What to know about dog bites in Georgia

Georgia follows a modified one-bite rule. This law states that if the owner knew or should have reasonably known that the dog was dangerous, they’re liable. Although you don’t have to prove negligence, you do have to meet a few other complex requirements. 

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How one-bite laws work in Stone Mountain, GA

Being able to file a claim against the owner of a dog revolves around the premise that the dog was dangerous, but what makes a dog dangerous under Georgia’s laws? The dog has to have inflicted severe injury on a human without being provoked. Although the law is called a one-bite law, the dog doesn’t necessarily have to have bitten someone — aggressive behavior of any kind can be enough to prove they’re dangerous. Dogs that have punctured skin (even without severely injuring someone), injured or killed a family pet, or acted in a way that poses a threat, are considered dangerous. Vicious dogs are those that have caused serious injury. It doesn’t always come down to a bite. 

What do you need to prove in a dog bite claim?

It may seem simple to prove that a dog was dangerous, but because Georgia follows a modified version of the one-bite law, even a dog that hasn’t bitten someone before could be dangerous or vicious. It’s just harder to prove. Getting a dog bite lawyer is essential. 

You’ll likely need eyewitness testimonies, as well as medical records that show the injuries you received. It’s up to you to prove that you were on the property legally and that you didn’t provoke the animal. The owner will usually try to state otherwise. 

The complexities of these kinds of claims mean that you want to reach out to a dog bite lawyer in Stone Mountain, GA, the moment that the bite occurs so that you can get the guidance you need right from the start.

Steps to take after a dog bite in Stone Mountain, GA

The first thing to remember is that you want to remain calm so that the situation doesn’t escalate. If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure to it and call for medical assistance. If the dog is under control, exchange contact information with the owner. You’ll also need to get contact information for any eyewitnesses so you can get statements later. If you’re well enough, take pictures of the dog, the scene of the attack, and your injuries. You may also want to write down or record the level of pain you’re in. The very next thing you need to do is to reach out to a dog bite attorney in Stone Mountain, GA. The sooner you turn to a firm like Pendergrass Law, the sooner you can begin the process of filing a claim for compensation.

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What compensation is available after a dog bite?

After a dog bite in Stone Mountain, GA, you can claim economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages, or special damages, are those that have a clear monetary value and include medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. General damages, or non-economic damages, don’t have such clear-cut value, which makes them harder to calculate.

They include loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and even loss of companionship. Although they’re not compensatory, punitive damages could also be granted in the most extreme of cases. If the owner acted maliciously, including getting the dog to attack a person who wasn’t trespassing, they could get punitive damages. 

How a lawyer can help your dog bite claim in Stone Mountain, GA

A lawyer experienced in dog bite claims in Georgia is vital. When you turn to Pendergrass Law, you can get a careful assessment of the claim. If we think you can get compensation, we’ll begin by gathering evidence that proves the dog was dangerous. We have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies. You should never try to handle these conversations on your own because insurers rarely negotiate in good faith. The last thing you need is to be bullied into accepting a low settlement. If the negotiations don’t offer the compensation you deserve, we can file a lawsuit and take your case to court so that you have a fair chance. 

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Getting help after a dog bite in Stone Mountain, GA

You don’t have to deal with the aftermath of a dog bite on your own. When you turn to the experienced lawyers at The Pendergrass Law Firm, you can get the support and guidance you need. Contact a Pendergrass Law dog bite lawyer in Stone Mountain today to schedule a consultation. 

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