Dog bites can have devastating long-term consequences. Often, victims of dog bites and dog attacks suffer more than physical pain—they’re often forced to navigate emotional and financial fallouts as well.
Our compassionate legal team at Connelly Law, PC understands that being attacked by an animal is an incredibly traumatic event. While some dog bites may not be severe enough to qualify as a life-or-death medical emergency, many victims suffer from long-term psychological distress nonetheless, as the aftermath of a dog attack typically entails physical, emotional, and financial consequences.
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite or attack in Metro Atlanta or a surrounding area, our accomplished dog bite lawyer at Connelly Law can fight to recover the compensation you deserve. We approach every case with personalized attention, respect, and compassion for each client’s unique experience and goals. When you partner with us, we’ll stop at nothing to provide the customized legal solutions you require to recover and move on with your life.
Our dog bite lawyer can fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Call (404) 500-0259 to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Dog Bites in Georgia
Although dogs are considered man’s best friend, even the friendliest dog can become aggressive when threatened.
There are various reasons why a dog may bite or attack a person. Common causes of dog bites include:
- Unprovoked aggression. This is the most common cause of dog bites and attacks. Dogs may be more likely to act aggressively if they feel threatened in any way. For example, if a person approaches too quickly or in an overly aggressive manner, the dog may view them as a threat and respond with aggression.
- Territorial behavior. Territorial behavior is also common in dogs. If a stranger enters the animal's home or yard without permission or intrudes on their personal space, the animal may feel a need to defend its territory and lash out with aggression.
- Fearfulness or anxiety. Fearfulness and anxiety can also lead to aggressive behavior in dogs. If an animal senses danger and feels overwhelmed or trapped by its environment—for instance, if it’s surrounded by loud noises or unfamiliar people—it may become scared and defensive.
- Seeking attention or food. Attention-seeking behavior can also contribute to dog bites and attacks: if an owner has not provided enough structure for their pet or failed to meet its physical needs such as exercise, mental stimulation, or playtime interaction, then the animal may resort to aggressive behaviors to get attention from its owner.
- Health problems. Rabies and other health conditions can cause erratic behaviors in dogs, including aggression.
- Improper socialization or training. Improper socialization or training can likewise lead animals to display aggressive behaviors if they have not been adequately exposed to different kinds of people in the early development stages.
- Lack of owner supervision or intervention. A lack of supervision can lead pets to act aggressively when left alone for extended periods of time, as there may be no one available to intervene when necessary.
- Provocation by a person or animal. Finally, if a person teases a dog through physical contact—such as pulling on its tail—then the animal may become defensive, aggressive, and bite in an effort to defend itself against a perceived threat.
Injuries sustained in dog bites and dog attacks can range from minor to severe.
Common physical injuries include:
- Puncture wounds
- Deep cuts
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Facial scarring or disfigurement
In some cases, psychological trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may result from an animal attack.
The severity of the injury is often determined by the size and breed of the animal involved in the incident. Smaller dogs tend to cause less damage due to their smaller and weaker bite. However, larger dogs with strong jaws have been known to cause extensive tissue damage or even amputation as a result of their powerful bite. Dogs that are improperly trained or not accustomed to being around humans may also be more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior and inflict serious injury upon victims.
Infections caused by dog bites can be severe in many cases. Puncture wounds left behind by a dog's teeth can introduce bacteria into the body which can lead to serious medical complications if not treated promptly with antibiotics or other medical interventions. Tetanus is another potentially deadly infection that can occur following a dog bite as well.
Victims should seek immediate medical attention after sustaining any type of injury caused by a dog attack in order to reduce their risk of further harm associated with infection or disease transmission.
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In Georgia, the legal owner of a dog is liable for damages caused by a dog bite. In most cases, liability will fall on the person who had custody and control over the animal at the time of the attack. If more than one person owned or had custody of the dog, each may be held jointly responsible for any resulting injuries or damages.
The state's laws are structured such that strict liability is imposed on dog owners when their animals cause injury to another person. This means that even if an owner was not negligent in handling or controlling their pet, they can still be held legally responsible for any harm that results from a dog bite or attack.
Additionally, an injured party may bring a claim against any other party who contributed to the incident, such as someone who enticed or provoked the animal before it attacked. Georgia courts have also applied what is referred to as "dangerous propensity" theory, which holds owners liable if they should have known of their pet’s dangerous propensity beforehand and failed to take preventive measures to ensure public safety.
The court may consider several factors in evaluating whether an owner should have known of such propensity including prior aggressive behavior exhibited by the animal; prior warnings issued by local authorities; how long and under what circumstances the animal was kept; and how well trained, supervised, and cared for it was.
Ultimately, all persons involved in a dog bite incident can be found liable if it can be shown that their negligence either directly or indirectly contributed to an individual’s injury or loss. It’s crucial for victims of dog bites and attacks to seek medical attention immediately and contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible following the incident, as an experienced dog bite attorney can fight for justice and compensation for their losses.
Contact us today to speak with our experienced attorney. Call (404) 500-0259 to get started.
If you were injured by a dog in Metro Atlanta or the surrounding area, it’s important to turn to a personal injury lawyer with substantial experience handling dog bite cases, as their in-depth knowledge of state laws and local ordinances governing animal attacks can maximize your chance of succeeding in court.
An experienced dog bite lawyer can help victims of dog bites and attacks by seeking justice for the physical, emotional, and financial harm they’ve suffered.
In addition to providing sound legal counsel and guidance, your lawyer can also assist by:
- Negotiating with insurance companies and other involved parties to secure maximum compensation on your behalf;
- Collecting and presenting sufficient evidence to strengthen your claims;
- Analyzing medical records, financial documents, witness testimonies, applicable laws, and other aspects of the case;
- Determining the most effective legal strategy to employ on your behalf; and
- Properly assessing the value of a case in light of the findings to determine what an equitable settlement should look like.
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Skilled Settlement NegotiatorMany personal injury matters are settled by negotiation, and we are highly skilled at producing fair settlements for our clients.
Accomplished Track RecordWe have successfully handled many personal injury cases and have helped many clients obtain favorable outcomes.
Practicing Since 2012As legal advocates for injury victims since 2012, we have acquired a great deal of experience in a multitude of cases.
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To schedule a free consultation with Connelly Law, contact us at (404) 500-0259.
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