims should always seek medical attention immediately after being attacked.

A dog bite victim’s wounds risk getting infected, and some injuries could lead to permanent impairment of hands, arms, legs, or other appendages, especially if treatment is delayed.

The one bit of bright news is that you have options for recouping the costs of your medical treatment. Any time a bite is caused by a careless or irresponsible dog owner, you’re within your rights to file a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner to recover compensation for your damages from their relevant insurer.

To ensure you’re building the strongest claim possible and protecting your rights at every step, you can also get the help of an experienced Smyrna dog bite attorney.

At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we’re here to help. We offer the legal advice you’ll need to parse out this situation and maximize your chances of full damage recovery.

Our team can kick things off with a free, no-obligation case review, where we’ll review all the details of your case to determine the best path forward.

So, schedule your first consultation today. New clients can call 833-254-2923 or contact us online to speak with a member of our team today.

When to Reach Out to a Smyrna Dog Bite Attorney

After a serious dog bite, you’ll likely face physical, emotional, and financial challenges, yet the next steps can be confusing. Most understand that if they’re involved in a car accident, they have the right to hold a negligent driver responsible for any damages caused — but after a dog bite, when should you reach out to an attorney?

First, you’ll want to consider where the accident occurred. For example, if the dog bite took place on public property, you may be able to hold a third party responsible for not properly maintaining the premises, but if the incident took place in a private residence, you’ll likely need to file the claim directly against the dog’s owner.

Keep in mind that, in Georgia, you can also hold a dog owner responsible for their dog’s actions, regardless of whether the dog was ‘provoked,’ though this, the location, and other circumstances that led up to the incident will all factor in as important evidence when it comes time to file a claim.

So, if you’re unsure how these details can affect your claim, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced dog bite lawyer. They’ll help you determine who is legally responsible for the dog bite and tap into the state’s laws and regulations governing dog bites.

They can also help you calculate your total damages, including the projected costs of future care. Most serious dog bites will result in immediate medical bills, but they can also require costly rehabilitation, emotional trauma, and lost wages down the line.

By working with an attorney, you can establish a better sense of any current, ongoing, and future damages you’ll need to seek compensation for, decreasing the risk you’ll have to pay out of pocket for medical care and other consequences of the vicious attack you’ve suffered.

Understanding Georgia Dog Bite Laws

While a dog bite can feel like an isolating experience, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that more than 4.5 million people report being bitten by dogs yearly in the United States. Of these, over 800,000 victims receive medical attention for their dog bites.

That means nearly one in five people who are bitten by a dog will require medical attention. Even more alarming is the fact that children are the most common victims of dog bites — and they’re also much more likely to be severely injured.

So, to protect the hundreds of thousands of individuals who suffer from serious dog bites each year, states across America have developed firm laws and regulations to govern these kinds of incidents. Georgia is no exception, relying on a handful of clear legal codes, statutes, and rules to protect individuals (and families) from incurring unnecessary damages after a serious dog bite incident.

Below, we’ll break down some of the most important legal grounds to remember.

An Overview of Strict Liability in Dog Bite Cases (O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7)

Georgia operates under a modified ‘strict liability’ standard regarding dog bites. This means that in most situations, the dog owner is liable for any injuries their dog has caused — regardless of the dog’s previous behavior or aggression.

This statute also puts the onus on the dog owner to take responsibility for their pet’s actions.

The One-Bite Rule and Its Limitations

Additionally, while strict liability is the prevailing rule, the ‘one-bite rule’ can come into play when the dog owner is unaware of their dog’s propensity for danger. So, if a dog has never shown signs of aggression before, the owner may not be held strictly liable for the first bite.

Nevertheless, the owner can still be held liable if they were negligent in controlling their dog — or failed to prevent the attack.

Liability of Dog Owners When Their Dog Is Off-Leash (O.C.G.A. § 4-8-1)

Under Georgia law, dog owners must also keep their dogs under control. If a dog is off-leash and attacks someone, the owner may be liable for the damages caused.

This regulation also extends to any situation where a dog is not properly restrained and will govern situations where a dog was (negligently) allowed to roam freely through public spaces.

The “Bad Dog” Statute and Its Implications (O.C.G.A. § 4-8-20)

The ‘Bad Dog’ statute was originally designed to hold dog owners accountable for their dog’s behavior and stipulates that owners are responsible if their dog causes injury to someone while off their property. In effect, this statute essentially expands the scope of liability for dog owners.

Legal Responsibilities of Landlords When Tenants’ Dogs Are Involved (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-14)

Landlords in Georgia can also face some degree of liability if they are aware of a tenant’s dangerous dog and yet do nothing to rectify the situation. For example, if a landlord fails to take action even though they know a tenant’s dog poses a risk, they can be held legally responsible for any injuries (or damages) the dog causes.

Time Limitations for Filing Dog Bite Claims Under the Statute of Limitations

Georgia maintains a strict statute of limitations on dog bite claims, and claimants typically have two years from the date of the dog bite to initiate legal proceedings. Of course, the sooner you file, the better, so don’t hesitate to contact a Smyrna attorney team today.

Legal Options for Dog Bite Victims

It’s important to understand your legal options after a serious dog bite. Here’s a quick overview of the different routes that are potentially available to those who are seeking compensation for their damages:

Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury claim is probably the most common legal recourse for dog bite victims. It involves determining liability and will typically tap into Georgia’s strict liability statute to help the victim seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and any other damages from the homeowner’s policy of the dog’s owner, the liability policy of a property owner, or another policy, as is most appropriate to the situation.

Mediation and Negotiation

Before pursuing a lawsuit, mediation and negotiation can typically be used to resolve the matter. Plus, with the guidance of an attorney, you can engage in more effective discussions with the responsible party and hopefully reach a settlement without going to court.

Filing a Lawsuit

If negotiations fail, you may need to file a lawsuit. This process will involve submitting a formal complaint, gathering evidence, and presenting your case in court before a jury.

This is the only situation where punitive damages can be requested solely for egregiously reckless, negligent, or intentionally harmful behavior. In any context, working closely with an attorney to build as strong of a case as possible before going in front of a jury is essential.

Reach Out to a Smyrna Dog Bite Law Firm Today

After a serious dog bite, the next steps that come with filing a personal injury claim (or lawsuit) can feel especially intimidating — but this is where your attorney will shine. They will serve as your ally throughout the legal process and be there to advocate on your behalf every step of the way.

Claimants can use Georgia’s clear legal resources to offer you the guidance you need during this difficult time while facing off against any intimidating insurance companies or other parties to ensure your rights are protected at every step.

Don’t hesitate to contact our team to discuss a better path forward. At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we’re here to help, and new clients can call 833-254-2923 or contact us online to speak with a team member about legal options.

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Frequently Asked Questions

After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!

Contact us now (833) 254-2923.

Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.