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Employment Dog Bite Case Turns on Technicality

Published February 13, 2018 by Bruce Millar
Employment Dog Bite Case Turns on Technicality

Have you been bitten or mauled by a dog? If so, then you already understand that a dog attack can be a life changing event. There are often serious injuries, extensive recovery times, and, in many cases, a lengthy period of surgical interventions to repair disfiguring wounds.

Who Faces Dangerous Dogs Every Day At Work?

There are often injuries that are not so easy to heal. The emotional trauma of a dog attack is often the hardest to overcome. It makes one appreciate the countless thousands of workers who must face aggressive dogs every day in the course of their jobs.

Think about the people who face those kinds of injuries every single working day. Letter carriers and commercial delivery drivers come immediately to mind, but they are certainly not alone in their occupational hazards. The following list includes many of the people who are legally said to have an “implied invitation” to the property of others. This implied invitation can become a nightmare when a dangerous dog is present.

Jobs That Are High Risk for Dog Bites

  • Public Utilities Workers
  • Phone Installers/Repair
  • Cable Installers/Repair
  • Delivery Drivers
  • Animal Control Officers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Construction Workers
  • Public Works
  • Tax Appraisers
  • City & County Inspectors
  • Zoning Officials
  • Fire Departments
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Adult & Child Protective Services
  • Health Department
  • HUD- Public Housing
  • Home Health Care
  • Sanitation Workers

Will Worker’s Comp Take Care of Everything?

If your work involves going onto the property of another like those above, you are at increased risk of dog attack. If you are faced with the decision of either getting a paycheck or facing the menace of poorly managed dangerous animals every day, you’ll probably take your chances with the dogs. That doesn’t mean your constitutional rights get forfeited, but it does mean that you might have to fight hard to keep them. Of course, your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance will cover some of your injuries, but it won’t cover all that you’ve lost which goes far, far beyond lost wages. You may want to consider a civil suit to recover the other damages.

Dog Bite Cases are Tricky

In the State of Georgia dog bite accidents come with an added layer of difficulty which makes them among the most challenging injury cases to win in a court of law.

In Georgia “man’s best friend” enjoys a special privilege under the law. Dogs are, according to law, considered harmless until and unless they have previously behaved aggressively AND such hostile actions reported to the dog’s owners. In other words, the dog is innocent unless the bite victim can prove the animal was previously identified as a “bad dog” and the property owner knows it.

A dog that is known to be dangerous must be managed in such a way that he doesn’t have access to unsuspecting others. Still, there are roadblocks on the way to finding justice as this story tells us.

The Dog Often Wins – Here’s a Sad Example

In one Georgia case, a home-health worker was badly bitten before she ever got out of her car. The attacking dog had been chained, but slipped his chain in time to do harm to a visiting nurse.

In this case, the nurse was attending the invalid mother of the homeowner during a time when the homeowner was out of town. In his absence, the owner’s daughter was staying with the elderly patient. The daughter brought her dog with her, and it was this dog that attacked the visiting nurse.

In the lawsuit, the health-care worker sued both the homeowner and the daughter for mismanaging a dangerous animal by tethering him inadequately. The nurse argued that she did nothing to provoke the animal. She said the daughter was acting as her father’s agent at the time of the attack and with the father should be held liable for the damages.

The Final Verdict

The court dismissed the case on the father’s motion for summary judgment – meaning that the case had no grounds – opining that the daughter was not actually acting as her father’s agent by keeping dog. Keeping the dog was not part of what she was doing on her father’s behalf.

Will Your Case Turn on a Technicality?

Many dog bite cases turn on tiny technicalities. That’s why it’s critical that you choose a law firm that is well-versed on the many trivial details that can come up in dog attacks. When it comes to dog bite claims, you’ll be right to assume that the deck is probably stacked against you. You need a dog bite expert to represent you.

A Law firm that Specializes in Georgia Injury Cases

The Millar Law Firm has been defending victims of dog bite cases for decades. We know the ins, the outs, and all that lies between. Our understanding of the pitfalls that come when trying a dog-bite case gives our legal team the winning edge and you the advantage to which you’re entitled.

If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, you need to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer who specializes in dog bites. The experienced legal staff at the Millar Law Firm stands ready to evaluate your claim and help you determine exactly what you should do next. Our initial evaluation appointment is free of charge and totally without obligation to you. We think you’ll agree that it’s time very well-spent.

Call us today to make an appointment for your free case evaluation. You’ll be glad you did.

There is also a difference between the benefits available in personal injury claims versus workers’ compensation claims. In personal injury claims, a plaintiff can recover economic losses for lost income and medical bills as well as damages for pain and suffering, punitive damages, and other losses. Only one award or settlement is given, and the plaintiff cannot seek additional benefits in the future, even if they were unforeseen at the time of the award. However, in workers’ compensation claims, the claimant can receive the costs of reasonable medical bills and lost wages, but the claimant does not receive an award for pain and suffering. In addition, instead of receiving a one-time payment, the claimant could continue to receive payments as long as they remain disabled—although a claimant can also receive a settlement in some cases.

 

 

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