Were you or a loved one bitten by a dog in Columbus, GA? Proving liability in a dog bite case can be difficult. Our team at Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm has the experience and resources to help. An experienced Columbus dog bite lawyer can help you stand up to the insurance company and fight for full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Our founding attorney has over 26 years of legal experience. Since we started our legal practice back in 2016, we’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims and their families handling cases like brain injuries in Columbus, pedestrian accidents, Columbus workplace accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and fall injuries, and more.
Why Trust Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm for Legal Advice After a Dog Bite Injury in Columbus, GA?
Dog bites and animal attacks can cause severe injuries. Of course, dog owners love their pets. They won’t be quick to take responsibility for allowing the dog to bite. They might even try to blame you for provoking the dog.
Fighting back can be difficult, especially if you know the dog’s owner. In reality, most dog bite claims involve insurance. When insurance companies get involved, they tend to find ways to challenge or undervalue claims. You don’t have to handle the process alone.
While you’re recovering from your injuries, our Columbus personal injury lawyer will:
- Gather evidence to support your case
- Explain your legal rights and options
- Handle all paperwork
- Document your damages and assess the value of your losses
- Retain experts as needed to prove complicated aspects of your case
- Negotiate with the insurance companies and defense teams for a full settlement
We’ve earned an AV Preeminent rating for our high-quality legal services. To learn more about how we can help, call for a free case review with a Columbus personal injury attorney.
Statistics on Dog Bite Injuries in Georgia
About 37% of all Georgia households own at least one dog. While dogs can bring joy to dog owners and others, they can also cause injuries. According to the CDC, about 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year.
Unfortunately, dog bites can have serious consequences. Approximately 12,480 dog bite victims are hospitalized with serious injuries every year. On a daily basis, about 1,000 people visit emergency rooms with dog bite injuries in the U.S.
According to a study by the Insurance Information Institute, Georgia ranked 10th among states reporting the highest payouts for dog bite claims. In 2022, Georgia insurance companies paid about $29 million to settle dog bite claims statewide.
What is My Columbus Dog Bite Injury Case Worth?
The circumstances of each dog bite claim will be different. The unique facts ultimately dictate the value of your case.
When assessing your case value, we’ll consider:
- How severe were your injuries?
- How much have you spent on medical care?
- Has the injury impacted your ability to work?
- Will you suffer any permanent scarring or long-term impairments?
- How has the trauma of the dog attack impacted your life?
The victim’s age can also impact their case value. Young children are common dog bite victims. Unfortunately, the trauma of an animal attack can be much more substantial when the victim is a child.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims in Georgia?
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost future earnings
- Rehabilitative surgeries
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- PTSD and fear
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Regardless of the circumstances, you can count on our lawyer in Columbus to pursue the full compensation available. Contact our law offices today to learn more about your legal rights.
What Happens if the Dog Owner Blames Me for Provoking the Dog?
In typical personal injury cases, Georgia has a modified comparative negligence law. Victims are only barred from seeking compensation if they’re more than 49% responsible for an accident.
Dog bite cases are different. You can lose your right to compensation entirely if the dog’s owner proves that you provoked the dog. Provocation can take many forms, including teasing, taunting, or hurting the animal. It’s assumed that an animal will react to provocation, so the dog owner isn’t held liable.
Claims of provocation aren’t always legitimate or easy to prove. If you’re being blamed, contact an experienced Columbus dog bite attorney today. We’ll do everything possible to defend you.
How Do I Establish My Right to Compensation After a Dog Bite in Georgia?
Dog bite claims are different from typical personal injury claims. While similar principles apply, victims will have to establish different elements to win compensation.
Each state implements its own laws on dog bite injury claims. Most states follow either a strict liability law or a “one-bite rule.”
In strict liability states, the dog’s owner is always liable for any injuries caused by their dog.
In states with one-bite laws, dog owners are always liable for dog bite injuries if their dog has bitten someone in the past. The law assumes that the dog owner knew that the dog had aggressive and vicious tendencies. The owner is held to a higher standard of care and can be liable for any future damages their dog causes.
Georgia has a type of modified one-bite law. Under Georgia law, victims don’t always have to prove that the dog has a history of biting. However, the dog’s owner can be held responsible for damages caused by a “dangerous” or “vicious” dog.
To recover compensation under Georgia dog bite laws, you must prove:
- The defendant either owned or “kept” the animal
- They were careless in managing the dog
- The dog was dangerous or vicious
- You did not provoke the dog bite or dog attack
While these elements may seem straightforward, you should expect the dog’s owner to defend themselves. At Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm, our team will conduct an investigation and gather the evidence you need to prove your case.
How Do I Prove the Dog is Dangerous or Vicious?
It isn’t always easy to prove that a dog is vicious or dangerous. The owner will likely claim that they had no knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities.
Unless you have proof that the dog has hurt someone in the past, it can be difficult to prove that the dog owner knew about the dog’s aggression.
Under Georgia law, however, a dog is deemed to be vicious if:
- The dog was required to be on a leash or at heel under a city or county ordinance, and
- The dog was not at heel or on a leash when the animal attacked
Animal control in Columbus has adopted strict leash laws. It’s illegal to allow a dog to roam in public spaces without a leash. Allowing the dog to roam freely is also evidence that the dog’s owner was careless.
Georgia Laws on Dangerous Dogs
If a dog is classified as a dangerous dog, the owner must take special precautions. Dangerous dogs are those that have seriously injured or aggressively attacked another person without provocation in the past.
When a dog is classified as dangerous, the owner must:
- Register the dog
- Purchase a minimum of $50,000 in liability insurance
- Keep the dog confined in a secure location
- Post “dangerous dog“ warning signs
- Restrain and muzzle the dog when around others
When a dog has already been classified as dangerous, the law also presumes that the dog owner knew about its dangerous tendencies.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries
At Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm, we’re prepared to help you seek full compensation for all of your injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Nerve damage
- Joint injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Eye and facial injuries
- Infection and disease
- Crushing injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
It’s important to seek medical attention after an animal attack. In cases where the dog isn’t properly vaccinated, the risk of infection is high. Dog bite wounds also tend to be jagged–which can lead to substantial scarring and make it more difficult to heal.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite Injury in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. The two-year statute of limitations starts on the day the dog bit or attacked you. After two years go by, you lose your right to sue the dog’s owner for damages.
There may be exceptions, so contact our experienced personal injury attorney today for guidance.
Call an Experienced Columbus Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Initial Consultation Today
After a dog bite injury, don’t hesitate to contact Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm at (706) 940-4030 for legal advice. Dog bite claims can be difficult. An experienced Columbus dog bite lawyer can handle the legal issues and pursue full compensation for your losses.
Our personal injury law firm in Columbus, GA also provides:
- Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Columbus, GA
- Brain Injury Attorneys in Columbus, GA
- Car Accident Injury Lawyer in Columbus, GA
- Child Injury Lawyers in Columbus, GA
- Construction Accident Attorney in Columbus, GA
- Dog Bite Lawyer in Columbus, GA
- Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Columbus, GA
- Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Columbus, GA
- Premises Liability Attorneys in Columbus, GA
- Product Liability Lawyers in Columbus, GA
- Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys in Columbus, GA
- Truck Accident Lawyer in Columbus, GA
- Uber Accident Attorney in Columbus, GA
- Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus, GA
- Workplace Lawyer in Columbus, GA
- Wrongful Death Lawyer in Columbus, GA
Local Emergency Rooms Near You
- Northside Medical Center: Emergency Room – 100 Frist Ct, Columbus, GA 31909
- Midtown Medical Center West Campus Hospital – 616 19th St, Columbus, GA 31901
- Midtown Medical Center Emergency Room – 710 Center St, Columbus, GA 31901
*Disclaimer – we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website.
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