According to the Center for Disease Control, over 4 million dog bites occur in the United States every year, 80,000 of which end up requiring medical care. In many of these cases, the person bitten or otherwise attacked by the dog has the right to recover legal damages from the animal's owner. While the vast majority animal attack claims involve dogs, any other domesticated animal has the potential to cause injuries, leading to liability for the owner.
Although dog bites are among the most common animal attack injury, Georgia's animal attack statute covers any most any kind of domesticated animal, with the exception of domestic fowl. It also applies to most every time of animal-related injury, not just bite injuries. This means that if, for example, a large dog knocks you over and injures you, you may still be entitled to seek legal compensation.If You Are Bitten by an Animal
When an animal bites you, you need to seek medical attention. Wash the wound, apply antibiotic cream if you have any, and wrap it in a sterile bandage to prevent infection. Have a doctor look at your bite wound as soon as possible. Animal bites can carry infectious diseases, and if not properly treated, can lead to illness, serious injury, or even death. Change the bandage several times a day, and watch the injury for any signs of infection, including swelling, increased pain, and a high fever.
You also need to be mindful of when your last tetanus shot was - if it was more than five years ago, you may be required to get a booster. Your doctor might also ask you for details on the dog that bit you. This is especially important, as unvaccinated dogs have the potential to carry rabies. If you know the owner of the animal that bit you, be sure to ask for the pet's vaccination records.A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Once you have received medical treatment, your next priority should be to seek out an experienced personal injury lawyer. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Make sure to share as much information about the animal attack with your attorney. Also make sure you have the name of and contact information for the animal's owner.
Be aware that Georgia is considered a negligence state when it comes to animal attack claims. This means that you need to prove that the owner knew the animal was dangerous and neglected to protect others from injury. Under Georgia law, a failure to observe leash laws counts as a failure to exercise due care. If a dog was not on its leash in a public area and injures you, you do have a right to compensation, even if the owner had no reason to believe it would injure anyone.
Georgia's negligence laws also mean that you cannot pursue an animal attack injury claim if you were teasing or abusing the animal, and it retaliated against you. The animal owner can also not be held liable for injuries their animals cause to anyone unlawfully trespassing on their property, unless the animal was found to have a dangerous disposition that the owner knew about.Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today
The statute of limitations for animal attack cases in Georgia is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the animal attack to file a claim and get compensation for your injuries. This means that once you have been injured by an animal, time is of the essence. You do not want to wait to pursue your personal injury lawsuit, and you do not want to go it alone.
Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience dealing with animal attack cases. We can help you establish liability for your injuries and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the Don Turner Legal Team today and see how we can help you with your personal injury case.