Dogs are more popular than cats in Georgia. They range from single-breed dogs such as German Shepherds or Jack Russell terriers or mixed breed mutts adopted from a shelter or rescue. About 51% of Georgia households have a pet, and 36% of those have a dog. While many people love their dogs, dogs don’t always love everyone back. Sometimes you can be bitten by a dog and suffer some painful results.
Dogs bite for different reasons: they are startled, frightened, or become protective of their owner or home. Larger dogs, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, and other breeds known for their bite, are often blamed for damage. But any dog, large or small, can bite under any circumstances and cause the victim issues. Dog bites can lead to serious injuries, including fatalities.
Children and elderly people are commonly dog bite victims because they are unable to fend off a dog attack. Their injuries are more serious given their fraility. Bites frequently can come from a family dog, or a dog owned by a friend or neighbor. In 2021, 5400 USPS employees were bitten while delivering the mail!
Dog bites or attacks can lead to injuries that vary in severity and depend on factors like the size and breed of the dog, bite location, and the victim’s age and overall health. They include:
- Puncture wounds
- Lacerations requiring stitches or surgery to repair, especially to the hands and face
- Infections from bacteria in a dog’s saliva, lead to cellulitis, abscesses, or severe systemic infections like sepsis
- Fractures from powerful bites by larger dogs, especially in the limbs and extremities.
- Nerve damage from bites can lead to numbness, weakness, or loss of function
- Tendon and muscle damage from bites can lead to impairment of mobility and function
- Scarring and Disfigurement, especially in the facial area
- Emotional trauma, including PTSD, especially in children
- Prolific bleeding
- Rabies and other zoonotic diseases from unvaccinated dogs
Immediate medical attention is vital after a dog bite to assess and treat the injury, reduce the risk of infection, and evaluate the need for rabies or other vaccinations.
Does Georgia Have The “One Bite Rule?”
No, Georgia does not have a “one free bite rule” though about 14 states do. With a one bite rule, the dog owner can be protected from liability as to the first injury caused by their dog’s bite, unless liability can be based upon other grounds. In Georgia, dog bites fall under Georgia’s negligence laws. If a dog is known to be aggressive or is not under the owner’s control at the time of the incident, the owner can be held liable.
Personal injury attorneys like Joshua Smith of Dalton, Georgia, know that a dog bite victim must be able to prove that the owner’s negligence led to the bite or attack. If negligence is proved, then compensation can be awarded for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and whatever damages were incurred due to the dog bite injury. Generally, like in many personal injury cases, compensation is paid from the owner’s insurance coverage. In Georgia, you must file your claim within 2 years of the date of the attack. You may initially feel you do not have a case, but over time you may realize that your physical therapy, medical bills, and other costs are expensive and you wouldn’t have to be paying for this or undergoing treatment if not for the negligence of an irresponsible dog owner. So it is wise to talk to a Dalton attorney that understands personal injury law and dog bites
Dog Bite Attorney In Dalton, GA—Joshua J. Smith
Georgia personal injury attorney Joshua J. Smith is committed to helping those who have suffered injuries from dog bites and attacks. We are located at 207 West King St, Dalton, GA 30720. Please call (706) 217-2095 for an appointment or contact us here on our website. If necessary, we can arrange to visit you at your home.