Dogs are historically some of the most loyal pets; however, they are animals, and sometimes if threatened, they will bite. Dog bites can cause serious injuries or illnesses if left untreated, especially in children. Regardless of dog breed, personal injury claims can be made for dog bites, especially when the injuries sustained are more serious. Filing a claim for these injuries is imperative for getting the necessary settlement for these injuries. 

Possible Injuries Resulting From Dog Bites

Dog bite injuries can range in severity, plus factors like age, dog breed, or treatment after getting bit can significantly affect the necessary process for handling any resulting injuries or illnesses. Often, the negligence of an owner is to blame for dog bites. For instance, if an owner believes that their dog can handle fewer restraints and lets their pet roam free, specifically without a leash, any bites resulting from this choice would put that owner at fault for any resulting injuries or illnesses the child sustains. Some of the most common effects of dog bites include: 

  • Cuts or lacerations
  • Puncture wounds or gashes
  • Broken bones
  • Scratches 
  • Allergic reactions
  • Infections, specifically Rabies, tetanus, staph, MRSA, and Pasteurella

Aside from the immediate pain brought on by dog bites, these injuries can leave a life-long effect. Cosmetic effects like scars can be permanent, and nerve damage from serious, deeper bites can be likely. Plus, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop for those experiencing dog bites for the first time, especially children.

How To File A Dog Bite Claim

After facing a dog bite, the first step should be stabilizing the child and ensuring that their injuries are clean and free of debris. Afterward, for more serious injuries, seek medical assistance from a doctor for things like stitches or antibiotics. Once stable, follow these steps to make a claim: 

  • Contact animal control: Either by calling the police or a local animal control office, report the dog bite, making sure to include the full details of the attack.
  • Contact any witnesses: Witnesses play a key role in gathering evidence for any case, so anyone who witnessed the dog bite should be contacted for the animal control report. 

Once filed, the animal control report can be sent to the dog’s owners for their insurance to handle. This report is evidence that helps the child’s case, especially when proving that the dog was not properly restrained or handled at the time of the attack. Once in court, the parents can use this report to sue for damages. 

Laws Concerning Dog Bites

Dogs who have previously been involved in assaults are divided into two categories under the Responsible Dog Ownership Law: “dangerous” and “vicious.” A dangerous dog has murdered a pet animal while off its owner’s property, significantly penetrated a person’s flesh without inflicting serious injury, violently attacked in a threatening way, or been the source of a major injury. 

It is the responsibility of the person who was bitten by a dog to prove that the dog was aggressive. Ga. Code Ann. 51-2-7 governs an owner’s responsibility for a dog bite in Georgia, which states that the owner of a dog can be held accountable for harm done by the dog if the dog is deemed vicious or unsafe, the owner recklessly manages the dog or permits the dog to roam unleashed, and the victim of the dog bite did not provoke the attack.

Personal Injury Lawyers For Child Dog Bite Cases

Dog ownership is a big responsibility, and taking on that ownership requires the ability to control the dog’s behavior. Atlanta Legal Care provides expert legal services for a plethora of personal injury claims, including instances of dogs biting children, and can help create a personal injury claim around these injuries. For more information on our services, visit our website and contact us today.