Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers

Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers


Dog Bite Lawsuit


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Here are some of the steps we will take to investigate your case:

  • We will review the police report, animal control report, 911 recordings, first responder and ER records, and any other relevant documentation. 
  • We will interview witnesses to the attack. 
  • We will consult with medical experts to determine the extent of your injuries. 
  • We will identify all insurance policies that may cover your losses. 
  • We will research dog bite lawsuit settlement amounts. 

We understand that you are going through a difficult time right now. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

How The Millar Law Firm Will Investigate Your Dog Bite or Attack Case  

Our promise is to team up with you, look into your situation, gather all the needed evidence, and talk things through with the insurance company. We’re here to stand up for your rights, making sure you’re in the loop at all times. Offering top-notch service to our clients is what we’re all about. 

Senior Attorney, Bruce Millar

We know, because we have handled dog bite cases for 30 years. 

park view of ATL

Common Challenges with Dog Bite Legal Claims

  • They occur in residential neighborhoods, meaning fewer witnesses or access to accessible evidence
  • The owners of the attacking dog will often distance themselves from the dog. If there is no owner, there could be no case. 
  • Collecting the homeowner’s insurance information is often a challenge for the non-attorney. Not all dog owners hand it over after a bite or attack. 
  • Homeowner’s and business insurance companies do not settle without a fight. They often attempt to blame the victim or attempt to find reasons the dog’s owner should be excused. 
  • The laws for dogs and owners differ from county to county in the Atlanta area and throughout the State of Georgia. Determining how the local leash and restraint laws operate is critical to success. 
dog pulling at leash

How Our Dog Bite Attorneys Prove Negligence in Dog Bite Cases

Our team, made up of lawyers, assistants, and investigators, quickly looks into whether:

  • The dog has shown signs of past aggression. 
  • A dog can be considered dangerous if it has a history of: biting, acting aggressive or threatening, attacking other animals (sometimes), or showing past aggression towards you or other people (even its own family members). 

If the dog’s owner knew about the dog’s aggressive behavior or past aggression, they may be considered careless for not taking steps to keep others safe. 

The dog owner carelessly managed the dog. 

In the State of Georgia, a dog owner may be considered careless if they violate local law by letting their dog off the leash or let it escape from the yard because of a bad or broken fence. 

In other cases, the hardest part is often showing that the owner knew the dog was aggressive. Evidence that the owner knew, or should have known, their dog was dangerous can sometimes be found in public records, like those from local animal control agencies. 

Records that show neighbors have been attacked or bothered by the dog can also be strong proof that the owner knew about the dog’s aggressive behavior. 

Vicious propensity (aggression) can often also be shown by proof that the dog was wandering in violation of a local leash law. 

Knowing how to prove a dog’s aggressiveness or viciousness is one of the key skills of an experienced dog bite attorney. 

Dog Bite Questions About Evidence  

Our dog bite attorneys work to gather the best possible evidence to help collect a strong settlement. 

What evidence proves a dog bite case in Georgia?

Our Atlanta dog bite lawyers and investigators diligently work to uncover any past instances of a dog’s unruly behavior or nuisance. Often, our lawyers specializing in dog bite cases, along with our investigators, engage with neighbors, animal control, and local officials to collect records that meet the stringent legal requirements for a successful outcome in Georgia dog bite lawsuits. Achieving victory in a dog bite case can be challenging without evidence that adheres to Georgia’s strict legal criteria. 
Identifying any infringements of local leash and dangerous dog regulations is paramount. Any failure by an owner to keep a dog within a secure enclosure, leashed, muzzled, or under effective control could potentially result in liability. 
In instances of a legal violation, it is not always mandatory to demonstrate that the dog’s owner was aware of the dog’s dangerous nature. Instead, one may present evidence that the owner: 
– Breached leash and restraint laws: Local leash regulations, court mandates, and county ordinances all impose certain responsibilities on dog owners to ensure their pets are effectively restrained. 
– Did not maintain control over the dog: An owner’s failure to secure their dog with a leash or keep it confined denotes a lack of proper management or control over the animal. The owner can be held responsible for letting the dog roam freely or for not ensuring it is muzzled. 
What is the best evidence for a personal injury dog bite claim? 
Video evidence can be highly valuable in a personal injury dog bite legal claim. It has the potential to provide clear and compelling visual documentation of the incident, showcasing the behavior of the dog, the circumstances surrounding the attack, and the resulting injuries. Video footage can strengthen your case by providing objective evidence that can be difficult to dispute or misconstrue. 
When it comes to dog bite claims, video evidence may include surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses or residences, footage captured by witnesses on their mobile devices, or even recordings from security cameras in public areas where the incident occurred. Such evidence can offer a powerful visual account that supports your version of events and demonstrates the liability of the dog owner. 
However, it’s important to note that video evidence is not always available in every case. Its presence or absence will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident and the availability of relevant footage. In situations where video evidence is lacking, other forms of evidence such as witness testimonies, medical records, photographs of injuries, and official reports can still play crucial roles in establishing liability and seeking appropriate compensation for the damages incurred. 

How Much is Your Dog Bite Case Worth in Atlanta? 

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Atlanta, you may be wondering how much your case is worth. The value of a dog bite case depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the injuries, the age of the victim, and the presence of any permanent disfigurement or disability. 

In general, dog bite cases in Atlanta settle for an average of $25,000 to $40,000. However, cases involving serious injuries or permanent disfigurement can settle for much more. For example, our law firm has settled cases for policy limits of $100,000 to $300,000. 

If you have been bitten by a dog in Atlanta, it is important to speak with an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, and can fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Here are some of the factors that can affect the value of your dog bite case: 

  • The severity of your injuries. 
  • The age of the victim. 
  • The presence of any permanent disfigurement or disability. 
  • The prior history of the dog. 
  • The actions of the dog’s owner. 
  • The laws of the state where the bite occurred. 

If you have been bitten by a dog in Atlanta, contact our law firm today for a free consultation. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options as well as how much your case potentially may be worth. 

We’ve Been Helping Dog Bite Victims for Over 30 Years 

Law firms have a reputation for spreading themselves too thin by adding personal injury law on top of non-injury practice areas, meaning they are not truly personal injury experts. 

Here are some of the benefits of working with us: 

  • We have over 30 years of experience in personal injury law. 
  • We are focused exclusively on personal injury law, so we have the knowledge and experience to get you the best possible outcome. 
  • We offer a free consultation so you can learn more about your legal options. 
  • Hundreds of 5-Star Reviews. 

Attorney handing client a document

Compensatory Damages After a Georgia Dog Bite or Attack May Include: 

water fountains in ATL
  • 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 
  • Punitive damages 
  • In fatal attacks, damages for wrongful death 

Fast and Compassionate Legal Help for Your Atlanta Dog Bite Case in 2023  

Recoverable Damages After a Dog Bite or Attack May Include: 

buildings in ATL
  • 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 
  • Punitive damages 
  • In fatal attacks, damages for wrongful death 

Regardless of the specific nature of the medical procedures — be it immediate emergency care, radiological examinations, surgical intervention, prescribed drugs, or continuous therapeutic treatments — all prior and forthcoming medical expenses associated with the injury are factored into the damage assessment. We rely on medical documentation, hospital invoices, and the expert opinion of medical professionals to estimate the extent of these damages. 

In instances where you’ve had to forego employment and thus, lose earnings during your recuperation from injuries, it is possible to account for these financial losses. Employment documents such as time logs and other work-related records can help verify your lost income. If the dog bite incident leads to a long-term disability, we have the capacity to collaborate with financial analysts and employment specialists to ascertain the impact on your prospective income capacity. 

Assigning a monetary equivalent to physical distress can be challenging, but we are capable of determining a suitable compensation by utilizing various sources like photographs, statements from witnesses, and additional evidence. 

Professionals specializing in mental health have the ability to assess potential emotional damage resulting from your dog bite incident, and they can also establish necessary therapeutic interventions. 

In cases where plastic surgery is required or has been carried out to address scarring or other lasting injuries from a dog bite, both the immediate and future financial implications of this medical care can be accurately documented and subsequently pursued for compensation. 

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 to not allow an attack to happen again. 

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. 

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. 

dog biting hand

Finding a Lawyer for Your Dog Bite Injury 

Research Personal Injury Lawyers to Find the Best 

How do you find the best dog bite attorney to handle your case? Take your time and carefully research attorneys. Compare their 5-star reviews and specialized knowledge. We have provided information and legal resources on this website we hope you will find helpful in your search for the right law firm. 

Navigating Insurance Claims for Dog Bites 

Conversations with the Dog Owner’s Insurer 

It’s not uncommon for the owner of a dog involved in an attack to provide their insurance contact details. While there’s no legal barrier against communicating with the dog owner’s insurance provider, we generally advise against it, unless your claim is quite minor and you’re not considering hiring a lawyer. Insurance representatives will likely wish to interview you about the incident and might attempt to record a statement, which could be leveraged against you during later negotiations, settlements, or court proceedings. 

It’s typically safer and more beneficial to consult an Atlanta-based attorney and have a legal expert by your side while dealing with any insurance representative. 

Liability for Dog Bite or Attack Injuries 

According to both Georgia state law and City of Atlanta ordinances, the dog’s owner or caretaker bears legal responsibility if the dog isn’t properly controlled and bites or injures someone. Business policy, homeowner’s policy, or renter’s insurance may potentially cover your injuries. 

The first step involves informing the dog’s owner about your injury, followed by requesting contact with their insurance company. 

It’s not unusual for dog owners to attempt to shift blame to the victim or become unresponsive after a bite incident. Regrettably, many dog owners hold the conviction that their dog could never harm someone. When such scenarios arise, it’s usually appropriate to engage the services of an experienced Atlanta dog bite lawyer. 

Without expert assistance, some dog bite cases may unfortunately fall through based on mere technicalities. You can read about a difficult dog bite case that was recently dismissed in Georgia here. 

Atlanta Leash Laws and Animal Control 

The Leash Law in Atlanta 

According to Section 110-70(a) of the City Code of Atlanta, individuals are prohibited from letting their dogs roam free in a park, unless they are on a leash. This rule does not apply if the park is officially recognized as a dog-park or an area where dogs can be off-leash. 

highway view in ATL

Prohibited areas for dogs 

As a rule, the City of Atlanta permits individuals to visit public spaces with their leashed dogs. However, certain locations are off-limits, which include: 

  • Outdoor theaters 
  • Pool surroundings and pools themselves 
  • Tennis facilities 
  • Golfing areas 
  • Within a 15-foot radius of all buildings and fences 
  • Bodies of water like lakes 
  • Animal parks 
  • Sporting fields such as baseball or football fields 

City of Atlanta Off-Leash (Dog Park) Areas 

The City of Atlanta provides a comprehensive set of guidelines for dog-friendly parks or areas where dogs can roam freely. Here are some key regulations: 

  • Pet owners must always maintain visual contact with their dogs. 
  • Each owner is restricted to a maximum of three dogs. 
  • Every dog should have a collar adorned with an identification tag. 
  • Dogs younger than sixteen (16) weeks are prohibited. 
  • Dogs experiencing their heat cycle are not permitted. 

sunset in ATL

Common Questions about Dog Species in Atlanta

Are Pit Bulls prohibited in the City of Atlanta?

The answer is no. While some neighboring cities in the Atlanta metropolitan area have enacted local laws that restrict pitbulls from entering certain zones like dog parks, or have labeled them as dangerous, no such laws exist in the City of Atlanta that limit or ban pitbull ownership. 

Legal Terminology Pertaining to Animal Control

You may find the following definitions from Fulton County Ordinances, Sec. 34-196, useful: 

According to Fulton County, a classified animal refers to any creature that has been deemed dangerous or vicious by the State of Georgia, a governmental body, or a court of law. 

Such a dog is trained specifically to oversee, patrol, or defend either a public or private commercial premise. A dog will not qualify as a security or guard dog if it has been previously identified as dangerous or vicious. 

Fulton County mandates that all dogs should bear a vaccination license tag, indicating that the dog has been immunized and is licensed either for a one year or a three year duration. 

This term refers to a dog that: 
inflicts significant bite wounds; 
demonstrates aggressive behavior that leads an individual to perceive an immediate threat, even if an actual attack does not occur; or 
fatally injures or gravely harms another pet animal while away from the confines of its owner’s premises. 
A dog will not be classified as dangerous if it is serving in a military or police capacity, or if the individual harmed was deliberately trespassing or provoking the dog. 

This refers to an individual who owns, possesses, provides shelter for, or maintains the animal. If the owner is a minor, “owner” refers to the parent or the individual serving in the parental role who has custody of the minor. 

This term describes an animal, such as a dog, that is frequently found at large (unrestrained) (excluding cats); damages property; or demonstrates an unprovoked tendency to attack, bite, or harm humans or other animals, regardless of being on public or private property. An animal is also deemed a public nuisance if it pursues or threatens pedestrians or other individuals occupying public streets, sidewalks, and spaces. 

Fulton County describes a vicious dog as one that either (1) causes severe injury to a person or results in serious injury to a person attempting to escape the dog’s attack; or (2) has previously been labeled as dangerous and has subsequently attacked a person or pet since receiving the dangerous dog classification. 

Animal owners are required to take necessary measures to prevent their animals from causing harm or injury to others. The regulations below provide guidelines for dog owners in Fulton County. 

Fulton County Ordinance 34-205(a) bans dogs from wandering without restraint within the non-incorporated areas of the County or any City within Fulton County. 

Under Sec. 34-205(b)(1), it is illegal for the owner to let a dog leave their property without a leash; furthermore, the leash should not exceed six (6) feet in length. The dog must be under the supervision of a responsible individual. 

Sec. 34-205(b)(2), (3), and (4) mandate that a dog should be restricted to the owner’s property behind a fence or barricade or be leashed when outdoors on the owner’s land. Electronic containment systems are permitted and are considered a valid enclosure, unless the dog has been identified as dangerous or vicious. In such instances, an electronic fencing system cannot be used to contain the dog. 

According to Sec. 34-205(b)(5), it’s unlawful to secure a dog or other animal using a tether, unless the animal’s owner is present, and only then on a temporary basis, and with the use of a harness. In Fulton County, it’s prohibited to tether a dog by its neck. 

Sec. 34-281 mandates that owners of public nuisance, dangerous, or vicious dogs must keep their dog under control. If the dog is left unattended outdoors, it must be kept in a kennel with sturdy sides and a top, ensuring the dog cannot dig its way out. When out in public, the dog must be leashed (not exceeding six (6) feet in length), and muzzled. A warning sign such as ‘beware of dog’ must be clearly displayed. 

Sec. 34-316 addresses the seizure of dogs. Dogs found roaming freely or those breaching other rules are subject to seizure, regardless of whether the dog has a license or vaccination tag. Seized dogs can be retrieved from Fulton County Animal Control. 
More detailed information about Fulton County’s Animal Control Ordinances can be accessed at the relevant online resources. 

Skyline View of ATL

Penalties for Non-compliance with Fulton County Dog Regulations 

Individuals who infringe on specific Fulton County dog regulations pertaining to public nuisance animals may be found guilty of a misdemeanor. They could face a fine of at least $250.00 for a second violation and no less than $500.00 for a third violation. Sec. 34-197(c) 

An individual who breaches Fulton County regulations regarding a dangerous dog may be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined no less than $500.00 for a second conviction, with an additional fine of $750.00 imposed for a third conviction. Sec. 34-197(d) 

ATL at sunset

Time Limit for Filing a Dog Bite Claim 

In Georgia, a two-year statute of limitation applies to all personal injury cases, encompassing dog bites, including incidents occurring in the City of Atlanta. For cases involving a minor, the claim needs to be filed within two years following the child’s eighteenth birthday. 

File an Animal Control Report 

Fulton County Animal Services handles animal control for both the City of Atlanta and Fulton County and can be contacted at 404-613-0358. It’s important to lodge an animal control report as swiftly as you can. 

Recommended Steps Following a Dog Bite Incident 

After experiencing a dog bite or attack, there are several steps you should consider taking. These suggestions are particularly relevant if the incident has taken place in Atlanta. 

Collect Vaccination Records 

Attempt to identify the dog’s owner and inquire about the dog’s current rabies vaccination status. Also, ask for details regarding any homeowner’s or renter’s insurance they hold that may cover your medical costs, lost wages, and your emotional distress and pain. 

If you’re uncertain about a dog’s vaccination status, inform your healthcare provider accordingly. 

Immediate Medical Consultation 

While we, as dog bite attorneys, are not in a position to suggest the exact medical treatment you should pursue, we highly recommend that if you or a child has been bitten or attacked, you should immediately call 911 and seek professional medical attention. This is generally considered the most appropriate and safest action. In Georgia, after dialing 911, most cities and counties will automatically alert animal control, who can then meet you at the hospital or your home upon your return. Hospitals and other medical care providers will typically also contact animal control. 

Securing medical assistance promptly is crucial due to the potential risk of contracting diseases that dogs and other animals may carry, such as rabies, tetanus, and specific bacterial infections.

night time in ATL

Start Your Investigation 

It’s crucial to initiate an inquiry immediately to identify any witnesses to the event. Try to establish if the dog had shown aggressive behavior before, or if it has bitten anyone else. It may be beneficial to engage an attorney, like our legal firm, to conduct this investigation as we possess the required experience and have private investigators on our team to unearth the facts. 

Determining the Need for Professional Medical Assistance 

Some dog bites merely cause a superficial scratch, leading many individuals to think they can manage the injury at home. Nevertheless, it’s always safer to have even the smallest dog bites examined by a healthcare professional. Other injuries can be more severe; some might necessitate an immediate visit to the emergency department. You can read more about “The Potential Injuries Resulting from a Dog Bite” in this article. 

Downtown Atlanta skyline