The Aftermath of a Dog Bite Injury
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there is an average of 4.5 million dog bites every year; 18% of which become infected. One type of bacteria found in over 50% of infected dog bite wounds is Pasteurella, which causes swelling in the joints and glands, as well as difficulty moving. Other common diseases contracted by dog bites include Rabies, MRSA, and Tetanus.
While most dog bites don’t warrant medical attention, some may require months or years of expensive treatment and surgery. One study reported that dog bites result in approximately 300,000 emergency room visits, and 9,500 extended hospital stays each year. The cost for this care could result in unpaid medical bills, lost income, and overwhelming financial hardship.
Do You Have a Dog Bite Case?
If you have a severe dog bite that requires expensive medical treatment, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney. Depending on your circumstances, a lawyer may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages.
Georgia’s Dog Bite Law
Georgia’s dog bite statute is considered to be more favorable to pet owners, but it does provide two ways in which a victim can recover compensation for their injury.
The first way is through the “one bite rule,” which holds that a dog owner is liable if they knew that their pet was dangerous or vicious and they carelessly managed the animal or let it free.
The other option is the “ordinance rule,” which allows victims to recover compensation if the dog owner carelessly managed the animal or let it free in a location that requires pets to be on a leash. This ordinance is also known as the “leash law” and varies by county.
If you believe the owner responsible for the dog that hurt you violated the “one bite” or “ordinance” rule, you may be eligible for compensation. You have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit. Failure to meet the statute of limitations will likely result in the court refusing to consider your case.
What Is My Dog Bite Case Worth?
In most cases, you won’t be able to know the worth of your dog bite claim until owner liability is established, all the facts have been investigated, and your medical treatment is over. Until then it is difficult to put a price on your total injuries, your out-of-pocket expenses, the strains on your personal life, and any psychological damage caused by the dog bite.
However, in any personal injury case, you might be able to recover compensation for any out-of-pocket expenses stemming from the bite like medical bills and lost wages, as well as payment for your pain and suffering.
Getting Started On Your Case
No one should have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence. If you are enduring physical, emotional, and or financial hardship because of a dog bite, hiring a personal injury attorney in Atlanta could help you obtain the dog bite settlement you need to get back on your feet. You already have so much on your plate. Let the attorneys handle the legal battle so that you can focus on recovery.