When you leave your home and walk through your neighborhood or go to the park, you don’t expect to get attacked by a dog. Dog bites usually occur out of the blue and victims often have no idea what to do. However, if you want to be able to get compensation for your injuries, there are some steps you need to take. If you don’t do the right thing, you could jeopardize your ability to recover damages.
If a dog attacks you, you need to seek medical attention immediately. You also need to get as much information as you can about the dog and the owner. Your compensation will likely come from the individual’s homeowner’s insurance so you need to know who they are. You may be limited in what you can do based on the severity of your injuries. However, if you can, you should take photos of the dogs and your injuries and get contact details for eyewitnesses.
If you can’t identify the owner of the dog, you need to contact a Macon dog bite lawyer. They may be able to engage an investigator and track down the owner so they can be held accountable. Often, someone in the area knows who the dog belongs to. The investigator can also find out if the dog bit anyone else. Under Georgia’s laws, a dog must bite one person before it considered dangerous unless it’s one of the breeds deemed vicious.
Reporting a Dog Bite in Georgia
You need to contact the police and formally report the attack. If you need emergency medical care, you should call 911 instead of local law enforcement. The police will put together a report and hopefully capture the dog and identify its owner. You also need to call Animal Control.
What happens to the dog when it is captured will depend on several factors. These include whether the dog bit anyone else and whether the breed is considered dangerous. Dangerous breeds include Rottweilers, pit bulls, and wolf hybrids. When you contact an attorney, they will seek to ascertain whether the dog had ever been reported to Animal Control.
Compensation You Can Get Following a Dog Bite
Dog bite cases are treated quite like other personal injury claims where compensation is concerned. This means you can typically claim compensation for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. Often, dog bites result in scarring, disfigurement, and psychological damage, given the trauma associated with an animal attacking you. You can also seek compensation for these types of losses with help from a personal injury lawyer in Macon.
Many victims of dog bites are hesitant to hold the dog’s owner responsible because they’re a friend or neighbor. Even though such a situation is awkward, you need to be objective. If you have serious injuries and you’re unable to work for weeks or months, you need to get compensation from the at-fault party. It doesn’t matter who owns the dog. You still need to call the police and Animal Control and seek advice from a lawyer. Your friend or neighbor may suggest you handle the matter privately without calling the authorities or notifying their insurance company. This is never a good idea. Typically, an attorney can help to reach a settlement with the insurance company without having to go to trial or even file a lawsuit.
Even if you aren’t acquainted with the dog’s owner, the individual may approach you at the scene of the attack or in the days following. Be cordial but don’t talk to them about the attack or discuss your injuries with them. Don’t accept any money they may offer you to let the matter end there. Your injuries could turn out to be much more serious than they appear, and you wouldn’t be able to get more money from them. It’s best to let the experts handle a dog bite case. That increases the likelihood that you will get full and fair compensation, and no one will take advantage of you.
Contact Calvin Smith Law Today to Get Sound Legal Advice
If you’ve been bitten by a dog and you have serious injuries, you won’t be able to handle your case on your own. Reach out to the Macon personal injury lawyers at Calvin Smith Law to help you get the compensation you deserve. We’ll investigate, gather evidence, and help you to build a strong case. Your first consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose by calling us.