Most people assume dogs are friendly, but even a well-behaved pet can attack if it feels threatened. Depending on the circumstances, a dog attack can cause disfiguring injuries and permanent impairment. If another person’s pet caused your injury, you might have a valid legal case against the owner.
Filing a dog bite case can be daunting, especially if the pet’s owner is a friend or family member. A dedicated personal injury attorney can help ease some of your concerns about the legal process so that you can move forward with confidence. In most instances, your attorney will seek financial compensation from the pet owner’s insurance company, not the owner themselves. Get in touch with an Atlanta dog bite lawyer right away to learn how our firm can help you.
Why Dogs Attack
The following list identifies some of the more common reasons a dog will choose to attack:
- Dominance aggression: Aggressive behavior usually directed to family members who take something from the dog, pet it, hold it, pick it up or disturb it while resting.
- Defensive or fear aggression: Directed to family or strangers who approach too quickly or too closely when the dog is afraid.
- Protective/territorial aggression: Directed to strangers to approach the owner or the home of the owner.
- Predatory aggression: Directed to small, quickly moving animals and children, especially where more than one dog is involved.
- Pain-elicited aggression: Directed to family or strangers who approach or touch when the dog is in pain or injured.
- Punishment-elicited aggression: Directed to family or strangers who hit, kick or verbally assault the dog.
- Redirected aggression: Directed to family, strangers, and animals who approach or touch the dog when it is aggressive in another context.
If you were attacked by an aggressive dog, you should not hesitate to reach out to a local attorney.
Investigating a Dog Attack Case
In any personal injury case, it is important to investigate the accident in question. An attorney can determine how the dog bite occurred by analyzing animal control records, police reports, 911 recordings, medical records, photos, and videos. A lawyer can also speak with eyewitnesses and record their statements about the incident. Investigating the case early on can help ensure critical evidence does not get lost or destroyed.
Communicating with Insurance Companies in Atlanta
Whether the dog attack occurred at private residence, on public property, or in a commercial building, the injured party will likely have to deal with an insurance company. Many homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies cover dog bites. However, insurance agents often aim to settle these cases for as little money as possible.
Injured parties can benefit from having a skilled lawyer on their side when negotiating a settlement for a dog attack. An attorney can warn plaintiffs of the insurance company’s deceptive tactics and file a lawsuit, if necessary.
Proving a Dog Had Vicious or Aggressive Tendencies
Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 51-2-7 states that plaintiffs in dog bite cases must prove that the animal in question had aggressive tendencies and a previous history of threatening behavior. Acts that may be considered threatening include lunging, biting, attempting to bite, and attacking people, animals, or passing objects.
If the owner knew about their dog’s aggressive behavior at the time of the attack, they can be held liable for the injured party’s damages. A skilled attorney can help a claimant prove the dog that bit them had a history of threatening behavior.
Compensation in Dog Bite Claims
In a successful dog attack case, an attorney can help the claimant recover compensation. Injured parties may seek restitution for losses such as:
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of consortium
A lawyer will calculate these damages accurately to ensure the plaintiff recovers the full compensation they need.
Consult an Atlanta Dog Bite Attorney Today
A severe dog bite can lead to significant emotional trauma, physical pain, and scarring. If you wish to take legal action, reach out to our law firm as soon as possible. An Atlanta dog bite lawyer from our team can help you determine your next steps in a free consultation.