Many dog bites and attacks could have been prevented if the owner had taken the proper steps to restrain the dog. In these situations, the owner could be held responsible for the damages suffered by the victim. This means the victim could be owed compensation for the physical and mental injuries caused by the attack.
The trustworthy Savannah dog bite lawyers at Roden Law understand what you are going through after such a traumatic experience and may be able to help you. If you have a viable case, we can launch a thorough investigation, build a case and pursue all of the compensation you deserve.
Our experienced Savannah personal injury lawyers have helped injury victims recover millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries. We charge no upfront costs or fees, and you pay us absolutely nothing unless we are able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills and other expenses.
Learn more about your legal options after a dog bite through a free, no-obligation consultation with our attorneys.
Call 1-844-RESULTS now for a free consultation with a dog bite lawyer in Savannah.
Dog Bite Injuries
We encounter dogs so often without being bitten or attacked that we forget how dangerous a dog attack can be. Even though dogs tend to be friendly, they are still animals and can inflict serious injuries when they attack people, such as:
- Broken bones
- Punctured skin
- Pulled or torn tendons and ligaments
- Rabies, tetanus, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other infections
- Facial scarring
- Permanent disfigurement
- Sprain, strains and other soft tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
- Head injuries or trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological trauma
Dog bite injuries often require long-term treatment that can be extremely expensive. Victims must often return to the doctor many times for checkups and treatment before they fully recover. In some cases, victims never fully recover and have long-term medical expenses from their injuries, such as prescription medications and physical therapy.
The Savannah dog bite lawyers at Roden Law know how devastating a dog attack can be to your health and finances. Contact us today for a free legal consultation to find out if you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
What to Do After Suffering a Dog Bite
When people are bitten or attacked by dogs they are often confused about what to do next. Our experienced Savannah dog bite attorneys recommend taking the following steps to help preserve your claim:
- Treat your injuries – There are a few things you can do to treat dog bite injuries before being seen by a medical professional. If the attack caused bleeding, place a clean towel over the wound and apply pressure to help stop the bleeding. Carefully wash the area with soap and water, apply a bandage and keep the injured area elevated on the way to the hospital.
- See a doctor - You should always seek medical treatment after a dog bite, no matter how minor the injury seems to be. You could contract a life-threatening infection from even a small bite or cut. A trained medical professional can diagnose all of your injuries and begin appropriate treatment. Make sure to tell the doctor how you became injured, as this will go into your medical records.
- Take a lot of pictures – If you are able to do so, take pictures of your injuries and the dog that attacked. Take pictures of the scene as well, making sure to photograph any property damage or environmental damage that occurred in the attack. For instance, maybe you bumped into a fence or another fixed object as you were trying to get away from the dog. This can help insurance investigators and our Savannah dog bite attorneys get a clearer picture of what happened in the attack. Take pictures of your clothes if they were damaged in the attack as well.
- Write down information about the dog and its owner – Note the breed, color and size of the animal that attacked you. Write down any other identifying features of the dog, such as any visible injuries or signs the dog was neglected by its owner. Write down information about the owner as well, such as his or her name, address, phone number and insurance information.
- Talk to any witnesses – If there were witnesses, ask them what they saw and write it down. You should also ask for their contact information in case you have more questions or need clarification on anything they told you.
- Report the attack to the authorities – While it is important to call the police after a dog attack, you should also contact Chatham County Animal Services and report a complaint. This creates an official record of what happened, which is a crucial piece of evidence in your Savannah dog bite claim.
- Contact a Savannah dog bite lawyer – Once you report a dog attack, you may start getting calls from the owner's insurance company offering to settle your case. However, they often give victims a lowball offer hoping they will accept it and end the claim as quickly as possible. This is why you need an attorney working with you. Our lawyers can handle communication with insurers and will also be prepared to file a lawsuit if we cannot negotiate fair compensation through an insurance claim. We know how to thoroughly investigate your attack to determine how much compensation you are entitled.
Taking these steps after a dog attack can go a long way toward preserving your claim and helping you as you pursue all of the compensation you are entitled.
Liability for a Dog Bite or Attack
You will not be entitled to compensation unless our attorneys can prove the dog's owner was at fault for the animal's actions.
Dog owner liability in Georgia is governed by Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 51-2-7. This law states that the owner of a dangerous animal of any kind can be held liable for damages from a dog attack if:
- The attack was the result of careless management of the animal or allowing it to go at liberty
- The victim did not provoke the attack that caused his or her injuries
What is a Dangerous Dog?
O.C.G.A. 4-8-21 defines a dangerous dog as one that has done any of the following:
- Used its teeth to cause a substantial puncture wound to someone without causing a severe injury; nips, scratches or abrasions do not constitute a substantial puncture wound
- Aggressively attacked a person in a way that caused the person to believe the dog posed an imminent threat of severe injury; barking, growling or showing teeth does not constitute an aggressive attack
- Killed a pet animal while off the owner's property; this does not include situations where the death was caused by a dog that is working as a hunting, herding or predator-controlling dog
What is Careless Management of a Dangerous Dog?
Once we establish the dog who attacked you was a dangerous dog under state law, we need to prove that your attack was the result of the owner's careless management. There are many examples of careless management of the dog.
For example, under Sec. 9-5041(d) of the animal ordinance for the city of Savannah, the owner of a dangerous dog must keep it in the proper enclosure. This means the dog needs to be securely confined indoors or in a locked pen, fence or structure designed to prevent the dog from escaping or young children from entering. This structure needs to have secure sides and a secure top. If the structure is a fence, the fence must be sufficient height to prevent the dog from escaping over the top of it. The dog should also not be able to go under the fence.
Sec. 9-5050 of the animal ordinance states that dangerous dogs outside of a proper enclosure need to be muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and restrained by a responsible person.
If our attorneys can establish a violation of these or other ordinances, the owner could be held liable for all of the damages you suffered.
Examples of Provoking a Dog
However, our Savannah dog bite lawyers must also show that you did not provoke the dog to attack. Provoking the dog could include:
- Surprising the dog
- Throwing objects at or near the dog
- Hugging or petting a strange dog
- Hitting or rattling a fence where the dog is enclosed
Our attorneys have detailed knowledge of how to prove liability for a dog attack and how to apply these legal standards to the specifics of your claim. We are prepared to fight aggressively for all of the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Savannah dog bite attorney right now by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim?
Many dog bite cases are resolved through insurance claims. For example, the attack may be covered by the owner's homeowner's insurance policy. If the attack occurred in a car, it might be covered by the owner's car insurance. There are also owners who have special insurance for their dogs, which may apply to dog bites or attacks.
If your attack is covered by insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. Insurance companies often have deadlines for submitting claims and if you miss the deadline, you could miss your chance of obtaining insurance compensation.
If the owner does not have insurance for the dog bite, our dog bite lawyers in Savannah may be able to file a lawsuit to pursue the compensation you deserve. However, there is a deadline for filing a lawsuit, also known as a statute of limitations. If you do not file a case before the statute of limitations expires, you lose the right to do so.
Dog bite claims are governed by Georgia's personal injury statute of limitations, which says claims must be filed within two years of when negligence occurred. This means you have two years from the date of the attack to file a lawsuit.
This is why you need to contact our attorneys right away. Two years is not much time and it takes our lawyers time to complete an investigation, collect evidence and build a strong case.
We will also be prepared to file a lawsuit on your behalf if the insurance claims process is unsuccessful. We have the resources and know-how to get your lawsuit filed before the statute of limitations expires, even if the insurance process takes several months.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today to learn more about your legal options after a dog attack.
Compensation for a Dog Bite
Our dog bite attorneys in Savannah are prepared to pursue compensation for all of the damages you suffered after the attack, which could include:
- Past, current and future medical bills from your treatment
- Bills for psychological counseling if the attack caused psychological issues, like PTSD
- Lost wages or earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from working
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Plastic surgery, if the injury caused serious disfigurement
When you contact a dog bite lawyer in Savannah, he or she will review all aspects of your injury to determine what forms of compensation to pursue. We know how devastating these injuries can be to various aspects of your life. We want to recover all compensation you deserve so you have the best opportunity to recover from your injury.
Contact Roden Law right now by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
Contact a Savannah Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Dog attacks can cause lasting damage to the victims. This can include physical injuries and lowered earning capacity because of permanent physical or mental limitations caused by the attack.
The Savannah dog bite attorneys at our law firm understand what you are going through and may be able to represent you in your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. We have in-depth knowledge of state and local laws on dog attacks and how to obtain the compensation our clients deserve.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today to determine your legal options. We do not charge legal fees unless you recover compensation for your injuries.