As a personal injury law firm, we seek to help Georgians who have been injured in any event in which the fault lies with another person. A practice area that is we have been highlighting recently is that of animal attacks or bites. While you may realize that these types of attacks can be very dangerous and life altering, you may have questions that only an experienced Marietta dog bite attorney can answer.
1. What steps should I take if I am bitten by a dog?
Unfortunately, not all animal attacks can be avoided. In the event that you or a loved one have been attacked and injured by a dog, you should get the dog owner's name, phone number, address, and homeowner's insurance information. You should also collect the names and phone numbers of witnesses to the incident. The attack should be reported to animal control, as it may be necessary to quarantine the animal temporarily to determine whether it is rabid. The most important thing to do following any sort of injury-causing event is to seek medical attention. Visit a hospital or your physician as soon after the accident as possible to determine the extent of your injuries. Dog bites often lead to victims receiving tetanus shots and stitches. Throughout the course of your medical treatment, you should collect all documentation related to your treatment. Even if you do not immediately wish to pursue a legal claim against the dog owner, you may change your mind at a later date. Without this key information, it will be more difficult for a lawyer to represent your best interests.
2. Can I file a legal claim if my child is accused of provoking the dog that bit her?
In the state of Georgia, comparative fault exists in these types of claims. This means that a percentage of fault will be determined in an injury-related case and the compensation recovered can be reduced by the percentage of fault. As long as the victim is not found to be 50 percent or more responsible for an incident, damages can potentially be recovered. In the event that a child is the one injured in a dog attack, it is very possible to recover damages because they may not be as well-educated about the dangers of dogs as their adult counterparts.
3. Who will pay for my medical bills if I go to the hospital?
Like most personal injury claims, compensation is not awarded right away. It takes time to prove negligent and follow the necessary legal procedures to obtain a positive settlement or verdict. Typically we ask clients that need medical treatment to allow their health insurance to cover the expenses of hospital and doctor bills. Once your legal claim is completed, the health insurance company is eligible to request that money back from your recovery amount. The only portion of your recovery that the health insurance company is entitled to would be the money awarded for medical bills.
4. If I am injured by a cat can I take legal action?
While it is not as common that significant injuries result from an attack by a cat, the Georgia laws on dangerous animals applies to pets other than dogs. If the owner was aware of the potential of danger from their animal and was reckless in the care of the animal, allowing it to attack someone, a legal claim may be possible. If injuries are not significant, however, it would likely not be beneficial to hire an attorney.
5. What is the cost of a dog bite law firm?
Unlike larger law firms, Jones & Swanson works on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we do not win your case, either by settlement or verdict, we do not collect fees. Upon successful completion of a claim, our fee will be a portion of your recovery, which will be agreed upon before we officially take on your case.
6. Will your firm represent children injured in dog attacks?
Yes. Attorney Andrew Jones has successfully represented minors in dog bite injury claims, as well as adults. We seek only to bring justice to those who have been negligent and caused harm to another. For information on what course of action is right for your specific legal situation, contact our Marietta dog bite law firm today at (770) 427-5498 or online at www.awjlaw.com.