Dog Bites; What Do I Do?
Playing with a dog can quickly turn a sweet, enjoyable moment into a frightening and jarring experience. According to the American Humane Association, over 800,000 dog bite injuries require medical attention each year, and half the victims are children. Dog attack victims face pain and suffering, but there is also a risk of infection and rabies that can be fatal if not treated in a timely manner.
Georgia Dog Bite Attacks: The Owner
In Georgia, a dog owner is responsible for dog bite injuries and is held accountable for their pets’ aggressive actions. Owners are required to restrain their dog if a situation gets out of hand or turns fatal. An attack can happen on private or public property, and as long as you are legally allowed to be on the property, the dog owner may be held responsible, regardless whether the dog was on a leash or not.
Georgia Dog Bite Attacks: The Victim
If you’ve been attacked by a dog, the dog owners’ insurance should cover your medical bills, loss of income and possibly your future lost earning potential if the dog inflicts a more serious injury.
Dog injuries can vary in severity. Common injuries include:
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Secondary infections
- Emotional and physical trauma
- Permanent damage and scarring
When the attack occurs, it’s important to get as much information about the owner and their dog. If possible, use your cell phone to take pictures of the dog and your injuries. Even if it’s a minor bite, it’s important to seek medical attention. Animal bites are notorious for causing infection, and one must be cautious whether the dog has had their rabies shot or not. Seeking immediate medical attention will also preserve evidence of the injuries.
Besides seeking medical attention and collecting information from the dog owner, it’s also important to do the following:
- Call the police department immediately
- Save all clothing that was ripped or is bloodstained
- Call your local animal control to report the dog
Next Steps to Healing
Georgia Law presumes that a dog is harmless, so it is up to the victim to bear the burden of proof and prove their injuries. Sounds complicated, right? For reasons like this, it’s important to seek legal attention from a dog bite lawyer. The attorneys at Litner + Deganian are experienced, compassionate dog bite attorneys who are here to help your family heal from this traumatic event. We offer free consultations, so give us a call today.