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Dog Bites

“This guy is on POINT! He is motivated and knows his stuff! He helped us through the entire process. His staff is top-notch! Sherrie is a God Send!! They took a bad situation, and made it bearable. Thanks David.”
(Robert L. – personal injury client)

Dog BitesIf you’ve suffered from a dog attack, you’re not alone. Van Sant Law, serving the area since 2003, understands the seriousness of such incidents. Our experienced Atlanta dog attack attorneys can guide you through your options. From liability issues to compensation, we offer expert legal advice tailored to your situation. Schedule a free consultation today to protect your rights and seek the help you need.

When a dog bite occurs there will be various factors that affect the victim’s right to seek damages, including:

  • The history of the dog. A dog with a history of biting may have been ordered to wear a muzzle when not on the owner’s premises, for example. Some dog breeds are more aggressive by nature and may have been trained to attack.
  • The leash laws of the county. Most counties will require dogs to be on a leash when not on private property and within the owner’s control at all times.
  • Where the attack occurred. A dog owner is still generally liable for dog bites that occur on their private property if the victim was lawfully on the property. e.g. a mail carrier.

The legal issues surrounding dog bites may be complex. Our experienced Atlanta dog attack lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC, have the knowledge to aggressively seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our dog bite injury attorneys in Atlanta today to discuss how we can vigorously pursue the compensation you deserve.

An animal attack can result in a very painful and mentally stressful personal injury, requiring medical attention and time off from work. The emotional issues that can arise from an attack may change how a person goes about their daily activities. Children are frequently the victims of these attacks and their injuries can include lacerations, puncture wounds, abrasions, and fractures. In severe cases, amputation may be the outcome of an animal attack. If you or your child was attacked, it is very important to consult with a skilled dog bite lawyer in Atlanta. Our lawyers will fight for justice, hold the owner liable so their dog doesn’t inflict harm on others, and demand fair compensation for your physical and emotional suffering.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.7 million individuals per year are bitten by dogs. 400,000 of those injured in the attacks required emergency medical attention. Some of these injuries are catastrophic, demanding long-term medical care and a change in the victim’s lifestyle. If you or a loved one has suffered injury from an animal attack, it is vital to seek the help of a competent dog bite accident lawyer near you to obtain fair compensation for your injuries.

Owners of animals can be held legally liable for their harmful conduct. Many victims do not understand that they can file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the animal. The physical and mental suffering that an individual undergoes should be properly compensated. Additionally, the owner of an animal needs to be held responsible so that no future attacks occur to other innocent victims.


What Damages Can I Claim After a Dog Bite Injury?

Dog bites can be extremely traumatic. Lawyers that handle dog cases understand both the direct financial cost of animal attacks as well as the emotional cost. At Van Sant Law, LLC, our skilled attorneys seek to help dog attack victims obtain the full amount of economic and noneconomic damages they are entitled to receive.

Economic Damages

Some of the direct economic costs you might incur include expenses related to medical care, including doctors’ visits and hospital bills, diagnostic imaging, copays, prescription medications, mental health care, and more. Your animal bite lawyer will fight to help you obtain compensation both for the expenses you already incurred, as well as for future medical expenses related to the dog bite or attack.

In addition to medical expenses, you may have also incurred additional financial losses. For example, your dog bite injury may have resulted in a loss of income or a diminished future earning capacity. You may find yourself needing to hire someone to help with household cleaning, maintenance, or other chores, unexpected childcare expenses, or a loss of future benefits. If you incurred these types of losses, your dog bite lawyer will advocate for you to be compensated appropriately for such losses.

Noneconomic Damages

Dog bite injuries can leave victims with deep and long-lasting emotional trauma. While noneconomic damages are not as easy to quantify as direct financial losses, they may be compensable nonetheless. For example, your injury may have resulted in an inability for you to continue doing the things you love, or may make maintaining previous relationships more difficult. If you are facing these types of losses, your local attorney may argue that you deserve compensation for loss of consortium or for a diminished quality of life.

Similarly, you may be entitled to damages for the emotional distress, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and loss of society and support you experienced due to the animal attack. In some dog bite cases, victims are also entitled to punitive damages, which are intended to punish the animal’s owner. However, these types of damages are generally limited to extremely serious attacks.

Does Georgia Have a ‘One Bite’ Rule for Dogs?

Yes. The “One Bite” rule in Georgia essentially says that an owner whose dog has previously bitten someone should know of the animal’s propensity for violence. If the dog was to bite or attack a person in a second or subsequent event, the dog’s owner would be liable for the victim’s injuries under the “One Bite” rule. However, an owner whose dog has never previously shown any violent tendencies would not necessarily be liable for his or her dog’s actions, if the dog was to suddenly bite or otherwise attack a person.

What Are Leash Laws, and How Do They Impact Dog Bite Claims?

In Georgia, dogs are not allowed to run freely on public property. Leash laws mandate that owners must have their dogs restrained when not on their private property. When a dog bite occurs and the facts show that the dog’s owner was in violation of the state’s leash law, that non-compliance with the law can be enough to impose liability for the victim’s injuries — even if there was no reason to believe the dog was potentially dangerous.

What Action Should I Take After Suffering Dog Bite Injuries?

The most important first step to take after being bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog is to seek prompt medical attention for your injuries. A seemingly minor dog bite injury could become infected if left untreated, leading to life-threatening complications. You should file a police report and notify local Animal Control Services about the attack. 

It can also be helpful for your dog bite claim for you to take photographs of your injuries, as well as photographs of the premises where the attack occurred. You should also document the incident as well as you can, noting the name and contact information for the dog’s owner, and capturing witness statements and contact information for anyone who witnessed the dog bite. 

As soon as you feel up to doing so, consult with dog bite attorneys who can represent you in your claim and fight to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to receive. When you meet with an attorney, it will be helpful to provide documentation of your medical expenses and any lost wages, in addition to the police report and information you gathered about the incident. 

Does Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

In most cases, yes. The dog owner’s homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy should include coverage for liability in cases involving dog bites or other animal attacks on the premises. This means that the insurance company should pay for your medical care, lost wages, rehabilitation, and other expenses related to the incident. In the event a homeowner or renter does not have valid coverage at the time of a dog bite accident, he or she may be personally liable to pay for victims’ losses.

Is There a Time Limit to File a Dog Bite Claim in Georgia?

Unfortunately, yes. Under Georgia law, dog bite victims’ claims can be barred by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is essentially a time limit for filing negligence claims. While consulting with and retaining a dog bite law firm may not be the first thing on your mind, it is important not to wait too long to seek legal guidance and advice.

In most cases, victims have up to two years from the date of the dog bite in which to take legal action. If you wait too long, you could find yourself unable to recover compensation. Another reason to talk to an attorney sooner rather than later is because proving a dog owner’s negligence and liability will depend largely on evidence. It is generally easiest to gather evidence when a dog bite was relatively recent.

Click here to explore additional questions and answers related to dog bite.

Were You the Victim of an Animal Attack? Contact Our Dog Bite Lawyers Today!

At Van Sant Law, LLC, we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid if you do not get fairly compensated for your injuries. You may have current medical bills that need to be paid along with future medical treatments or therapy. In the case of a child who is attacked by an animal, they may have to take time away from school and you may need to be away from work to care for them. Each dog bite lawyer on our team is committed to fighting for the rights of animal attack victims to receive just compensation, and to seeking solutions for our clients so that they can return to their normal quality of life.

Atlanta Dog Bite Attorney to Help You Fight for Compensation

Your Van Sant Law, LLC, dog injury lawyer will pursue compensation based on various applicable points. These include medical bills incurred, future medical bills, plastic surgery required, loss of earnings, severity and permanency of injury, as well as pain and suffering. There can be many facets in relation to a dog bite personal injury legal claim.

Insurance companies or owners may dispute the circumstances or offer unsuitable settlement terms. That is why it is imperative that you secure skilled representation to protect your rights and fight for your interests. Van Sant Law, LLC has several offices throughout Georgia, including Atlanta, Alpharetta, Athens, Cumming, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, and Gainesville. Contact our Metro Atlanta dog bite lawyers today to discuss your case with a legal professional in your area.

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From the first time I called them to the current status of my case, has been by my side through it all. I would like to thank everyone in Van Sant Law for answering any questions that I have in a timely manner. I can personally say, Everyone in deserves recognition for being honest, hard working, ethical, logical, dedicated people. The only reason I rated them 5 stars is because it would not let me go higher! Hilary
I was in a car accident with a tractor trailer two years ago and David Van Sant came highly recommended for someone I could talk to about the situation. Best decision I've ever made! He fought for me in ways that was truly amazing. David and his crew worked so hard to come to a great conclusion on my case. Thank you David, Michael and everyone in the office. Mary
Attorney David M. VanSant is one of the best injury trial attorneys here in the Atlanta area. They are precise and unique in their approach. When I had my car accident, my whole world was turned upside down, but with Attorney VanSant and his team of professionals dedication and quality of service, my life is back on track. Let the VanSant team handle your case! You're in good hands. Crystal