Brunswick Dog Bite Attorney
Animal attacks are one of the most common premises liability injuries. Dog bites account for about a third of all homeowners insurance claims in the Southeast. As outlined below, these attacks often cause catastrophic external and internal injuries. These injuries are usually emotional as well as physical. Victims who survive vicious dog attacks deserve compensation for all these serious wounds.
At Gillette Law, our compassionate Brunswick dog bite attorneys understand the pain and suffering these victims must endure. This understanding, along with a strong passion for individual rights, drives us to obtain maximum compensation in these cases. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Dog Bite Injuries
The serious injuries usually begin before the dog bite itself begins. Usually, the knockdown alone causes broken bones, head injuries, and other severe wounds. That’s especially true when a large dog suddenly attacks a small child. This scenario occurs frequently in Georgia.
Then, when dogs bite, their teeth usually inflict severe tearing lacerations and deep puncture wounds. These lacerations usually require extensive, and expensive, reconstructive surgery and specialty trauma centers. The deep puncture wounds often cause excessive internal bleeding. Such blood loss is hard to detect and even more difficult to stop.
Usually, the cumulative effect of these injuries causes an emotional injury. Many dog bite victims, especially children, go through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-types symptoms, such as:
- Hypervigilance (irrational fear of all dogs),
- Flashbacks, and
PTSD is a physical brain injury. Witnessing or surviving an extremely traumatic event triggers chemical changes in the brain.
The suffering might not be over. Dog bite wounds have very high infection rates. These infections are usually life-threatening to vulnerable victims or those with pre-existing conditions. To obtain compensation for such injuries, our Brunswick medical malpractice attorneys often pursue legal claims against negligent doctors or medical facilities.
Dog bite laws in many states are rather intricate. Lawmakers try to strike a balance between pet owner interests, who would like their dogs to run free, and victims who need protection. Georgia’s dog bite laws are especially complex. There are three basic approaches, and they all overlap to some extent.
- Scienter (Knowledge): If the owner knew the dog was potentially dangerous and it attacked someone, the owner could be liable for all the victim’s damages. Evidence of knowledge usually includes pre-bite behavior, like vicious growling, as well as previous attacks against animals or people.
- Dangerous Dog: This official label could apply to any animal which “Inflicts a severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property at any time after March 31, 1989.” Since the animal is dangerous as a matter of law, dangerous dog liability is basically a cross between scienter, which was discussed above, and negligence per se, which is discussed below.
- Negligence Per Se: Section 51-2-7 states “In proving vicious propensity, it shall be sufficient to show that the animal was required to be at heel or on a leash by an ordinance of the city, county, or consolidated government, and the said animal was at the time of the occurrence not at heel or on a leash.” In other words, if the owner violated an animal restraint law, that fact alone is evidence of knowledge.
The burden of proof in these claims is a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. So, a little proof of knowledge goes a long way.
In some cases, third parties could be financially responsible for injuries. For example, if a landlord allows a dangerous or vicious dog, or a breed of dog which the lease prohibits, to stay at the property, the landlord could be financially responsible for damages if that animal attacks someone.
Contact a Hard-Working Glynn County Dog Bite Lawyer
All serious injury victims are entitled to fair compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Brunswick dog bite attorney, contact Gillette Law, P.A. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.