Personal Injury Claims for Animal Attacks & Injuries
If you were attacked or bitten by an animal, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the animal's owner. These are serious matters, not only due to the serious physical pain that may be inflicted in such an attack but because of the lasting scars—both emotional and physical—that may continue to influence your life.
At The Law Office of Nigel Phiri, we offer experienced legal representation to clients throughout Atlanta who have been injured by dogs and other domestic animals. We can also handle claims involving injuries at zoos, animal parks, and other places where wild animals may come into contact with humans. No matter the circumstances of your injuries, discussing your case with a dog bite attorney is a good place to start. A legal professional can offer insight regarding liability, or legal responsibility, the value of your claim and how best to proceed.
Strict Liability & Dog Bite Cases in Atlanta
In Atlanta, dog bite claims are addressed on a strict liability basis, which means that dog owners may be held accountable for any injuries their animals cause to others, regardless of any propensity toward aggressive behavior or previous attacks. The only exception may be if the victim provoked the dog in some way.
The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.
While some states employ a "one bite rule" that exempts dog owners from liability if their animals have shown no previous aggressive behavior or have never bitten anyone before, California law offers legal recourse to dog bite victims to pursue compensation regardless of whether a dog is considered "dangerous" or "aggressive."
This is particularly helpful in these cases, considering the majority of dog attacks involve animals owned by friends, neighbors, and acquaintances of the victim. When a dog bite victim takes legal action damages are often paid through the homeowner's insurance policy of the dog owner.
Dog Bite & Animal Attack Cases Based on Negligence
Victims of dog bites may also take legal action against at-fault parties based on the doctrine of negligence. In these cases, the victim must prove the other party responsible for the animal was negligent in some way, failing to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others in the circumstances. An example may be an employee who is supposed to be managing sheep in a petting zoo, but is distracted and leaves the gate open. If a sheep escapes and knocks over a child, causing him or her to be injured, the petting zoo may be held accountable.
Dog Bite Injury Lawyers at The Law Office of Nigel Phiri Provide Honest and Personalized Legal Assistance to Atlanta Dog Bite Victims
At The Law Office of Nigel Phiri, we understand how important it is that you recover full and fair compensation for your dog bite injuries. We also know that, in many cases, pursuing a claim for damages in a dog bite case can be sensitive because you may have a relationship with the dog owner that caused you to be in the dog's proximity in the first place.
Most homeowners' insurance policies cover dog bite injuries, meaning that you will usually not have to sue your friend or family member in order to recover compensation. Our lawyers are skilled negotiators, and have decades' of experience successfully negotiating claims with the insurance companies that handle these cases. Remember that dog bite injuries can lead to significant medical expenses depending upon the extent of the injury, and rehabilitation or emotional counseling may even become necessary depending upon the case. Our experienced dog bite injury lawyers can help fight to make sure you receive compensation for all of these expenses so that you can focus on the future.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bites
- FAQ: Are there any defenses that the dog owner can present to show that he or she was not responsible for the dog bite?
The dog owner may be able to show that the victim actually provoked the dog, therefore causing the dog bite. Additionally, the Georgia dog bite laws do not apply if you were unlawfully trespassing on the dog owner's property at the time of the dog bite.
- FAQ: What is the dangerous dog law?
Owners can be held responsible for dog bites if the victim can show the dog was vicious, or dangerous. This can be established in a number of ways, but under Georgia law, applies if (1) the dog has previously injured another person without provocation, (2) the dog has previously killed or injured another domestic animal while off the owner's property without provocation, (3) the dog has attacked another person without provocation, or (4) the dog was used to commit a crime. This essentially means that a “dangerous dog” is one that has a propensity or history of attacking people or animals.