Dog Bites Can Be More Serious Than You Think

A brown dog baring its teeth.We’ve written before about dog bite cases, but a couple of recent cases in Georgia make the topic worth revisiting.  

Eight-Year-Old Girl Attacked in Miamisburg

In July, an eight-year-old girl was hospitalized for her injuries after being attacked by a pit bull. The 911 caller reported to the dispatcher that she was “covered in blood.” The girl experienced a full recovery, but it was a harrowing experience. The owners of the pitbull surrendered the dog to animal control authorities, otherwise it would have been deemed a “dangerous dog.”  The dog was later euthanized.

Six-Year-Old Boy Attacked Days Later

Just a few days later, a Springfield boy was seriously injured in a vicious dog attack. His injuries required more than 200 stitches and plastic surgery. The boy’s mother reported that he needed reconstructive surgery to his lip and that at one point he was at risk of losing his eye. The dog, a 10-year-old pit bull, was quarantined by animal control officials.

Common Themes

Investigators were unable to determine what prompted these attacks, but in both instances the dog had to be pulled off of the victim. As noted, both dogs were pit bulls. Both victims were young children who sustained serious injuries that required hospitalization.  

Dog Bites Can Carry Long-Term Consequences

Because it was such a traumatic event, the mother of the Springfield boy believes that her son will need psychiatric counseling. Anxiety and even PTSD are not uncommon following dog attacks. In addition, victims may face some scarring, nerve damage, and physical therapy.  A man in Cobb County required two knee surgeries following a dog bite, resulting in a $450,000 settlement after filing suit.

The Law Holds Dog Owners Liable

Georgia law states that the dog owner may be liable for any damages that result from the victim’s injuries.  While the statute states that the dog must be “vicious” or “dangerous,” it goes on to provide that the dog may be considered dangerous if it is off the leash in violation of local ordinance.  

What to Do if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it’s not always clear at the outset whether you will need to pursue legal action for your injuries. As a result, we recommend that you take the following steps:  

  • Seek medical treatment and keep copies of all medical documentation, notes, receipts, and other paperwork.
  • Take pictures of the injury that resulted from the bite.
  • Find out who owns the dog and ask for its shot records (especially rabies). Ask the owners if the dog has previously bitten anyone else.
  • Ask any eyewitnesses to provide you with a written statement.
  • Write down your recollection of the incident.
  • In addition to medical expenses, keep track of and document any other losses, such as lost wages and transportation costs.

Finally, you may want to consider speaking with a personal injury attorney who has experience with dog bite cases. An attorney can explain your options and help you move forward if necessary.  

Contact Slappey & Sadd to Schedule a Consultation with one of our Atlanta Area Dog Bite Lawyers

If you’re suffering as a result of a vicious dog attack, our attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Just give us a call at 888-474-9616 or send us an email to schedule a free consultation.   

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