Dog Bite Lawyer in Gwinnett County
Every year, dogs bite an estimated 4.5 million people in the United States, reports the American Veterinary Medical Association. Of these cases, 20 percent are serious enough to warrant medical attention; 27,000 are severe enough to require reconstructive surgery; and in 2013, 31 were fatal. If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, call a dog bite lawyer in Gwinnett County from the Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC.
Handling a claim like this on your own can be very challenging, particularly when you are recuperating after the attack. We will help you evaluate your claim and get started filing a claim. We will also help you meet the various challenges that dog bite claims present and handle the legal protocols that Georgia law requires.
Can I hold the dog owner liable for my injuries?
Georgia dog bite laws are notably complex. The state law presumes that dogs are harmless, until they show otherwise. You can hold the dog owner liable for an attack, but only if you can prove certain elements existed. There are two approaches you can take when holding the owner liable.
1. Prove the dog was dangerous.
If you can show that the dog had a history of being dangerous, that the dog owner knew (or should reasonably have known) that the dog was a risk, and that the owner was somehow careless in controlling the dog, then you have grounds to make a claim. A record of prior bites and witness testimonies about the dog’s aggressive tendencies can help support your claim.
2. Prove a violation of leash laws
The second legal avenue victims can take is to show that the dog owner violated a leash law or local dog ordinance. If a city or county required the dog to be on a leash and owner violated the law, that in of itself is sufficient to hold the owner liable for your damages.
What types of damages can I recover after a dog bite?
Most injury-related expenses, both current and future, are recoverable in a dog bite claim, as are intangible, emotional damages. Your attorney can sit down with you to compile a thorough list of your damages, get input from a forensic economist, and estimate the full value of the your case. Below are some of the damages that may be compensable.
- Emergency room, ambulance, and hospital bills
- All current and future medical expenses
- Reconstructive surgery expenses
- Loss of wages
- Disability, disfigurement, and scarring
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, phobias, depression, and other emotional effects that dog attacks can cause
- The effect of the injury on your relationships, career, marriage, and happiness in life
In many cases, the dog owner will not have to pay for your damages out-of-pocket. If the dog owner had homeowner’s insurance, you can file a claim with the insurer. However, if the owner does not have insurance or it does not cover dog bite cases, then you may have to seek recovery by filing a lawsuit.
How do I move forward with my dog bite claim?
To discuss your legal options and begin taking the necessary steps to file a dog bite claim or lawsuit, call the Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC in Gwinnett County and schedule a free consultation. We can discuss which approach would work best for you, discuss your injuries and damages, and then help fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible. Contact the office today at 770-951-8900.