While many dogs make for wonderful pets, they can also cause serious harm. Thousands of people suffer severe dog-related injuries every year, and some bites lead to infections, disfiguring scars, and other serious consequences. Victims of a vicious attack may require surgery and rehabilitative care.
The medical bills caused by serious bites can be overwhelming, especially if a victim is left unable to work during their recovery. If you suffered injuries in an animal attack, contact a Gainesville dog bite lawyer to discuss your legal options. The experienced attorneys at Smith Hulsey have handled many of these types of cases and could advise you recovering compensation for your losses.
Many states view dog bites as a strict liability matter, in which the owner is liable for their pet even if it never indicated previous signs of aggression. However, Georgia’s laws are less strict, meaning that if a responsible owner had no reason to suspect that their animal would hurt someone, they may not be liable for an attack. Still, there are many scenarios in which a dog bite victim and their lawyer can hold the owner responsible for their injuries.
If an owner did not keep their dog on a leash and it attacked someone, this could make them liable for damages. The law also holds owners accountable if they knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous. Under the law, a dangerous dog is an animal that has injures a person, poses an imminent threat, or kills a pet animal on another person’s property.
There are many nuances to these legal descriptions. A well-informed local attorney could evaluate a specific case and determine whether the pet owner may be liable for a victim’s dog bite injuries.
Many people keep dogs for security reasons, to protect their home and family. If a person tries to harm the dog’s owner or trespasses on their property, the court will likely find that the victim is at fault for their own injuries.
Additionally, it may be difficult to hold an owner liable if the injured person provoked the dog in question. When a victim’s wrongful actions lead to an attack, the court will be less inclined to find that the animal is dangerous, which is a necessary factor for proving liability. As such, any dog bite victim should discuss their liability questions with a knowledgeable lawyer before pursuing a claim.
In a successful dog bite injury claim, a victim can recover damages for various losses associated with the incident. The damages available in any dog bite case may include:
Civil suits are often key in helping dog attack victims cover the financial expenses of treating their injuries. A skilled dog bite attorney could help calculate the full value of a case and pursue a comprehensive damages award in settlement negotiations or Gainesville court.
When a person suffers injuries caused by someone else’s negligence, the law offers ways to hold that person liable. However, the injured victim must also comply with strict time limits when filing their claim.
For dog bite cases, Georgia law sets a deadline of two years from the date of the injury. A person who does not file within that period will not be able to collect damages for their losses. As such, victims of dog attacks should reach out to legal counsel as soon as possible after an incident.
Dog bites can cause serious injuries and emotional trauma. Although there are legal options for pursuing fair compensation, it can be difficult to successfully litigate an animal attack case without dedicated legal representation.
Luckily, the attorneys at Smith Hulsey are experienced in fighting for the rights of injured dog bite victims. If you were hurt by a dangerous pet, contact one of our Gainesville dog bite lawyers to discuss your potential claim. We could go over your options in a free consultation, so give us a call today.
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