Atlanta Dog Bite Attorney: Injury Case Specialists
Our Atlanta, Georgia lawyers specialize in dog bite and attack settlements and lawsuits. Homeowners, business owner and renters insurance covers most dog bite claims and lawsuits. We will investigate the facts of your case and discover if there is insurance coverage. Above all, there is no charge for our investigation or services unless we recover money for you.
Our attorneys have helped many children, adults and seniors near you recover large verdicts and settlements for medical bills, puncture and tear wounds, nerve damage, pain and suffering and physical and emotional scars.
Information and Legal Resources on this page:
- What is The Average Dog Bite Case Settlement in Atlanta?
- Finding The Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Dog Bite Case
- Atlanta Dog Bite Law: Atlanta City Ordinances
- What is the City of Atlanta’s Leash Law?
- Fulton County, Georgia Animal Control Ordinances
- What is Fulton County, Georgia’s Leash Law?
- Fulton County, Georgia Animal Control Legal Definitions
- Penalties For Persons Who Violate Fulton County Dog Ordinances
- Who is Legally Responsible in Atlanta for Dog Bite and Attack Injuries?
- What If I Was Bitten or Attacked While Working or On The Job?
- In Atlanta, how do I prove who owned the dog that bit or attacked me?
- The evidence you need to prove a dog bite case in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia
- How Do I Receive Compensation after a Dog Bite or Attack?
- What Damages Can Be Recovered in Georgia For A Dog Bite Claim or Case?
- What should I do after a dog attack or bite incident in Atlanta?
- Should I Speak To the Dog Owners Insurance Company?
- Does the City of Atlanta Prohibit Pit Bull dogs?
- How do Atlanta Dog Bite Lawsuits Work?
- What is the statute of limitation for an Atlanta dog-bite case?
Our Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help You
Finding The Best Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Dog Bite Case
How do you find the best attorney to handle your dog bite case? We recommend that you take your time and carefully compare attorneys through their 5-Star Reviews and specialized knowledge. We hope that you find the information and legal resources on this website helpful in your search for the right law firm.
Atlanta Dog Bite Law: Atlanta City Ordinances for Dogs and Animal Control
What is the City of Atlanta’s Leash Law? Under Atlanta City Code Section 110-70(a) a person may not walk his or her dog in a park except on a leash, unless the park is defined as a dog-park or off-leash area.
Prohibited areas for dogs. The City of Atlanta does not prohibit dogs from being in public areas, except for the following places:
(2) Swimming pools and pool areas.
(3) Tennis courts.
(4) Golf course.
(5) Within 15 feet of all fences and structures.
(8) Ball fields.
City of Atlanta Off-Leash (dog park) Areas. The City of Atlanta has a long list of Rules for dog-parks or off-leash areas. Some of the main ones are: Dogs must be kept within sight of the owner; no more than three dogs per pet owner are allowed; all dogs must have a collar and a tag; no puppies under 16 weeks are allowed; and no dogs in heat are allowed.
Fulton County, Georgia Animal Control Ordinances
Running at Large. Fulton County Ordinance 34-205(a) prohibits dogs from being allowed to run at large within the unincorporated area of the County or any City within Fulton County.
What is Fulton County Georgia’s Leash law? Sec. 34-205(b)(1) makes it against the law for the owner to allow a dog to leave his or her premises without a leash; and the leash must be no more than 6 feet long. The dog is required to be under the control of a competent person.
Fencing or Walls. Sec. 34-205(b)(2), (3) and (4) requires dog to be confined to the owner’s premises behind a fence or wall or kept on a leash when outside on the owner’s property. Electronic confinement systems are allowed and considered to be an acceptable enclosure, except that if a dog has been classified as dangerous or vicious, an electronic fencing system may not be used to confine the dog.
Tethering. Sec. 34-205(b)(5) makes it illegal to restrain a dog or other animal using a tether, unless the owner is attending the dog, and only then, temporarily and if a harness is used. It is illegal to tether a dog by its neck in Fulton County.
Precautions to be taken by Owners of Dangerous Dogs. Sec. 34-281 requires owners of public nuisance, dangerous or vicious dogs to keep the dog under restraint. When the dog is unattended and outdoors, it must be fenced in a kennel with secure sides and a top, and must not be able to tunnel underneath and escape. When in public, such a dog must be on a leash no more than 6 feet long, and must be muzzled. A warning sign (beware of dog) must be displayed.
Impoundment of Dogs. Sec. 34-316 deals with impoundment of dogs. Impounded dogs can be picked up at Fulton County Animal Control. At-large dogs or other violators are not excused from impoundment just because the dog has a license or vaccination tag.
More information about Fulton County’s Animal Control Ordinances can be found here.
Fulton County, Georgia Animal Control Legal Definitions
Fulton County Ordinances, Sec. 34-196 contains some definitions and information you may find helpful:
Classified Animal. Fulton County defines a classified animal as an animal that has been determined to be a vicious or dangerous dog or animal by the State of Georgia, or by a government agency or Court of Law.
Commercial guard dog or security dog. This means a dog that is trained to guard, patrol or protect a public or private commercial property. A dog may not be a security or guard dog if it has been previously classified a dangerous of vicious dog.
Current Vaccination/license tag. Fulton County requires that dogs have a vaccination license tag showing that the dog is vaccinated and licensed for a one year or a three year period.
Dangerous dog. This means a dog that (1) causes a substantial puncture with its teeth; (2) aggressively attacks in a way that cause a person to believe the dog poses an imminent threat, even if the attack does not happen; (3) kills or seriously injures a pet animal while off its owners property; However (4) a dog is not considered dangerous if it is a military or police dog or if the person injured was willfully trespassing or tormenting the dog.
Dog Owner. A person owing, possessing, harboring or keeping the animal. If the owner is a minor, the term owner means the parent or person in loco parentis with custody of the minor.
Public Nuisance Animal. This means an animal, such as a dog, that is found repeated at large (loose); or damages property; or has a tendency or disposition to attack or bite humans or other animals without being provoked; or chases or menaces pedestrians or other persons on public streets, sidewalks and areas.
Vicious Dog. Fulton County defines a vicious dog as one that (1) inflicts serious injury on a person or cause serious injury to a person attempting to get away from the dog’s attack; or (2) has already been classified as dangerous and has attacked a person or pet since being classified as a dangerous dog.
Read our Article about a case that was won by proving a dog was vicious.
Penalties For Persons Who Violate Fulton County Dog Ordinances
Persons who violate certain Fulton County’s dog ordinances relating to public nuisance animal may be convicted of a misdemeanor and fined at least $250.00 for a second violation, and at least $500.00 for a third violation. Sec. 34-197(c).
A person who violates Fulton Ordinances relating to dangerous dog may be convicted of a misdemeanor and fined no less than $500.00 for a second conviction and $750.00 for a third conviction. Sec. 34-179(d).
Who is Legally Responsible in Atlanta for Dog Bite and Attack Injuries?
Under both Georgia and City of Atlanta laws, the dog’s owner or keeper is legally responsible if the dog is not managed properly and bites or injures a person. Insurance under a business, homeowners policy or renter’s insurance policy may be available to cover your injuries. The process begins by notifying the dog’s owner of your injury and requesting to be put in contact with the insurance company.
Many dog owners try to place blame on the victim or become un-cooperative after a bite. Unfortunately, many dog owners have the attitude or belief that “their” dog would never bite someone. When this happens, it is usually time to get an experienced Atlanta dog bite attorney involved.
Would you like to know more? Recently we wrote a blog article about a challenging dog bite case.
Want some safety tips about keeping Atlanta’s children safe from dog bites and attacks before they happen?
What is the statute of limitation for an Atlanta or Georgia dog-bite case?
Georgia (and for all cases happening in the City of Atlanta) has a two-year statute of limitation for all personal injury claims, including dog bites. In the case of a minor, suit must be filed within two years after the child’s 18th birthday.
What If I Was Bitten or Attacked While Working or On The Job?
If you were bitten while working for yourself or while you are on the job with your company or employer, you can still bring a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner. You may also have a workers compensation claim. In this way, a dog big claim is similar to any other workers compensation or personal injury claim. Don’t let the fact that you were bitten or attacked while working stop you from seeking full justice.
For more information see an article we wrote about the U.S. Postal Service Dog Bite Awareness Safety Campaign.
The evidence you need to prove a dog bite case in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia:
At The Millar Law Firm, our lawyers and investigators search for evidence that a dog has been a problem or menace in the past. Often, our attorneys and investigators will speak with neighbors, animal control, local officials and gather records in order to prove the legal elements necessary in Georgia to win your case. In Georgia, winning a dog bite case can be difficult without evidence that meets these strict legal standards.
Discovering any violations of local dangerous dog and leash laws is critical. An owner’s failure to keep a dog inside a secure fence, on a leash, muzzled or under the control of its owner can lead to liability.
If there is a legal violation, it is not always necessary to prove the dog’s owner knew the dog was dangerous in these cases. Instead, you may show the owner:
- Violated leash and restraint laws. Local leash laws, a court order and county ordinances can all impose certain obligations on dog owners to make sure their animals are under control.
- Failed to control the dog . A dog owners failure to secure his or her dog on a leash or keep it confined, is failing to handle or control the animal. The dog owner can be liable for allowing the dog to go free or for not muzzling the dog.
How Do I Receive Compensation after a Dog Bite or Attack?
Having a solid legal case after a dog bites you is very important because there is often a lot of money at stake. The injuries from dog bites can include amputations, permanent scarring, head injuries, disfigurement, broken bones, cuts and scrapes and fractures. Likewise, the injuries can be painful, permanent and expensive to treat. In addition, and in the most serious cases dog bite injuries can also lead to scars, permanent injury and even death.
A dog owner’s homeowners, business owners or renters insurance can pay monetary damages.
Compensation you may be owed after a Dog Bite or Attack Accident
All medical bills and costs
Lost income or wages
Any reduction in earning potential caused by ongoing injuries
Pain and suffering
Emotional distress and counseling
Scarring and disfigurement damages
In fatal attacks, damages for wrongful death
Your actual out-of-pocket economic losses alone can be staggering, as treatments may include plastic surgeries and ongoing care. As an innocent victim, you should not have to shoulder this burden on your own.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Georgia For A Dog Bite Claim or Case?
Medical expenses – Whether it is emergency room treatment, X-rays, surgery, medication or ongoing therapy, all past and future medical costs are compensable items of damages. Medical records, hospital bills and medical experts can help assess these damages.
Lost wages – If you miss work and lose income while recover from your injuries, you may claim these losses. Time sheets and other work records can establish your lost income. If the dog bite causes you to suffer a permanent disability, we can work with economists and vocational experts to determine the harm to your future earning potential.
Pain and suffering – Although it is difficult to put a dollar value on physical suffering, we can help to assess the proper amount by relying on photos, witness statements and other evidence.
Emotional distress and counseling – Mental health experts can determine the emotional harm that may have occurred in your dog bite case and establish the treatment required.
Scarring and disfigurement – If you need or undergo plastic surgery to repair the scars and other permanent marks caused by a dog bite, the future cost or current amounts for this care can be documented and recovered.
Punitive damages – If a dog owner willfully allowed a dog bite to happen or recklessly disregarded the safety of others, an argument for additional damages can be made. Georgia punitive damages awards are meant as a deterrent or punishment to the dog owner to encourage him or her not to allow an attack to happen again.
Loss of consortium – If you are the spouse of one who was severely injured in a dog attack, you may be deprived of their comfort, companionship and support. Georgia law recognizes losses of consortium as an important part of your harms and losses.
Wrongful death damages – If the dog bite proved fatal, surviving family members can seek medical expenses, funeral costs and damages for the loss of life and other tangible and intangible benefits.
Our Law Firm’s mission is to make sure that all areas of your life affected by a dog or other animal bite or attack are fully covered.
What is The Average Dog Bite Case Settlement in Atlanta, Georgia?
How much is my case worth? The answer is that each dog bite case in Atlanta is different. The value of a dog bite settlement in Atlanta and across Georgia depends mainly on the severity of the injury and what scars and permanent injuries are left behind. Small dog-bite cases involving relatively minor injuries and scars may have a settlement value of up to $50,000.00. According to some insurance industry studies the average dog bite settlement is in the range of $25,000.00 – $40,000.00.
More serious injuries tend to have much greater settlement and verdict averages. For example, our law firm has settled many cases for between $100,000.00 and $300,000.00 (and more) when the injuries are serious and leave behind permanent disfigurement and disability.
In Georgia, larger cases tend to involve injuries to children, facial bites with scars (women’s cases are usually more valuable than men’s), and cases with loss of fingers, ears, noses or involving nerve damage. The size of some cases is limited by the limits of the homeowner’s or renters insurance policy.
- A Heroic nurse who recovered $300,000.00 after being attacked by a pit bull.
- A Jury award of $150,000.00 to children attacked at a duplex.
- Why dogs cost millions of dollars in Atlanta, Georgia.
What should I do after a dog attack or bite incident in Atlanta?
Seek Medical Attention. Although as injury lawyers we cannot recommend what type of medical care you should seek, if you or a child has been bitten or attacked, calling 911 and seeking professional medical care as quickly as possible is usually the best and safest thing to do. In Georgia after you call 911, most cities and counties will automatically notify animal control, who can meet you at the hospital or at home when you return. Hospitals and other medical care providers will also generally call animal control.
Another reason to immediately seek medical attention is due to the risk of certain diseases that dogs and other animals can carry, such as Rabies, Tetanus and certain bacterial infections.
Make an Animal Control Report. The City of Atlanta and Fulton County both use Fulton County Animal Services, and can be reached at 404-613-0358. IT is recommended that you make an animal control report as soon as possible.
Obtain Proof of Vaccination. You should try to determine who owns the dog and ask the owner whether the dog is current on its rabies vaccination, and for any homeowners or renters insurance that may cover your medical expenses, lost income, and your trauma and pain and suffering.
If you are not sure whether a dog has been vaccinated, let your medical provider know.
Fast Investigation. Begin to investigate immediately to discover if there are any witlessness and if the dog had been vicious before, or has bitten anyone else. You may want to contact an attorney, such as our law firm, to do this investigation as we have the experience and private investigators on staff to discover the truth.
Read more in our blog article: What Injuries can come from a dog bite?
Should I Speak To the Dog Owners Insurance Company?
There is no legal prohibition against speaking to the dog owner’s insurance company, but unless you have a very small claim and are not planning to hire an attorney, we recommend that you do not. An insurance adjuster will want to interview you about the bite or attack, and may try to take a recorded statement that could be used against you later when it comes time to negotiate, settle, or handle the case in court.
It is usually best and safest to consult with an Atlanta attorney and have someone at your side when dealing with any insurance adjuster.
Does the City of Atlanta Prohibit Pit Bull dogs?
No. Although some Cities in the Atlanta Metro Area have passed local ordinances prohibiting pit bulls from entering certain areas such as dog parks or declaring them dangerous, the City of Atlanta has not passed any laws restricting or prohibiting pit bulls.
Did you know? Family pets are involved in many fatal dog attacks
- Nearly 50 percent of the dogs involved in fatal attacks in 2014 were family pets, based on ownership information.
- 19 percent of all individuals fatally injured by dog attacks in 2014 were visiting or living with the dog’s owner when the attack occurred.
- Two dog breeds, pit bulls and rottweilers contributed to 74 percent of the fatal dog attack from 2005 to 2014, according to dogbite.org.
- Pit bulls contributed to 64 percent of the fatal dog attacks in 2014 while Rottweilers contributed to 10 percent, according to dogbite.org.
- Homeowners insurance usually covers most pit bull dog attacks, although we are seeing more exclusions.
- 57 percent of fatal dog attacks in 2014 involved more than one dog. A fifth of the attacks involve packs of four or more dogs.
- Un-neutered male dogs are the most likely to show aggression. According to the AVMA, 70 to 76 percent of reported dog bite incidents involve these dogs.
How our Atlanta Attorneys Help Prove Your Dog Bite Case
Knowing how to gather evidence in a dog bite case and proving your eligibility for compensation takes experience. Our Law Firm’s lawyers and investigators will assist you every step of the way. As soon as we accept your case, we begin gathering the proof you need to make a successful dog bite claim and win the case.
Our team of attorneys, support staff and investigators will promptly investigate to discover if a dog:
- Has been vicious or shown aggressive tendencies . A dog can be shown to have presented an unreasonable risk when there is a past history of bites, aggressive or threatening behavior, attacks on other animals or past aggression against you or others (even the dog’s own family members).
- The dog’s owner was or should have been aware their dog might be dangerous. If the owner knew the dog was aggressive, such as the dog has hurt or killed a person or animal or if there were other signs of aggression, the owner should have been tipped off about the risk.
- The owner carelessly handled the dog. For example, a dog owner may be negligent by allowing a dog off leash or to escape a yard due to an inadequate or defective fence when there is a local ordinance or leash law.
Sometimes, the most difficult part of these cases is proving that the owner was actually aware of the canine’s problems. Sometimes, however, proof that an owner knew or should have known their dog was dangerous or vicious is proven through public information, such as local animal control records. Neighbors attacked or harassed by a dangerous dog also make great evidence to prove knowledge of vicious propensity.
The Millar Law Firm will answer your questions and investigate your case:
Our firm will assign one of our Atlanta dog bite lawyers to properly evaluate your case.
Here’s how our attorneys will handle your dog bite case:
- First, our firm investigates how the dog bite occurred. This includes reviewing police or animal control reports, 911 recordings, first responder and ER records, and interviewing witnesses to the attack to prove it was not your fault.
- After that, the value of your injury case will be determined by the extent of your injury, by reviewing medical records and after consulting with medical experts.
- In addition, because we know you need compensation, we find all insurance policies that will cover your losses such as the homeowner’s policy of the careless dog owner, and research dog bite lawsuit settlement amounts to maximize your case recovery.
Another dog bit my dog! Click here for more information.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact The Millar Law Firm today. When you call, you will speak with a lawyer at no charge to discuss the facts of your case and your legal options.
Our Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help You Today
A dog bite or attack is a traumatic experience. You have to cope with physical and mental trauma. Therefore, the last thing you need is more stress. Let us recover your medical bills and losses, pain and suffering and trauma. At The Millar Law Firm, we take care of your legal rights so you can focus on other things.
Our law firm has been helping Atlanta, Georgia dog and animal attack victims receive fair compensation since 1993. Rest assured, our lawyers are ready to take on your case and seek the fair settlement that you deserve. We don’t charge you for our legal services unless we recover money your case.
To learn more about how we can represent you in your dog bite case, please give us a call at 770-400-0000 or contact us online today.