Personal Injury 911: Help, I’ve Been Bitten By a Dog!
After a long day at the office, you decide to go out for a jog around your neighborhood to get in a workout. Suited up, ready to go, you start to run your normal route. Minding your own business, you turn at the first street corner. Suddenly, an unleashed pit bull runs out of a neighbor’s yard, attacks you, and gashes open your lip and right cheek.
Managing to escape the beast, you hobble back to your home to examine your wounds. Your wife immediately calls 911 – and you see why when you look in the mirror. Your wounds require emergency plastic surgery and you are left with a permanent scar on your face. Luckily, the dog was not rabid. You immediately ask yourself these questions:
- What do I do now?
- Who is going to pay for all of these medical bills?
- Aren’t there laws against allowing dogs to run free like that?
Based on the situation above, you may take legal action against the owner of the dog. This type of dog attack happens all too often. Below are the necessary steps you should take after a dog attack:
Five Steps to Take After Being Attacked By an Animal
- Immediately seek medical care and treatment.
- Call the police or sheriff’s department ASAP, take photos of the evidence, and save all clothing that was torn or stained with blood.
- Get the name, address, and phone number of the dog’s owner and any information you can get on the dog (neighbors are often the best source of information, as they have almost always had trouble with the dog before).
- Report the dog bite to local animal control.
- Contact an experienced dog and animal bite attorney before speaking to any insurance company. The claim will need to be reported to the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance company. DO NOT provide the insurance company with a recorded statement – it cannot help your case and can only be used against you.
For a dog owner to be held responsible for a dog attack, you must prove the owner knew the dog had been violent in the past. This is often referred to as the “one free bite rule.” However, you can get around the “one free bite rule” in Georgia if the city or county where the attack occurred has a “leash law” or other animal restraint ordinance on the books. Many cities and counties in Georgia have enacted such “leash laws” to protect innocent citizens from animal attacks.
Are You a Victim of a Dog Bite or Animal Bite Injury?
If you or someone you know has been attacked by a dog or other animal, contact the Macon personal injury dog bite attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill. Our team of attorneys is experienced in handling cases involving dog and animal bites and will provide a free evaluation of your case.
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our attorney’s fees are only paid when you receive compensation. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at (478) 217-2072 or click here to complete a contact form.