Proving A Dog Bite Case Under Georgia Law
If you or a family member has been seriously injured by a dog bite in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, our lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for your physical, emotional and financial losses.
It starts by getting in touch with The Millar Law Firm. Simply call us or submit our online form. You will speak directly with a lawyer who will examine the facts of your situation, review your legal options and explain what it will take to prove your case.
How We Investigate Your Dog Bite Case
One of the specialties of The Millar Law Firm is serious dog bite cases. We have handled several hundred dog bite claims and lawsuits and know what evidence to look for to investigate your potential case, so no time is wasted. We will look at proving how the actual attack occurred and gather and examine evidence that may include:
- Witness statements – It is crucial to obtain statements from those who saw the attack and from animal control. This information can help to support your account of what happened. Witnesses can given sworn statements (affidavits or depositions) or testify in court.
- Clothing – If you have saved shirts, pants and other clothing items that were torn, ripped or bloodied in the attack, this evidence can help to establish how the dog attacked you and the extent of your injuries.
- Medical records – Emergency room personnel and other physicians will document your injuries and how they were treated. Records can show whether stitches, casts, shots, medication or surgical procedures were required. A treating physician can also give an out-of-court sworn statement or testify.
- Photos – Photos of the attack scene can prove important facts such as where the attack occurred and whether the dog was chained or kept in an enclosed area. Pictures of your injuries can also indicate the viciousness of the attack and prove the severity of your injuries.
- Video footage – In some cases, actual video of the attack may be available. For instance, if the attack occurred at an apartment complex or other public place, security camera footage may be obtained.
Each piece of evidence can serve as building block that will help your dog bite or attack attorney to construct an account of what actually happened in your case.
Georgia Dog Bite Laws: Establishing Grounds For The Dog Owner’s Liability
Under Georgia law, there are at least two general ways to hold a dog owner liable for your injuries. For instance, O.C.G.A. 51-2-7, Georgia’s Dog Bite Law provides a way for you to prove your case and recover damages if:
1. A dog owner actually knew or the owner should have known that the dog was aggressive or dangerous.
This requires showing:
- The dog was aggressive or had a tendency to cause the injury that resulted,
- The owner knew or should have known the dog was vicious, and
- The dog’s owner managed the dog carelessly or let it to wander free despite its known aggressive tendencies.
Our Law Firm’s lawyers will seek to establish these facts by looking at a variety of sources. For instance, animal control, police and hospital records may indicate the dog’s history of bites, aggressive behavior and attacks on other animals.
2. The dog was required to be leashed or under the owner’s control, and the dog owner did not meet this requirement.
This requires showing:
- There was a local ordinance requiring the dog to be on a leash, muzzled or otherwise controlled by its owner,
- The dog was not leashed, muzzled or controlled as required by law, and
- The dog owner carelessly managed the dog or allowed it to go free.
The Millar Law Firm will research local ordinances and public records. We can also gather witness statements and visual evidence to prove the dog owner’s liability.
Keep in mind: The dog owner may contend that you provoked the attack. As our attorneys collect evidence to prove your claim, we also will focus on evidence that may be useful in disproving the dog owner’s version of the attack.
Determining The Amount of Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injuries
As a dog bite victim, you may be able to receive or recover several kinds of damages. You may be eligible to receive payment that would cover your medical bills, lost income, physical pain and suffering, mental distress, scarring and disfigurement. In some cases, you may have a right to seek punitive damages.
Evidence used to show how the dog bite occurred can also be used to establish how much you should recover. We can also work with our network of highly qualified experts to analyze this evidence and arrive at a dollar figure that would fully and fairly compensate you for your losses.
Finally, we will review all insurance policies involved in your case, including whether animal attacks are covered under the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy.
Our Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help You Prove Your Case
At Millar Law we focus on proving your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries. You can be assured that we will work diligently to seek the maximum amount of compensation in your case and resolve your case as timely as possible.
Our attorneys have been helping dog bite victims and their families in Atlanta and throughout Georgia since 1993, call us today or contact us online. Case evaluations and consultations at The Millar Law Firm are always free. We will charge you no fees unless we secure a recovery for you.