Augusta Dog Bite Attorneys
Zealous Representation of Dog Mauling Victims - Augusta Dog Bite Lawyer
While many families consider the family dog a vital part of the family and beloved pet, dogs like other animals sometimes exhibit unpredictable behavior that can result in dog bites, dog attacks and even fatal dog maulings. If you are the victim of an injury in an Augusta dog attack, you may suffer severe physical injuries that require reconstructive surgery and lifelong emotional trauma. The experienced Augusta dog bite attorneys at Montlick and Associates are committed to shifting the risk associated with owning animals back to those who make the choice to own a dog and to seeking the compensation Augusta dog attack victims need to promote their recovery from the physical and emotional scars of a dog attack.
Dog attacks that result in serious injury are far more common than most people realize. Each year 5 million people suffer some form of dog bite injury ranging from minor bites that do not break the skin to fatal mauling incidents. Dog attacks send an estimated hundred thousand people per year to U.S. emergency rooms annually. Tragically, small children are the most susceptible victims both in terms of the frequency that they are attacked and the severity of the dog attack.
Understanding the “One Bite Rule” in Augusta Dog Bite Litigation
Our Augusta dog bite attorneys typically explore a number of legal theories when analyzing the basis for liability of a dog owner in an Augusta dog attack. Georgia follows the common law One Bite Rule that has been repealed as unfairly harsh in many states. The rule is to some degree a misnomer because despite the rules name there is no requirement that a dog need to have bitten someone before liability may be imposed on a dog owner. This misconception is very commonly misunderstood and leads some to believe that they get “one free bite.”
While there is no requirement that an Augusta dog attack victim prove that the dog has bitten someone on a previous occasion, this approach to imposing liability on a dog owner does require evidence that the dog owner “knew or should have known” that the dog had vicious tendencies. This is sometimes referred to as the “scienter” requirement. While a prior dog bite incident is one way that a dog’s prior vicious behavior may be shown, it may also be established by other evidence. The breed and training of the dog may also be relevant as certain breeds of dogs have a greater propensity for viciousness including pit bulls and Rottweilers.
The case of Supan v. Griffin, 238 Ga. App. 404 (1999) provides a clear direction on how the One Bite Rule works in Georgia. The plaintiff was injured when a dog on the owner’s property attacked the dog bite victim. The court held that the true test of liability is the owner's "superior knowledge of his dog's temperament." Supan's dog had previously attacked another dog while threatening its owner with "bared fangs, vicious growls and attack behavior." Although the dog did not bite, this evidence of an aggressive temperament was sufficient to impose liability on the dog owner.
Other Theories for Imposing Liability in Augusta Dog Bite Lawsuits
Our experienced Augusta dog bite lawyers thoroughly investigate our clients’ dog bite cases to identify evidence that a dog owner should have known of a dog’s vicious tendencies. Even when the scienter requirement cannot be established because there is no evidence of past viciousness by a dog, we may still pursue an Augusta dog bite lawsuit based on an owner’s negligence or violation of a leash law ordinance. If an owner’s negligence can be shown to have caused injury in the form of a dog attack resulting in a bite or even knocking someone to the ground on a bike, this may be the basis for imposing liability on a dog owner. Similarly, if you suffer a dog attack in a city or county that has a leash law, an owner may be liable for injuries caused because the dog was allowed to run at large rather than being confined by a fence or on a leash.
Augusta Dog Attacks May Result in Serious Injuries
If you or someone you love is the victim of a dog attack or dog mauling, you may suffer serious injuries including:
- Nerve damage
- Severe disfigurement
- Damage to vital organs
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Wrongful death
If you suffer injuries caused by a dog bite, dog mauling or dog attack in Augusta, our dedicated team of Augusta dog bite lawyers may seek a broad spectrum of damages. We have helped victims of Augusta dog attacks seek compensation for the following:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses including reconstructive surgery
- Psychological counseling or therapy
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Impairment of quality of life and marital relationship
- Funeral/burial expenses (wrongful death)
We know that many times serious dog maulings can result in injuries that require extensive reconstructive surgery, which can be painful, expensive and emotionally devastating. We are prepared to stand behind you and fight for the financial compensation you need to rebuild your life after a serious Augusta dog bite incident. If you or someone you love has been injured in an Augusta dog attack, our experienced Augusta dog attack lawyers at Montlick and Associates are committed to seeking the best possible outcome for our clients. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation because there is absolutely no obligation for us to evaluate your Augusta auto accident claim. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.