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Can a Dog Owner be Held Liable if Their Pet Bit Me?

Home » FAQ » Can a Dog Owner be Held Liable if Their Pet Bit Me?

Dogs are great companions and protectors and many people in Atlanta dote on them. However, there are times when man’s best friend is dangerous. Not only are dog bites painful, but they can lead to infection, nerve and muscle damage, rabies, scarring, and death. This means you could have to deal with costly medical care, lost wages and a long recovery period. If someone’s dog bit you, you may be wondering if you can get compensation. Fortunately, you may be able to hold the owner responsible for your injuries.

How You Can Prove a Dog Owner is Liable

Under Georgia law, there are two ways that you can hold someone responsible for a dog bite injury. You can sue them if they carelessly handled a dog they knew or should have known was dangerous. In this case, you will need to prove that the individual knew or should have known the animal was aggressive.

You can also hold them liable for carelessly managing the dog or allowing it roam free in violation of a local ordinance. In Atlanta, dogs must be secured on private property. When they are in public, they must be kept on a leash and under the control of the owner. Therefore, a dog shouldn’t be left to roam the neighborhood or run freely around a park. If they are, the owner can be held liable if they attack. You don’t need to prove they knew the dog was dangerous or aggressive in this instance.

If you intend to pursue a dog owner for damages, you need to work with a dog bite injury lawyer. They will look into your case and determine the best way to pursue the case. In some cases, the owner’s homeowners’ or rental insurance will cover your injuries. However, some policies exclude certain breeds including Rottweilers and pit bulls. Instead, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit or pursue other avenues to recover your losses.

Why You Need a Lawyer to Help You Recover Damages for Your Injuries

In any case, you’ll need legal help in getting fair compensation for medical bills and other damages. It doesn’t matter if it’s clear to the average person that the dog owner was at fault. You won’t be able to negotiate with insurance companies or navigate the court system on your own. You’ll also need help in quantifying your losses. An experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer will work with medical experts to determine the full extent of your injuries. These experts will also assist in quantifying your past and future medical expenses

Your physical injuries aren’t the only losses you have to consider. Many victims of dog attacks experience emotional distress as well. Even though this isn’t a tangible loss, you can hold the animal owner liable. Dog bites can be especially traumatic for children, elderly people, and individuals who were already afraid of dogs. However, a major attack can cause emotional distress for anyone. Some victims even develop post-traumatic stress disorder and it can affect them for months or years. They may experience insomnia, flashbacks or anxiety, among other symptoms.  These symptoms are no less significant than lacerations or broken bones. You, therefore, need a lawyer who will seek full compensation for all your losses.

Contact Bethune Law Today to Discuss Your Case

When a dog owner fails to control their aggressive animal or lets their pet roam, innocent people can get hurt. If you or a relative suffered a dog bite, you deserve to get compensation. If it’s not your fault that you got injured, you shouldn’t have to foot the related bills alone.

However, you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. In most cases, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. This seems like a long time. However, your lawyer will need time to build your case and identify avenues for compensation. If you want the best chance of recovering all your losses, you need to move quickly.

Even if you’re not sure that you have a case, you should schedule a consultation with an attorney. Your first consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia will be free when you choose Bethune Law Firm. Therefore, you have nothing to lose. We’ll give you our expert opinion on your case and suggest a way forward. If you’re not sure about your legal rights, we’ll explain them and provide you with options for taking action. Call us today to book a meeting!

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