As summer is here with us, a lot of people would like to spend time outdoors because the weather is conducive. Most of these people will also be with their dogs. Despite the fact that it universally accepted that children love dogs, the same can’t be said when it comes to the interactions. That is why it is crucial that you look for an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer if you or your child suffers a dog bite. Your child could end up with serious injuries or even diseases if they suffer from a dog bite. There are some situations where surgery might be required because of the dog bite.
According to statistics, over 4 million people suffer from dog bite injuries and only 17% of the cases are reported. More than half of the dog bites involve children which can be a worrying concern if you’re a parent. In some places like Georgia, dog bites are treated as a public health concern.
As a parent, there are some things you could do to ensure that your child is safe from dog bites but it won’t always be foolproof. If it is the case of your dog, you need to ensure you’re taking the right measures in socially training the dog. The pet should not miss any vaccinations. The dog needs to be properly trained in restraint when in the house and also when it is out in the public.
You should never leave the child with the dog. This holds true even for a family dog as they also have the potential of biting.
For a dog owner, you need to make sure that the dog is properly trained when it comes to interacting with strangers. The appropriate measures need to be taken when training and socializing the dog. You might still be liable under Georgia’s law if the attack happens on your property.
For a Georgia dog owner to be liable for a dog bite, the parent of the child must prove beyond a reasonable doubt there was negligence in order to claim for damages. This will mean that the parent will have to prove that the owner knew about the vicious and aggressive nature of the dog and did not do anything to restrain or prevent the bite. The claim will not be valid if the victim provoked the dog by teasing it in a suggestive manner.
There is leeway to owners when it comes to Georgia laws. It can be hard for the victim to prove negligence in a case involving a dog bite. The fact that you suffered a dog bite is not enough for you to claim compensation for the injuries. A claim could be determined in your favor if the bite happened in circumstances when a leash was in effect. There are leash laws that make it mandatory for dogs to be restrained when they’re in certain areas. In case the dog causes an injury when it is supposed to be on a leash, the owner will be responsible for the damages.
The owner might also be liable if he or she is fully aware of previous attacks by the same dog but did very little to prevent the mistake from happening again. In addition to that, the owner might also be liable to damages if the dog attacks someone on their own property.
The first thing you need to do when your child has suffered a dog bite is to ensure they’re getting medical attention. You should immediately reach out to your pediatrician. Make sure you’re getting all the information about the dog’s vaccination records which will include the last rabies shots. The owner should provide the name and contact information.
Contact Animal Control
In addition to going to the hospital, you also need to report the case to the animal control department in your local municipality. Making a timely report will ensure that those responsible are taking the right measures to quarantine the animal if it is a menace to the local community. Making the report is also important especially when pursuing a personal injury claim because of a dog bite. The animal control report could be used as evidence of the owner’s negligence.
In order to determine who is at fault for a dog injury case, you need to gather all the evidence you can find. The most important evidence is the one that will be gathered at the scene. One of the strongest pieces of evidence is your child’s tattered and bloodied clothing. You should not wash the clothes in order to remove the stains. The clothes should be put in a bag which is properly labeled with details on the time and date that the attack happened. Make sure you’re taking a lot of pictures and videos which can provide compelling evidence for the case.
You can also interview eyewitnesses so that you can improve the credibility of the case. A good Samaritan witness will have no financial motives for speaking out on what happened. Witness statements carry a big weight and could potentially increase the odds of the case being ruled in your favor. Make sure you’re getting the names and the addresses of the witnesses as they might be required to testify.
Complications with Child Injury Claims
There are legal complications for settling an injury claim for an underage. This is because it requires court approval. There is the long-term effects of the attack even if the child might recover after a few weeks.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
You can talk to a The Angell Law Firm LLC attorney to determine if you have grounds to file for a personal injury claim. It will be wrong to assume that the owner is not liable simply because you know each other or the person is your neighbor. Settling a personal injury case involving a minor is not easy and you will need an experienced attorney to help you out.