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Dog Bite Attorneys Serving
Lavonia & Hartwell, Georgia

Defending the Vulnerable in Their Time of Need

Though dog bites are often associated with abrasions and cuts that can heal in days, dog bites can also cause serious injuries, including permanent scarring, disfigurement, psychological trauma, and sometimes death.

Unless there is evidence that a dog was not at heel or on a leash, as required by local ordinance at the time of the incident, a plaintiff in a dog bite case must show that the owner had knowledge that the dog had the propensity to commit the act that caused the injury. When you call our Lavonia dog bite attorneys after an attack, we can get to work collecting evidence that is needed to prove the dog owner was negligent.

Berelc Law Firm offers compassionate legal counsel to injured clients throughout Georgia. Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their dogs don’t attack or injure others; when they fail to do so, they must be held accountable.

Contact our injury lawyers online for a free consultation after your attack. Even if you’re been injured and not directly bitten by a dog, you may still be able to file a claim.

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Georgia’s One Bite Rule

Georgia uses a modified “one bite rule,” meaning that as long as a dog’s owner knows their dog is violent or vicious, then they can be held legally responsible for damages. The rule does not literally require a first bite; instead, the true test of liability is the owner’s superior knowledge of the dog’s temperament.

Unfortunately, sometimes the only way you can prove a dog is vicious is by having evidence that it has bitten someone before.

An important exception to the first bite rule comes into consideration when the animal is required to be at heel or on a leash by an ordinance of a city, county, or consolidated government, and the animal was not at heel or on a leash at the time of the occurrence.

In such cases, if an animal is running at large in violation of a local ordinance when it bites someone, the owner’s knowledge of its propensity to bite is immaterial. Therefore, even in first-bite cases, an owner may be held liable even without proof that the owner had knowledge of the animal’s vicious propensity if the animal was not at heel or on a leash as required by ordinance. This is an important exception because many Georgia counties and cities currently have such ordinances.

Can I File a Dog Bite Claim If I Haven’t Been Bitten?

You can file a dog bite claim even if you weren’t bitten by the dog in question. If the dog has exhibited other behaviors that make it aggressive or has attacked you and caused other injuries, you may be able to hold the dog owner responsible for negligence.

Other types of injuries a dog can cause include:

  • Cuts, abrasions, or lacerations

  • Sprains or fractures, which can occur if you fall while trying to run from the dog

  • Crushed or broken bones, which can happen when being trampled or attacked by a large dog

Why You Need a Dog Bite Lawyer

Georgia law imposes that all dog-related injury claims must be filed within two years of the said injury occurring. This means you have two years to file a lawsuit against the person who owned the dog that attacked you.

If you do not file your case within the two-year period, your case will most likely be disregarded in a court of law. Hiring a professional and knowledgeable attorney is beneficial to your case, as attorneys can get to work quickly and efficiently file your claim.

Additionally, if you were bitten by a dog, there’s a good chance you may be facing thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and more. Dog bites can be serious and require extensive treatment; many dog bites tear off the flesh and require cosmetic surgery.

10-15% of dog bites lead to infections, which also require medication. Our lawyers can take all of these costs into consideration when we determine how much compensation you’re entitled to under the law.

We offer free case evaluations so you can learn how we can help you prior to retaining our assistance. It is our goal to help everyone who seeks our assistance—no matter how complex their personal injury case may seem.

Call our Lavonia dog bite attorneys so we can learn more about your case and discuss your next steps. We’ve recovered millions of dollars in damages successfully for past clients and would like to apply our knowledge to your case.