The Dog Owner's Responsibilities
The Millar Law Firm injury attorneys file claims on behalf of those who have received or need extensive medical treatment after being attacked by a dog.
When an attack occurs, we know that you will have questions such as:
- How do I make a claim against the dog owner?
- Does the owner’s insurance cover dog bites?
- Will the dog’s owner pay for my (or my child’s) medical bills?
- Can I make the owner pay for scars and nerve damage?
- Will I recover money to pay for the emotional distress caused by the dog bite?
We’re here to answer your questions and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today. We answer our phones 24/7. Call us for a free consultation right away, by phone or in-person.
Here’s Why You Should Sue a Dog Owner for Being Irresponsible and Neglectful
Dog bite claims account for about one-third of all dollars paid in homeowner’s insurance claims each year. In 2012 alone, more than 16,000 dog bite claims were filed in the U.S. However, without legal assistance, it can be a challenge to gather the right kind of evidence necessary to make the insurance company pay. You should sue for multiple reasons; mainly so you can pay for your bills and to make it so that owners learns their lesson for being neglectful with their dog.
Two Ways to Prove Your Claim Against a Dog Owner:
Under Georgia law, there are two different ways that a dog owner may be held responsible for a dog bite injury.
First, the owner can be sued if they owned a dangerous dog, and the owner knew or should have known the dog was dangerous and carelessly handled the animal.
Second, the owner can be held liable if the dog was required by a local ordinance (city or county) to be on a leash, and the owner carelessly managed the dog and/or allowed it to go free.
Many different areas throughout Georgia have local leash laws. For example, Fulton County and the County of Atlanta both have laws on the books requiring that dogs be kept on private property or restrained on a leash and under their owner’s control when in public. There may even be restrictions on the length of the leash. In Fulton County, for instance, dogs generally are required to be on a six feet or shorter leash.
When an owner allows a dog to run “at large” in violation of leash laws and other county ordinances, then the dog owner can be held responsible if the dog bites or injures someone. In this case, the dog bite victim does not need to prove that the owner knew the dog was dangerous or aggressive.
Our legal team will investigate your case and decide the best way to hold the owner responsible and recover money to pay your medical bills and for your pain and suffering.
Can I File a Claim Against the Dog Owner to Pay Medical Bills Caused by the Attack?
A dog owner who fails to live up to his or her obligations can be held legally responsible for any harm the dog causes, including medical bills.
The dog owner’s homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy may reimburse a person who was bitten for their costs.
According to a recent report, dog bite claims in the U.S. averaged about $30,000 per claim in the U.S. in 2012, marking an increase from the year before. This is likely due to increasing medical costs.
As the attorneys of The Millar Law Firm know, even what appears to be a minor dog attack can result in hefty medical expenses, including the costs of emergency treatment, X-rays, stitches, medication, plastic surgery and rehabilitation therapy. We are dedicated to seeking full payment for all current, past, as well as expected future medical costs that a bite victim faces.
Can I Make the Dog’s Owner Pay for Scars and Nerve Damage?
The goal of a dog bite lawsuit will be to come as close as possible to returning a victim to the condition and life they enjoyed before the dog attack. This means seeking compensation for medical treatment that can prevent permanent damage.
If a Georgia dog owner is held legally responsible for a bite or attack, the owner should pay for treatment such as plastic surgery that can remove scars or address disfigurement. The owner should also pay for any nerve, muscle, ligament or cartilage damage caused by the dog bite.
At The Millar Firm we work closely with medical experts to determine the full extent of a dog bite victim’s injuries. Our team will help you determine all past and future medical expenses and seek the proper amount from a careless dog owner.
Will I be Able to Recover Damages for Emotional Distress After a Dog Bite?
When a dog owner fails to responsibly handle their dog, and a vicious attack occurs, the owner can be held liable for all emotional / mental injuries a victim suffers in addition to physical injuries.
A dog bite, especially when it occurs to a child, can be a horrifying, traumatic experience. We understand that a serious attack can leave anyone, child or adult, with serious emotional distress.
Many dog bite victims suffer from a condition called “post-traumatic stress disorder,” or PTSD. For months or years after an attack, the victim may experience flashbacks, sleeplessness or experience extreme anxiety.
The Millar Law Firm is committed to seeking full compensation for our clients, including a full recovery for any emotional harm that a dog bite victim suffers.
Take Legal Action After a Dog Bite
When a dog owner fails to live up to his obligations, and a dog injures someone as a result, the bite victim can get compensation from an insurer outside of court or can file a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Our experienced dog bite investigators and lawyers assist those who were bitten or attacked by a dangerous dog to know your legal rights and to take action.
To learn more about a dog owner’s responsibilities or about how we assist clients with a dog bite claim, give us a call or contact us online today.